§ MR. CUMMING MACDONA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the officer commanding the Royal Mail Steamer "Port Royal," of the Imperial Direct West India mail service, has stated that, on the homeward passage, he sighted and examined the wooden sailing ship "Mary A. Troop," of St. John, N.B., abandoned, waterlogged, and derelict; that this wreck is a serious danger to navigation; and that its position on the 7th inst. was lat. 34.7 N., long. 58.37 W., Bermuda bearing S. 71 W., distant 330 miles; and, if so, whether he will take immediate steps to remove this danger to the life and property of passengers travelling over this track of steamers and sailing vessels.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. PRETYMAN,) Suffolk, Woodbridge
Reports as to derelicts are sent to, and dealt with by, the Board of Trade, not the Admiralty, but the Admiralty have received an intimation from an unofficial quarter of the existence of this derelict. The Report of the Derelict Committee of 1894 (Parliamentary Paper, Cd. 7568) pointed out the†See page 861.973 enormous difficulty of finding these moving specks in mid ocean, the very small danger which they actually present, and the futility of attempting to destroy them except under very special circumstances. The position of this particular derelict, which is on the American side of the Atlantic and far from great routes of trade, is not such as to make the circumstances exceptional, in the opinion of the Admiralty, or to justify the dispatch of one of H.M. ships on a long search.
§ MR. CUMMING MACDONA
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a passenger steamer from Port Royal came within three yards of this derelict last month? And if that be so, surely one of H.M. ships might surely be sent?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
That was on the 7th March.