§ 1. Major ARCHER-SHEE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will lay the Report of the Court of Inquiry which was held at Hong Kong to investigate the circumstances attending the breakdown of His Majesty's ship "Prometheus" whilst on passage to that port in March, 1912; in view of the fact that she was fit for service on the Australasian station, why was 1469 it necessary to spend a large sum of money on her repair, as she had been in dockyard hands at Sydney for some time within the previous twelve months; and whether he is aware that while scraping the ship's bottom holes were made showing that some of the bottom plates had seriously deteriorated?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)
I am advised that proceedings of Courts of Inquiry are confidential and cannot be made public. But I may say that the disciplinary, action taken by the Board of Admiralty, as a result of the Court of Inquiry referred to, involved the supersession of one officer and the censure of another. On the passage from Sydney to Hong Kong considerable trouble with the distillers was experienced, and in consequence these had to be taken in hand on arrival at Hong Kong. The bottom plating was found, on examination, to require considerable repairs, which were also carried out at Hong Kong.
§ 9. Major ARCHER-SHEE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty when he will make a statement with reference to the condition in which His Majesty's ship "Torch" and His Majesty's ship "Prometheus" were sent to sea whilst in commission on the Australian station in the year 1911?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I hope to be able to make a statement to-morrow if the hon. Gentleman will postpone his question.