HC Deb 02 March 1893 vol 9 cc804-5
MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the Squadron under Admiral Fairfax entered Ferrol Harbour with the engines going at the rate of 50 revolutions, but that, as soon as he passed the Pereira Reef, an order was signalled for the revolutions to be reduced to 25, the result being that the Howe, the second ship, lost her steerage way and became slewed to port by the violence of the flood tide; if so, why the Board of Admiralty have issued a Memorandum condemning the officers of the Howe, seeing that in the same Memorandum they approve the finding of the Court Martial, which condemned the reduction of speed by the Admiral in the Narrows as inexpedient, as well as for entering the harbour on a flood tide; and will the Board of Admiralty, in addition to the Memorandum regarding charts issued on the 14th April, 1892, in future give instructions to Commanders-in-Chief and senior officers on entering harbours, whether at home or abroad, to take the assistance (as customary in the Mercantile Marine) of qualified pilots?


The Squadron entered Ferrol Channel at 35 revolutions of the flagship's engines, which were reduced to 25 revolutions on nearing the harbour. The Howe did not lose her steerage way, nor was she slewed by the tide. No reason is seen to make any alteration in the present regulations relating to piloting Her Majesty's ships.