HC Deb 13 June 1893 vol 13 cc888-9

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the lore compartments of the Hood, which is leaving at once for the Mediterranean, were last week discovered to be full of water and the vessel still leaking; whether this defect, which might have proved very serious if it had remained undiscovered until the vessel had proceeded to sea, was due to the fact that rivets, which should have been driven right through the plates and fastened on the other side, had been driven only partly home and the hole on the other side filled by an imitation of the rivet head; whether it is always known and recorded what workmen are engaged on particular parts of a vessel; and whether adequate punishment is legally provided for such bad and dangerous workmanship?


This question is founded upon newspaper statements which have hazarded an entirely erroneous interpretation of the accident that caused a slight leak in H.M.S. Hood. The facts of the case are as follows:—In docking the ship for coating her bottom, she bore rather heavily upon one of the blocks in the dock, and started one of the rivets iii the foremost keel-plate. Owing to the slight leak which was thus caused, although it was not a serious matter, the vessel was redocked, and the rivet replaced. It is entirely untrue that the rivet was improperly formed, driven, and laid up; nor was it an imitation rivet. Indeed, no defective work has boon discovered in the ship, and the Admiralty have had remarkable evidence, within the last few months, of the excellence of the riveting work done in Chatham Dockyard. With respect to the last two paragraphs of the question, if any serious defects were discovered in a ship, the workmen responsible for it could be identified, and would certainly suffer for it.