HC Deb 08 February 1900 vol 78 cc917-8

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can give any information as to the cause of the recent explosion of cordite in the magazine of the flagship "Revenge" in the Mediterranean; whether the temperature of the magazine was abnormally high; whether the system of ventilation was defective; and whether any improvement can be suggested for reducing the temperature of magazines in which high explosives are stored.


An inquiry has been held as to the recent small explosion of cordite in H.M.S. "Revenge," and the whole of the evidence obtained has been referred to the War Office for the opinion of the Ordnance Committee. Until this has been obtained, nothing can be said as to the probable cause of the explosion. There is no evidence, so far, tending to show that it was due to high temperature, the temperature of the magazine not having been abnormally high for some considerable time before the explosion took place. During the summer the recorded temperatures were somewhat high. In reply to the last question of the gallant Member, steps are being taken to reduce the temperature of magazines in which high temperatures have been recorded.