HC Deb 17 July 1890 vol 347 cc73-4
MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the £1,000 stated to have been paid to Admiral Colomb was made up of £750 from the Admiralty, and £250 from the War Office; whether of the £750 paid by the Admiralty, £500 was paid in January, 1868, in recognition of his services in perfecting the plans of flashing signals for use in Her Majesty's ships; whether the remaining £250 was paid by the Admiralty in 1871, in respect of signals for joint Naval and Military use; whether the £250 paid by the War Office in January, 1871, was on account of signal arrangements for land service only; and what was the total cost incurred for the purchase of Admiral Colomb's signal apparatus supplied to the whole of Her Majesty's ships during the period the supply of the signal apparatus to Her Majesty's Fleet was left in Admiral Colomb's hands, namely, from 1864 to 1888, and what percentage of such total cost do the Admiralty estimate Admiral Colomb's profits to have been?


The £1,000 was made up of two distinct sums of £500 each. The first £500 was on account of the service to the Navy alone. The second £500 was on account of services in perfecting the system of signalling between the Army and Navy, and was charged in equal portions between Army and Navy funds. The terms of the receipts given by Admiral Colomb were respectively— In full discharge of all claims connected with the introduction into Her Majesty's ships of his plan of flashing signals, and expenses attendant thereon; and— In discharge of all claims on Her Majesty's Government on account of signal arrangements for land service, and in respect of a code of signals for joint Naval and Military use. The total cost of the apparatus purchased by the Admiralty from Admiral Colomb between 1864 and 1888 cannot be definitely stated without a close scrutiny of the old Admiralty ledgers, but the value of the orders given between 1879–80 and 1888–9 amounted to about £6,000. As Admiral Colomb made his own arrangements with the firms who manufactured the apparatus the Admiralty are not in a position to state what profits he may have actually made on his contracts with the Government.