HC Deb 10 May 1900 vol 82 cc1242-3

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state if any decision has yet been arrived at as to including H.M.S. "Hyacinth" in the autumn manœuvres; whether his attention has been called to the fact that the "Hyacinth," being fitted with water-tube boilers, is a sister ship to the "Isis" and "Dido," fitted with boilers of a different type, these last-named vessels having successfully undertaken express duties at their highest speed in transferring Lord Kitchener from Egypt to South Africa; and whether a similar test of endurance will be applied to the boilers of the "Hyacinth."


The "Highflyer" will shortly be commissioned for regular service, and it cannot at present be stated with certainty whether she will take part in the autumn manœuvres. I am aware that in December last the "Isis" conveyed at her full speed Lord Kitchener from Alexandria to Malta, and the "Dido" from Malta to Gibraltar, but not to South Africa, as suggested in the question, the distances being 820 and 980 miles respectively. The "Isis" averaged 16 knots for her 820 miles on the passage from Alexandria to Malta, being delayed by bad weather; the "Dido" averaged 17.9 knots for her 980 miles from Malta to Gibraltar. Comparative trials have already been carried out between the "Highflyer," a sister ship of the "Hyacinth," and the "Minerva," a sister ship of the "Isis" and "Dido"; and although the distance covered by the "Highflyer" and "Minerva" in any single trial was not so great as the runs made by the "Isis" and "Dido" the results are fairly comparable. Two trials of thirty hours' duration each were made by "Highflyer '' and "Minerva" at full speed. In the first "Minerva" did 526 miles at an average speed of 17.5, and "Highflyer" 538 miles at 17.9 knots. In the second "Minerva" did 541 miles at 18.03 knots, and "Highflyer" 569 miles at 18.97. No special endurance tests or trials beyond those laid down for ships on commissioning have been arranged for the "Hyacinth." When in regular commission opportunity will he taken to test her boilers and machinery, as the course of her service admits of it.


When the trials have been concluded will the report be given?


The trials of the "Highflyer" and the "Minerva" have been finished. The total distances were 9,000 miles, showing the anxiety of the Admiralty to have fair tests. I will consider the question of publishing reports of results, but certainly the information shall be given to the House in some form.