MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has considered the statement at page 6 of the Memorandum respecting water-tube boilers, that in the manœuvres of 1899 the Belleville-boiler ship "Europa" made good her defects with her own resources, and that all four Belleville-boiler ships "Europa," "Argonaut," "Gladiator," and "Vindictive," maintained a speed of seventeen knots except during fogs; and does this statement agree with the report of Admiral Domvile respecting the behaviour of those ships during the manæuvres in question; were Fleet artificers other than her own employed in remedying defects on board the "Europa" during these manæuvres; and if so, how many and for how long; and did Admiral Domvile report as to the "Europa" that even after the repairs had been made she could not steam eleven knots, and did he make a similar report as to the "Argonaut"; if not, what did he report as to the speed of these ships during the manæuvres of 1899.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's,) Hanover Square
Admiral Domvile's report with regard to the "Europa's" defects during the manæuvres of 1899 was as follows—On the 18th July, during the preliminary cruise, the captain of the 'Argonaut' reported that, owing to leakage and loss of water caused by fractured pipes and leaky boiler doors, the ship was unable to steam at full speed, or even more than ten knots. The 'Europa' was in a minor degree the same. On arrival at Milford thirty-one artificers of the Fleet were employed in remaking joints, etc., of the 'Argonaut,' the 'Europa' making good her defects with her own artificers.In the captain of "Europa's" report it is stated the boilers worked very satisfactorily, without any hitch, no doors of boiler tubes giving out. Admiral Domvile did not report that the "Europa" could not steam eleven knots after repairs. No further report on the speed of the "Argonaut" was made than that given above.
§ SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY (Yorkshire, W. R., Shipley)
How long did the repairs to the "Argonaut" occupy?
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I understand from the answer to the second paragraph that the "Europa" only employed her own artificers to remedy the defects.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can explain the statement at page 6 of the Memorandum on Water-tube Boilers, that the Belleville boiler ships "Europa," "Argonaut," and "Vindictive," maintained a speed of 17 knots, except during fogs, by stating the number of hours during which that speed was actually maintained by them, and the number of hours during which the fogs necessitated a lesser rate of speed, and what that lesser rate was; and whether, in view of the fact that in their trials the "Europa" attained a speed of 20.4 knots, the "Argonaut" a speed of 21.16 knots, and the "Vindictive" a speed of 20.1 knots, the attainment by these ships of 17 knots satisfies the Admiralty requirements.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
The portions of the report of the captain, of the "Europa," 229 who was senior officer of the cruiser squadron, dealing with the question of speed, are as follows—I proceeded to sea for convoy in Her Majesty's ship under my command with 'Argonaut,' 'Gladiator,' 'Vindictive,' 'St. George,' 'Diana,' and 'Sappho,' at five a.m. on the 30th July.Proceeding at 17 knots 'Sappho' soon began to drop, complaining of priming. She was sent back to join your flag.We had to ease to 12 knots in the afternoon, as the 'Argonaut' had an indicator-pipe started; soon after, at 5.38 p.m., we ran into a heavy fog. This necessitated easing to 10 knots, and again to 8 knots for a short time, as the ships were inclined to separate; emerging at 7.48 p.m., speed was worked up to 17 knots until 1.8 a.m., when another dense fog was run into, decreasing from 17 to 10 knots. The positions of ships were well maintained, with the exception of 'Gladiator.' Emerging at 2.58 a.m., speed was increased to 17 knots, and maintained right through until meeting the convoy at 5.33 p.m. on 31st July.The speed of 17 knots is a good one for a squadron of six cruisers to maintain, and was no doubt determined by the Admiral's orders, having regard to their coal supply, and the nature of the operations. The Admiral would naturally not order them to go at the maximum speed of the fastest ship, except in chase.