§ SIR A. BORTHWICK (Kensington, S.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, seeing the great influence that the presence and movement of the two torpedo vessels on the Zambesi belonging to the Navy has exercised in maintaining order and assisting in the stopping of the slave trade, it would be possible to transfer those vessels to Lake Nyassa where their operation could be even more useful?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Ealing
I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for his suggestion, but there are great difficulties in giving effect to his wishes in the way he suggests. The gunboats maintained for service on the Zambesi are only adapted for river work; they cannot be taken to pieces and carried overland; moreover, their services cannot yet be dispensed with on the Zambesi. The Government have, however, decided to build two gunboats specially for service on Lake Nyassa; orders have been given for their construction, and arrangements have been made for sending them out as soon as the depth of water in the river permits of their ascent, which will be early in the autumn. The presence of these vessels on the Lake will, we are confident, be of material assistance in arresting the slave trade at one of its sources.