HC Deb 30 August 1895 vol 36 cc1252-3

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can say when H. M. S. Minotaur will take up her station as training ship in Cork Harbour?

THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN, St. George's,) Hanover Square

It is impossible for me to say when the Minotaur can take up her station as training ship in Cork Harbour. The establishment of such a ship for training purposes requires elaborate and costly preparations. Land has to be bought or leased as recreation ground for the boys. Some hospital accommodation has to be provided on shore. A landing pier would have to be built. Considerable new fittings and alterations would have to be carried out in the ship herself. The establishment of the Caledonia in Scotland as a training ship cost nearly £20,000. No money was taken in the Estimates for any works on the Minotaur, and I cannot say from what work in the programme it would be advisable to take men off to perform the work at present. Besides these matters, arrangements would have to be made for the accommodation of the first-class boys now in the Minotaur during the time while she was being dealt with in the dockyard. But the hon. Member need not think that any adverse decision is being arrived at with regard to the plan. But, if any other selection than the Minotaur were to present fewer difficulties, I must not be held to have pledged the present Board to that particular ship. ["Hear, hear!"]


begged leave to remind the right hon. Gentleman that this training ship was promised by the late First Lord of the Admiralty so far back as February 21 last, and asked what was the reason for the long delay that had occurred in the matter?


May I be allowed to say that no money has been taken in the Estimates for this purpose? The late Government were in office for six months after February, but, with the exception of some preliminary inquiries, no further progress has been made. No decision has been arrived at as to the training arrangements to be made for Cork Harbour.


asked whether the right hom. Gentleman suggested that in the Parliamentary Papers dealing with the general question of the Navy this training ship was not put down as Ireland's share of the 20 millions.



MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked whether there was not supposed to be continuity in every Government programme?


As I have stated, no adverse decision has been arrived at. The hon. Gentleman is really making a mountain out of a mole-hill. If there is another ship more appropriate for this purpose than the Minotaur it would be folly to pledge the Board to make use of that particular ship.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could give a pledge that a training ship should be placed in Cork Harbour before the end of the present year.


said, that it would take four or five months to make the necessary preparations. He was not at all sure that the arrangements could be completed in the time mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. The moorings had yet to be laid down.


asked whether he was prepared to place a training ship on the west coast of Scotland?

[No answer was given to this question.]

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