HC Deb 04 February 1904 vol 129 cc333-4
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that a shipment of about 500 tons of clothing and food, &c, were prepared for despatch from the Deptford Victualling Yard to the inhabitants of the town of Aalesund on the 25th of last month; and that H.M.S. "Hearty" has been lying idle outside the yard since that date, he will state the cause of the delay.


The fact of the Aalesund disaster became known at the Admiralty on Monday morning, January 25th, and a telegraphic inquiry was at once sent to the Norwegian Government, through His Majesty's Minister at Stockholm, asking whether it would be of use to send one of His Majesty's ships with blankets and provisions. His Britannic Majesty's Consul-General at Christiania telegraphed on the 26th to say that the Norwegian Government was making inquiries as to whether help was required, and later on the same day again telegraphed request- ing on behalf of the Norwegian Government that acceptance of the offer might be postponed till it could be seen whethet the local authorities could cope with the situation with the assistance already supplied. In the meantime orders had been given for stores to be held in readiness at His Majesty's Victualling Yard, Deptford, and a vessel of war was detailed to embark them. She arrived off Deptford on the 27th, and is still there awaiting the decision of the Norwegian Government.