HC Deb 18 November 1902 vol 114 cc1238-9
MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the New Zealand coal supplied to the China Squadron emits such volumes of smoke as to make signalling difficult, and often betrays the position of the ship using it long before her masts appear in sight.


It is known that New Zealand coals emit more smoke than Welsh coal of good quality. The Commander-in-Chief has recently reported that the steaming qualities of the coal are excellent, and since the stokers have become accustomed to its use the quantity of smoke emitted is less than it was.


I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if his attention has been drawn to a memorandum recently issued to senior officers on the China Station in reference to the friable nature of Westport coal, and the large proportion of small coal it contains, and desiring that its value should be made known generally in order to anticipate complaints which may be mantle by officers unacquainted with this coal; and will he say if it is the practice of the Admiralty to anticipate complaints of stores supplied to the Navy.


It was recently pointed out to the Commander-in-Chief on the China Station that cargoes of Westport coal were, for various reasons, likely to comprise a larger proportion of small coal than is the case with Welsh coal, though the steaming qualities of the former had been found from experience not to be affected seriously thereby, and he was directed to inform commanding officers of H.M. Ships to this effect. It is probably to some memorandum issued by the Commander-in-Chief in pursuance of those directions that the hon. Member refers. The reply to the second part of the Question is in the negative.