§ SIR CHRISTOPHER FURNESS (Hartlepool)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he can state the number and description of ships, now in course of construction for His Majesty's Navy, for which Belleville boilers will be retained on the ground that the work is so far advanced that any alteration of type of boiler would delay the completion of the ships; can he explain why this type of boiler is to be retained when the Boiler Committee cannot recommend it as the best adapted to the requirements of His Majesty's Navy, and definitely advise that in future ships these boilers be not fitted in any case; and will he give the total number of ships fitted with Belleville boilers, with number of engineers, artificers, and stokers on board of these ships.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. ARNOLD-FORSTER, Belfast, W.)
The question of what ships now in course of construction and designed to receive Belleville boilers can be furnished with other types of boilers without delay is under the careful consideration of the Admiralty, but the necessary inquiries have not yet been completed. It is not proposed to retain the Belleville boiler in ships in which other boilers of a better type can be inserted without involving serious delay. The total number of ships fitted with Belleville boilers is as follows: Twenty-six vessels in commission or ready? for commissioning, and forty in the hands of the makers. The seagoing complements of the former class are:—120 chief or other engineer officers, 263 artificers, 2,995 stoker ratings. The seagoing complements of the other ships under construction are:—246 chief or other engineer officers, 533 artificers, 6,400 stoker ratings.