§ MR. GOURLEY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that considerable anonymous discontent exists among the crews of the Curacoa, Rapid, and Lizard, in consequence of their being compulsorily detained on the Australian Station beyond the usual period; whether the Admiralty have received any information that one of the vessels, the Curacoa, is in an unsea-worthy condition, and must be docked before returning home; and will he state when these ships were last docked, and the tenour of the Report as to their condition in hulls and machinery?
SIR U. KAY-SHUTTLEWORTH
"Anonymous discontent" seems a somewhat nebulous phrase. But if anonymous letters have reached my hon. Friend, I would suggest to him that it is not desirable in the best interests of our Navy to give public currency to such un vouched complaints, of which, obviously, the Admiralty can take no notice. No reason exists for any discontent, as I showed by the answer which I gave on June 1 to a question on the same subject from my hon. Friend. The Curaçoa is in a seaworthy condition, otherwise she would not have been retained on the station. She and the Lizard were last docked in November, 1893; the Rapid in November, 1892. They are all sheathed vessels. Their hulls and machinery have all been reported in good condition.