HC Deb 13 September 1909 vol 10 cc1724-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the overcrowding of H.M.S. "Terrible" on her recent voyage to the East with relief crews; whether he is aware that the total number carried was over 1,100, for which the sanitary arrangements were insufficient, and also the boat accommodation in the event of it becoming necessary to abandon the ship: whether he is aware that the accommodation for officers was quite inadequate, especially for a voyage through the Red Sea in the hot season, and that ten wardroom officers had no accommodation beyond hammocks; and whether he will take steps to prevent this overcrowding in future voyages?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)

The number stated is approximately correct, and with proper temporary organisation the sanitary arrangements in a vessel of this type should be sufficient. No representation has been received as to the ship being overcrowded, but inquiry will be made of the commanding officer on her return. The number of ward-room officers without cabins was 11. Junior ward-room officers are only entitled to cabins so far as accommodation admits, and in view of the great cost of passages by packet it was decided to take advantage of the Government opportunity.


Will he have this case inquired into in view of the fact that the information has come from a number of officers who have been on the ship?


I will certainly inquire on the facts of the case. I understand the numbers given are quite right, but the actual numbers reported to the Admiralty were not quite the same. I will inquire into the whole circumstances.