HC Deb 15 March 1894 vol 22 cc318-9
MR. POWELL WILLIAMS (Birmingham, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the results of recent trials of armour plates by the United States Government at Annapolis and at India Head prove the great superiority in resistance of plates constructed of nickel steel as compared with compound plates and plates constructed by the Harvey process without nickel; whether he is aware that the German Government have adopted nickel steel plates for vessels now in course of building; whether Her Majesty's Government have nevertheless adopted the cheaper Harveyed plates for protected vessels now being constructed for Her Majesty's Navy; whether any trials of nickel plates as against Harveyed and other plates have recently been made in this country; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government will lay upon the Table a Report showing the nature and result of such trials; and whether Her Majesty's Government have received any authentic account of the recent trials of various kinds of plates in the United States which they can make public?


The hon. Gentleman will find the general answer to his questions in the Explanatory Statement of the First Lord of the Admiralty, which will, I trust, be in the hands of Members to-morrow. The Admiralty note the results of armour plate trials made abroad, but rely mainly on the results of our own trials of armour manufactured under our own officers' inspection. Doubtless the German Government pursues a corresponding policy. Cheapness has not been the reason for the conclusions at which we have arrived as the result of a long series of trials. It would not be possible to publish either official Reports of our trials, or special information as to trials abroad.


I beg to give notice that I shall call attention to this matter on the Estimates.