§ SIR EDWARD GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can state how many tons of silicate cotton were used in packing the bulkheads and casings of the new Royal yacht "Victoria and Albert"; has this padding been removed; if so, what substitute is to be employed for the purpose of keeping the vessel cool; will he state how many tons of brass there were in the saloon and cabin sidelights, and whether all or part of these fittings have been removed; and will he also say when all the additional cast-iron ballast which is being fitted will be completed, and the number of tons.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
Forty-nine tons of silicate cotton have been removed from the Royal yacht. The portion of this that was between the bulkheads and overhead was introduced not for the purpose of keeping the vessel cool, but with the idea of deadening sound. Experiments were carried out during the passage round from Pembroke to ascertain whether the silicate cotton on funnel casings and over the engine room was really required for the purpose of keeping the ship cool, and where it could be dispensed with. Either silicate cotton or mica lagging has been retained wherever it was found to be necessary for this purpose, and its removal in other places has enabled the ventilation of the lower deck to be improved. Great care has been taken not to interfere with the comfort of the ship in the slightest degree. Wooden shutters have been substituted for the brass shutters that were fitted to the windows of the pavilion, causing a saving of weight of about five tons, but none of the brass cabin side-lights have been removed. The exact quantity of ballast required cannot be stated until the ship has been inclined, which will be done shortly. It will probably not be more than 150 tons. A large portion of this is already in place.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
Does the right hon. Gentleman expect that when those alterations are completed the vessel will be able to stand up in the water?