HC Deb 28 November 1928 vol 223 cc400-1
17. Sir R. THOMAS

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can make any statement regarding the conclusions arrived at up to the present from the experiments with pulverised coal being conducted on board an obsolete cruiser of His Majesty's Navy; how long has actual experimental work been proceeding; and when is it intended to issue a report?


No experiments are being conducted at present on board an obsolete cruiser of His Majesty's Navy. A commercial company has applied for the loan of an obsolete naval vessel in which to carry out experiments. The terms of the loan are not yet finally arranged.


Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman give us any idea whether this boat is likely to be suitable for this purpose?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I understand that the commercial experiments which have been made already have proved very satisfactory, and it remains to be seen whether the commercial company which wishes to experiment on this ship will really require it. We are doing all that we can in the matter.


Is it not of the highest importance to ascertain whether pulverised fuel is of value for this purpose, and is it not advisable to proceed at once with these experiments under Admiralty control?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

No, Sir; we are already proceeding under the advice of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in this matter and we are guided very largely by their views.


Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that some months ago the First Lord indicated in this House that the Admiralty were willing to co-operate with other people who were willing to make these experiments, and is it not time we were doing something in that direction?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

If the hon. Member had listened to my original reply, he would have been aware that I stated that we are doing everything we can in this matter to the best of our ability.


Are we to understand that the Admiralty are doing nothing except leaving this matter in the hands of a commercial company?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

We are doing whatever we are advised to do by the department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and we are also helping the commercial people to the best of our ability.


Is it not a fact that if proper facilities had been given, experiments would have been conducted many months ago?