MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state what was the total number of officers and men employed in, and the total cost for the year 1896–97, of Jamaica (Port Royal) Dockyard, and of Jamaica (Port Royal) Hospital respectively; whether he can state the cost of freight of stores sent to this dockyard in that year; whether there is any dock at this dockyard, and has any ship or boat ever been built there; and, if so, when; how many of Her Majesty's ships used the dockyard during the year for purposes of repair, and what was the nature and the total value of those repairs; whether there are any appliances in the dockyard for effecting repairs to machinery, such as foundries or fitting shops; what number of seamen and Marines were in the hospital for treatment during the year, and what number of soldiers; and whether, seeing that Admiral Sir J. Ommaney Hopkins in 1893 recommended that Port Royal should not be continued as a dockyard, the late Board or the present Board of Admiralty have taken any, and if so what, steps in consequence of that recommendation?
§ THE CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN,) Worcestershire, E.
The total number of officers and men employed at Jamaica Dockyard and Hospital respectively in 1896–97 is 79, at a cost of £7,971, and 22 at a cost of £2,725. The freight of stores in 1896–97 amounted to £842. There is no dock there. No ship, pulling or sailing boat has been built there, but one coaling lighter was built in 1893–94 and another in 1896–97. Four of Her Majesty's ships used the dockyard during 1896–97 for repairs, which cost altogether £386. There are foundries, fitting shops, and machines capable of effecting 1177 ordinary repairs to machinery. In 1896 135 seamen and marines and 326 soldiers, including officers, were under treatment in the hospital. Sir J. O. Hopkins reported in 1893 that it was questionable whether the establishment should be maintained in its, then condition, and a local committee was appointed to consider how the establishment might best be reduced, but on receipt of their Report the Admiralty decided to make no change. The Board of Admiralty are not prepared to close this most important station, but they have for some time past been considering whether further facilities for repairs to ships on the station ought not to be provided. The whole subject is occupying their serious attention.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
asked whether the hon. Gentleman would lay upon the Table the Report of Admiral Sir J. Ommaney Hopkins, made in 1893, in which he recommended that Port Royal should not be continued as a dockyard?
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
said that he could not lay such at document upon the Table, because it would be against all precedent to do so.