HC Deb 08 December 1890 vol 349 c697

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, as more than one British vessel has been missing recently between the Cape of Good Hope and Australia, and it is probable their crews may have landed on the Crozet Islands, there is any reason why one of the nine ships in the service of Her Majesty at present in commission on the Cape of Good Hope and West African Stations, should not, for the satisfaction of the friends of the crews of the missing ships, periodically visit those islands, in the hope of rescuing seamen who may have landed upon them?


If the hon. Member will refer to the Correspondence presented to the House of Commons in June, 1876, and May, 1877, he will see that a visit to these islands can only be undertaken at considerable risk. There is no vessel on the Cape station able to steam the long distance (nearly 4,000 miles) involved, without coaling. There is at present no sufficient evidence to show that the crews of the missing vessels are at the Crozet Islands, and in the absence of such evidence Her Majesty's Government do not feel justified in ordering a vessel to undertake the onerous duty suggested.