§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, whether, before finally sanctioning the adoption of the Belleville boiler for battle ships and cruisers now under construction or contemplated, of which the total cost will exceed £10,000,000, he will order a practical test to be made of the efficiency of these 681 boilers under all conditions, as compared with other boilers; and whether, with this object in view, he will attach the "Canopus," on completion, to the Channel Fleet, and will send a vessel of the "Diadem" class and of the "Edgar" class respectively to carry out Naval reliefs in company.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The efficiency of the Belleville boiler has been practically tested under various conditions. My hon. friend does not seem to know that vessels with Belleville boilers have already been attached to the Channel Fleet, or that the "Powerful" has been doing excellent and regular service among the cruisers of the China Station. The adoption of the Belleville boiler for the battleships and first class cruisers now under construction has been definitely decided on, and the question so far as these ships are concerned cannot be reopened. The "Canopus" will be commissioned as soon as she is ready, and attached to the Mediterranean Fleet. I cannot make any definite statement in reply to the third question, but the Admiralty are taking advantage of every suitable opportunity to test these boilers to the fullest extent with a view to further possible improvements.