§ MR. ALLAN (Gateshead)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if Her Majesty's cruiser "Powerful," on being paid off, is to have her boilers broken up or repaired so as to enable her to go to sea again; and whether, if it is decided to repair or renew them, what is the nature and extent of the repairs or renewals; further, seeing that her average speed while commissioned was only twelve knots, will the vessel, after being repaired or renewed in the boiler department, be run at her designed speed of twenty-two knots for seventy-two hours at least.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
The "Powerful" is quite fit to go to sea again now if required. Her boilers and machinery will undergo the usual refit, which every ship has after a commission in due course. It is not yet decided when this will be commenced. The nature and extent of repairs required cannot be stated at present, or until a thorough examination has been made. With regard to the latter part of the question, the hon. Member must surely be aware that men-of-war do not steam about the world at full speed, but their speed is regulated by the service on which they are employed, and with duo regard to economy of coal. I may add that the "ordinary speed" of men - of - war when on service is, according to the Queen's Regulations, one-fifth of the full power. It has been frequently explained to the House that men-of-war are not designed to maintain their maximum speed for long periods. The designed speed of the "Powerful" for continuous steaming was twenty and three-quarters knots in smooth water. She made several full-speed trials while in China, in accordance with the usual Regulations, in which speeds of over twenty knots were maintained, and on one occasion she did 540 miles at an 579 average speed of twenty knots, which is a higher speed than any man-of-war with cylindrical boilers has ever maintained for this distance. It would be premature at present to make any statement as to any exceptional trials to be made with this ship after refit, but certainly she will go through all the usual trials on recommissioning.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I have told the hon. Member that the ship is going to be paid off, and we do not propose to make this further trial after all the crew have gone through. The ship has been two and a half years in commission, and there is every probability that a full-power trial now would not reach the necessary standard.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
She will be treated like every other ship in Her Majesty's service. There is no reason for these exceptional questions. The hon. Member must see that the full-power trials during her commission have been perfectly satisfactory.