HC Deb 17 December 1908 vol 198 cc2109-10
MR. BRAMSDON (Portsmouth)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that on Tuesday, the 8th instant, a gun-fitting was thrown overboard from H.M.S. "Amethyst," whilst that ship was in Fountain Lake, Portsmouth Harbour, and recovered on the following morning; whether, in consequence of its not being known who had thrown the fitting overboard, the leave for the whole of the men was stopped, and those on leave were recalled; whether the "Amethyst" is under orders to leave early in the new year and one-half of the crew were con sequently on leave; whether there has been any discontent on board; and what orders have the Admiralty given, or what do they propose to do in the matter, so as to insure that innocent persons shall not further suffer.


I have received a telegram from the commander-in-chief at Portsmouth on the subject of my hon. friend's Question, and as its terms give a full reply, I propose to read it: "Gun-fitting was missed morning of 9th instant and recovered by diver same day, and inquiry shows fitting was thrown overboard previous evening. One watch was on long leave, and no men were recalled. Leave of other watch was suspended until 14th instant, whilst investigations were proceeding. By 14th, sufficient evidence was obtained to throw strong suspicion on two men, who are now under arrest, and ordinary short leave was resumed. Am satisfied there is no general discontent on board, and that this act of insubordination was the work of two or three men only."