HC Deb 16 February 1893 vol 8 cc1574-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether it is the fact that the six battleships at Malta, when assistance had suddenly to be sent to Zante, were none of them in a condition to be sent to sea, and the arrival of the Camperdown had to be awaited before such assistance could be sent; and, if so, what were the causes for this condition of the Mediterranean Squadron?


No, Sir; the facts are these: The Camperdown was approaching Malta when Sir George Tryon heard on February 1st the first rumour of the disaster in the Island of Zante. Shortly afterwards, at 5.7 p.m., he received the first request for assistance. Less than eight hours later, after having been coaled, and receiving tents, blankets, deals, and other stores, the Camperdown sailed. No other ship could have been despatched with the same satisfactory promptitude, though other ships could have been sent on this service, had the Camperdown not been available. Certain ships are undergoing the usual examination and repair at Malta. The tents, stores, and provisions proved most acceptable to the people of Zante.