§ SIR EDWARD GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether all the vessels representing the British Navy now in Chinese waters are of suitable draft for the protection of the approaches to the Yang-tsze River from Woosung; will he also state if any and what type of craft are engaged in patrolling the river, and whether they are adapted for contending with armed 903 forts; and will he be good enough to state what arrangements are being made for a reserve of coal and other stores likely to be needed during the continuance of hostilities.
§ The FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. Goschen, St. George's,) Hanover Square
All vessels of the Fleet in Chinese waters are of suitable draught for the protection of the approaches to the Yang-tsze River. The heavy-draught ships must wait for certain tides. The question under what circumstances men-of-war on rivers would engage armed forts cannot be answered in the abstract, nor is it wise to discuss it. I am not prepared to state the arrangements for our reserves of naval stores at Hong Kong, but they have naturally received the most earnest attention of the Board of Admiralty.