HC Deb 02 February 1893 vol 8 cc246-7

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he can inform the House the nature and extent of the damage sustained by H.M.S. Howe, stranded in Ferrol Harbour, and the measures adopted by the Admiralty for the purpose of saving the vessel, guns, and stores; and whether there is any probability of the vessel being floated in a repairable condition; and, if so, when?


Although it is too early to make any statement to the House of the nature and extent of the damage to the Howe, I may inform my hon. Friend that the more serious injuries appear to be limited to the spaces under the engine and boiler-rooms. The damage on the port side is more extensive than on the starboard. Measures were promptly and successfully taken for removing all the six-inch and lighter guns and the accessible stores and coal. For the salvage of the ship an agreement was entered into with the Neptune Salvage Company. They have recently made some preliminary trials of the arrangements for pumping out the ship. These trials seem to show that it will be possible to free her from water when the sheathing of certain portions of the bottom is completed, There is much reason to hope that the Howe will be floated during the present month in a condition which will make it possible to effect repairs in the dock at Ferrol, courteously placed at our service by the Spanish Government, Perhaps my hon. Friend will put a further question a little later in the month, when I hope to be able to give him more information.