HC Deb 23 January 1902 vol 101 cc666-7

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Adimralty whether he can state what has been the nature of the practical experiments, and their results, of the Babcock and Wilcox water-tube boilers to justify their adoption in the new battleships; and is he aware that this type of boiler has been taken out of several vessels in the mercantile marine.


The Babcock and Wilcox boilers were selected by the Admiralty for the new battleships on their own responsibility, according to all the information their disposal and acting in consultation with the Boiler Committee. The record of the experiments made by the Boiler Committee and which led them to recommend the Babcock and Wilcox Boilers as suitable for use in the Navy, will be found in the Report which will shortly be presented to the House. In reply to the second part of the hon. Member's Question I am informed that Babcock and Wilcox boilers are known to have been remove from a vessel called the "Northern Isles," and that the boilers so removed were subsequently put into another ship where they worked successfully. Similar boilers were removed from the "Scottish Hero" after three years service. The Babcock and Wilcox boilers were taken out of the "Cameo" and replaced by larger boilers of the same type, which it is understood are giving satisfaction to the owners of the vessel.


Will the hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of the Admiralty consulting the Board of Trade engineers so as to get their opinion as to the desirability of putting the Babcock and Wilcox boilers into the new battleships? You might get their experience of the boilers.


No, I think the Admiralty must take the responsibility; but the Admiralty has had the advantage of the opinion of the Boiler Committee, who are well acquainted with the whole of the regulations of the Board of Trade and of their views with regard to these and other boilers.


It must be apparent to the hon. Gentleman—


Order, order.