§ MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether it is intended to alter the flues of the torpedo catchers Hornet and Havock so as to prevent the emission of such dense masses of smoke and flame as was witnessed at the manœuvres in Stokes Bay on Saturday the 14th July; whether it is a fact that on board the Hornet men were continually employed in throwing water over the boats hung in davits near the funnels, to prevent them from being destroyed by the flames; and will he state the description of coal used, and also if he is aware that vessels have been offered to the Admiralty constructed with smoke-consuming apparatus; if so, why this system has not been adopted?
THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Sir U. KAY-SHUTTLE-WORTH,) Lancashire, Clitheroe
The following information has been received from Commander Torlesse, late of the Havock and now of the Hornet, in relation to the question of my hon. Friend. He says—I presume the Havock is meant. The Hornet has never used water for the purpose indicated, nor was she troubled with flame (from her funnels). No trouble has been experienced in the Hornet from flame (from the funnels), but in the Havock at full speed a good deal of flame has been produced at times. No special Report has been made, as it was considered that more experience in stoking would reduce the flame. I have seen Commander Farquhar of the Havock, who states that his object in having water thrown over the boat (on July 14) was to prevent cinders from the funnels from burning small holes in the canvas cover of the boat.Commander Torlesse adds—I had never regarded the boat as in danger of catching fire, but merely used the water as a precaution against damage.Further practice and experience will probably show whether it will be necessary to make a small alteration in the funnels of the Havock, in order to prevent any undue smoke or flame. The best hand-picked Welsh coal is used. No smoke-consuming apparatus has hitherto been submitted to the Admiralty which is considered suitable for naval purposes.