HC Deb 13 June 1904 vol 135 c1469

To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the Board have had under consideration the length of time occupied by the Swedish Salvage Company in raising Submarine A 1; why the Admiralty's own officials did not undertake the operations with the plant from Portsmouth Dockyard; and whether, failing the establishment of a Naval Salvage Corps, opportunity will be given to British salvage companies and associations to offer for such work in British waters.

(Answered by Mr. Pretyman.) The Admiralty have considered the length of time occupied and have noted it. The necessary plant from Portsmouth Dockyard was at once sent to the wreck; but, as explained in my reply to the hon. Member for Camberwell on 14th April,† the weather at the time was not favourable for the employment of lighters, as the swell caused the wire hawsers to carry away. The Admiralty are always prepared to consider offers for salvage work, and have already made use of the services of British salvage companies; but time is such an important element in nearly all salvage operations, that the decision to employ any particular firm, whether British or foreign, must be largely influenced by the facility with which they can begin work. In the case of Submarine A1 the Swedish Company's vessel was on the spot.