HC Deb 16 February 1894 vol 21 cc595-6

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the fact that the death-rate on Her Majesty's ships Impregnable and Lion in 1892 was 51 percent. over the death-rate of the West African Station, and 134 per cent. in excess of that of the four other training ships, and that the invaliding rate was 110 per cent. in excess of that of the four other training ships, and 744 per cent. over that of H.M.S. Britannia; and whether, in view of this very serious state of things, he will give particulars respecting the two ships for 1893, similar to those appearing at page 15 of the Appendix to the Statistical Abstract of the Health of the Navy for 1892?


To obtain correct conclusions, the daily average number of sick on hoard, and the ratio of sick per 1,000, should be considered. On that basis, although there were some serious cases and deaths on both ships in 1892, the health of the Impregnable and Lion in 1892 compared favourably with that of many other ships, including training ships. My hon. Friend will find these facts if he will look at the same page of the Statistical Report as that from which ho has extracted certain figures which do not fully represent the actual state of the ease. The information for the year 1893 for which he asks in the last paragraph cannot be given until it has reached the Admiralty and has undergone examination and tabulation; but the general statement can be made that since the measures taken more than a year ago to prevent over-crowding and improve ventilation the health of the training ships has greatly improved.

In reply to a further question by Mr. ARNOLD-FORSTER, which was quite inaudible in the Gallery,


repeated that the general health of the boys on the ships had greatly improved.

SIR J. GOLDSMID (St. Pancras, S.)

To what date is the right hon. Gentleman referring?


The past year.

SIR A. ROLLIT (Islington, S.)

About what date did the improvement take place?


After the winter of 1892. There was a great deal of influenza in that year, and it affected the boys. Steps were taken to relievo the over-crowding and to improve the ventilation. They have been accompanied by a very great improvement in the health of the boys.