HC Deb 01 July 1890 vol 346 c460

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the Treasury has decided upon offering Admiral Colomb £2,000 as an adequate settlement of his claims in respect of his invention of flashing signals; and, if so, when this offer will be officially communicated to Admiral Colomb?

*MR. WINTERBOTHAM (Gloucester, Cirencester)

Has the noble Lord seen a statement of claim, laid before the Admiralty in July, 1859, in which Major General Charles Babbage states that his father was the inventor of flashing signals, and published full particulars in the Times, and exhibited the apparatus in work years before the patent of Admiral Colomb?


The Government have decided to offer Admiral Colomb a further grant of £2,000 for his services in connection with the introduction into the Navy of the system of flashing signals, and this offer will be at once officially communicated to Admiral Colomb. The claims not only of the late Major General Charles Babbage, but also of another gentleman, to be considered the originator of the system of flashing signals have been brought to my notice. The question they raise is one rather for a Court of Law than a Public Department to decide. I cannot undertake to express an opinion upon the claims in question. Admiral Colomb's claim to have adapted flashing signals to Naval uses is not, I believe, disputed.


The noble Lord refers to "a further sum of £2,000." What is the amount Admiral Colomb has already received?