HC Deb 02 February 1944 vol 396 c1261
30. Commander Galbraith

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what steps have been taken to try out, under seagoing conditions, the McLeod steam turbine unit, which successfully passed its bench trials in May, 1939.

Mr. Alexander

The possible utilisation of this type of engine has been considered on a number of occasions. Owing to certain features of the design, it has not, however, been considered desirable to fit an experimental engine into a sea-going ship, in view of the risks which would be involved in the event of a failure under existing conditions at sea. No application has been made by any private ship owner for such an engine to be fitted, either in new construction or in an existing vessel whose engine requires repair or replacement.

Commander Galbraith

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, since then, the invention has been received very favourably by eminent professional men and marine engineers and also by technical officers of Government Departments; and would he not consider the advisability of trying it out at an early opportunity?

Mr. Alexander

I have had a great deal of advice from people in the profession and industry about this matter, but it is almost impossible to deal with the subject by Question and answer. If the hon. and gallant Member is particularly interested, I should be glad to discuss it with him or refer him to the naval authorities concerned.

Mr. McKinlay

Is it not a fact that a ship was made available, but it foundered before reaching port and there has not been any offer since then?

Mr. Alexander

I would like to have notice of that Question. I have no recollection of it.