HC Deb 30 April 1889 vol 335 cc778-9
MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give the House any information as to the prospects of raising the sultan, and when will the Court of Inquiry be held as to whether proper means were adopted immediately after the stranding of the vessel to recover it?


The reports received from the officers of the Mediterranean Fleet and the dockyard officials who have inspected the Sultan are not favourable to the prospect of saving the vessel. Their view is confirmed by the salvage company who were engaged by the Admiralty and were working on the spot. Other salvage companies take a more favourable opinion of the position of the ship, and have made offers to attempt to raise her. The damage to the hull is considerable, and the deterioration of the fittings and machinery will be so great that it is very doubtful, from a pecuniary point of view, whether the Sultan is worth raising; but until I know what the claim for salvage will be I cannot give a definite opinion upon this point. A further inquiry into the measures taken to save the Sultan after she grounded is necessary. The late Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean, his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, has unfortunately been so seriously indisposed during the last month by an attack of fever as to be wholly unable to transact naval business; until, therefore, he is convalescent it will not be possible to commence the investigation.