MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, 75 can he give the House any information as to the breakdown of the torpedo boat destroyer "Skate," which left Plymouth on 7th May for Gibraltar, under convoy of Her Majesty's ship "Minerva"; did the "Skate's" foremost boiler give out soon after the vessels had entered the Bay of Biscay; did her other three boilers break down shortly afterwards; and was she thus so completely crippled that it was found necessary for the "Minerva" to take her in tow; did the towing hawser part a few hours afterwards; was the "Skate" lost sight of owing to the darkness of the night, and the heavy sea; and did she remain, in her helpless state, shipping heavy seas and in danger of foundering, from l0p.m on the 9th May, till 8 a.m. on the 10th May, when she was again discovered and taken in tow by the "Minerva"; and has the "Skate" suffered so much that it has been found, on her arrival at Gibraltar, impossible to send her to sea again until she has been provided with new boilers; and were her boilers water-tube boilers, and, if so, of what type.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The "Skate" left Ply- mouth with the "Minerva" on May 8th, and was taken in tow by that ship on the 9th, because the engines had to be stopped owing to the rolling of the vessel bringing the circulating inlets out of the water. She was either cast off or the hawser carried away some time during the evening, and the "Minerva" remained by her during the night and took her in tow again the next morning. She was again cast off at 4 p.m., and proceeded to Vigo under her own steam. After leaving Vigo her boilers were damaged, and the "Minerva" towed her to Gibraltar. Three of her boilers will have to be re-tubed. I have not yet got complete information from Gibraltar. She has small tube water-tube boilers of the Blechynden type.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
No, they were not Belleville boilers, but small tube water boilers of a totally different kind.