HC Deb 13 March 1911 vol 22 cc1854-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, with reference to the grounding of H.M.S. "Collingwood," "Temeraire," and "Agamemnon," at the entrance to Ferrol Harbour, on an uncharted rock, on 15th February, 1911, whether he is aware that H.M.S. "Prince George," after collision with H.M.S. "Hannibal" on 17th October, 1909, was taken into Ferrol Harbour on 18th October, 1909, through the same channel under her own steam, being 13 feet by the stern, having 1,600 tons of water in her stern compartments, and her rudder jammed and immovable; whether he will state the amount of damage done to the "Collingwood," "Temeraire," and "Agamemnon," respectively, and the time such damage will take to repair in each case; why no court-martial has been held, as is usual in such cases; and whether the uncharted rock is the same one upon which H.M.S. "Howe" grounded in the year 1893?


The replies to the several parts of the hon. Member's question are as follows:—The "Prince George "after her collision with the "Hannibal" on the 17th October, 1903, was taken into Ferrol Harbour on the 18th under engines only, the steering flat being flooded. Her total draught aft does not appear from the records to have exceeded 34 feet 6 inches. The water was, however, deeper due to tide to the extent of 8 feet than when the "Collingwood" and "Agamemnon" entered the harbour. Nine plates and adjacent framing of the "Collingwood" are damaged, and need renewal or repair. The damage is now being made good concurrently with her annual refit, which will last about six weeks. One plate of the "Agamemnon" is damaged, and the time required for renewal is two weeks. The "Temeraire" does not appear to have touched a rock while entering Ferrol; no damage has been reported to the Admiralty. The uncharted rock is not the one upon which H.M.S. "Howe" grounded in 1893. It was clearly shown by the inquiry that was made on the spot that no one was to blame for the occurrence, and there was consequently no necessity for a court martial.


Will the right hon. Gentleman state what steps are being taken to have a survey of this dangerous place?


I understand, as I have already stated to the House, that the Spanish authorities are surveying the passage.