HL Deb 03 April 1862 vol 166 cc430-44

rose, pursuant to notice, to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, What Number of Iron-plated Ships are afloat and building; and what is intended to be done with the Ships of the Fleet that are built of Timber? The noble Earl said, that is was important to ascertain from the Government what were their views with regard to the future construction of the ships of the Royal Navy. Their Lordships were fortunate in having in that House the head of the Admiralty, and it was desirable that the noble Duke should have an opportunity of stating the views and opinions of the Board on a subject which assumed, at the present moment, a great and vital importance. It was consolatory to reflect that this country was in as good a position in regard to its naval strength as any other nation in the world. There need, therefore, be no very great: haste, fear, or alarm on this question, because it had been before Parliament for a great length of time, and a large amount of public money had been expended in experiments upon iron-plated ships. His own mind had long been made up that iron must be substituted for timber in the construction of any efficient naval force; and although he had not an opportunity of stating his opinion in that House, he had long ago, at public meetings and dinners, declared the necessity of abandoning wooden vessels and building only iron vessels. The late events on the American coast and in the James River, had brought about a sort of crisis in the state of public opinion, since it had evinced to the world that in a contest between iron and wooden vessels the latter were utterly valueless. It was, therefore, for the Government to consider whether they would any longer nibble at this matter, but whether they should not rather open their jaws wide and swallow the whole, let the cost be what it might, and persevere in the construction of an iron-plated navy. As the question now stood before the country, it was as much one of common sense as of science. The duty of a navy was to secure the coasts of the country inviolate, to protect the coasts and harbours of our colonies, to blockade an enemy in his own ports, and to supply an adequate number of cruising ships for service at home and abroad. For these purposes two descriptions of vessels were required. Whatever might be thought of the new method of naval warfare, it had very much changed in this respect—that the vessels which carried the greatest extent of masts, yards, and sails were now liable to the greatest embarrassment in fighting; for the whole fire of a ship would be elevated against the rigging of an enemy thus fitted out, in order that her masts might fall over her side and cripple her movements. He therefore looked forward to the employment of ships more and more in the nature of steam batteries, in which the crew would be protected, which carried the least possible superstructure of masts and yards, and which, like the Monitor, were impervious to shot and shell. This description of vessel, however, besides being enormously expensive, could not keep the sea long for want of coal, and it was necessary for cruising purposes and long voyages to have another class of vessels propelled by sails as well as steam. A merchantman was built for speed and cargo. If fifteen or twenty knots an hour could be got out of her, that was a gain of time and money to the owner. But in fighting ships it was necessary to combine the qualities of sea-going vessels with those of a man-of-war, and to abandon a portion of each for the sake of the whole. It was desirable they should have the power of turning rapidly and manoeuvring, and for this purpose a considerable amount of speed was necessary. He believed that a rate of speed of twelve or thirteen knots an hour might be attained with iron-plated ships of great strength. In the construction of our future men-of-war his opinion was— and he spoke it very humbly—that we should take care to have them of such a size and length that they would be able to perform the duties of men-of-war in an efficient manner. Another consideration in the construction of iron ships was the draught of water. He implored the Admiralty not to be induced by ironmasters and iron-ship constructors, who were not seamen, to build ships drawing twenty-six, twenty-eight, or thirty feet of water—ships which raised the question whether our great harbours were deep enough to admit them. He saw such a number of new contrivances—he saw the Government pressed with so many inventions of iron manufacturers—he saw so many novelties of every description brought under their notice by these constructors—that he could not help reminding the Admiralty that these gentlemen were not seamen, and did not know our requirements. Without commenting on any particular vessel, he must express his opinion that the difficulty of steering and managing some of our new ships would be so great, that if we did not fall back on practical men, we were very likely to have some very bad vessels. It was quite true that low vessels which had no masts might have more propulsion by steam than could be applied to a sea-going ship; but the Admiralty must take care to have them of such a length as that they might be handy and be easily turned. He believed that the principles applicable to floating bodies were in the main the same, whether these bodies were built of iron or of wood, or were propelled by steam or by sails. We must be careful not to run into extremes. There was much to be said for the old principle of constructing a ship for all the purposes for which she was required, without sacrificing anything. Some gentlemen were found to recommend that ships should be built without the ordinary keel. Why, how was a ship without a keel to be steered? The keel of a ship had an essential part to perform in respect to the steering; and if side keels were attached instead of the ordinary keel, they had the effect of turning the ship round when she heeled on one side. He would advise the Admiralty never to build a. ship without first taking advice of men-of-war's men. Another very serious question arose — namely, what were we to do with our fine stock of wooden ships? He had seen it stated in a letter that the Merrimac, of which their Lordships had heard so much, was not iron-plated when brought into action. She had been cut down and covered over with a pent-house roof, that had been described as something like a house-top. As he understood, this floating house was not iron-plated. Bars of railway iron-rails such as those used on railways—were bent across the roof, and lashed with rope or wire to the scantlings inside, the ends of the rails coming down towards the water. He had not only seen it stated in a letter, but had heard from several officers that that was the mode of her temporary construction, and that so constructed she went into action, and yet, so roughly protected, the vessel was able to resist the Monitor. Now, there were none of our wooden ships that were not capable of being cut down and plated with iron at a moderate expense as compared with the cost of our new iron ships. If we were going to try the cupola plan, he thought that, instead of building a new vessel, we could do nothing better than take one of our sound wooden ships, cut her down, and plate her. In that way our stock of wooden ships might be worked up. As an old officer, he paid great attention to these things, and he must say that he saw a total change about to take place in the nature and character of sea life. He felt convinced, that though the movement might be gradual, it would not. be slow, which would change the whole character of maritime life. We should not be able to keep great fleets at sea in time of war. It would be far too expensive. Our fleets of iron ships would be kept in dock or cruising off the coasts, till at last we should come to iron-plated batteries, kept at home. The time would arrive when a ship would be fought by an engineer, a stoker, and an artillerist. The modern character of a sailor would become like that of a soldier. He would live on the coast or in towns; and it was to be feared, that when he lost the excitement of active service, there would not be the same inducement to the youths of this country to enter the naval service. He saw that this change was inevitable, though personally he might regret it. With regard to the question of arming our ships, a number of inventors were very sanguine on the subject; but beyond a certain amount of artillery we should not be able to go. Independently of the danger from bursting of such large guns, it was doubtful whether it would be possible to arm ships in that manner. What was to be the size of the magazines on board those ships? How was space to be provided for the supply of shot requisite on going into action? He had merely risen for the purpose of directing the attention of the Government to a question of momentous importance and involving the very gravest considerations; and he had but glanced at the outline of the subject, abstaining from any comments on particular ships or individuals. As they had the advantage of the presence in that House of the First Lord of the Admiralty, it was desirable that the noble Duke should have an opportunity of expressing the opinions to which, no doubt, he had given grave thought. The noble Earl concluded by asking the First Lord of the Admiralty what number of iron-plated ships were afloat and building, and what was intended to be done with the ships of the fleet that were built of timber.


I am much obliged to the noble Earl for bringing this question before the House, and for the tone and manner in which he has done so, not mixing up with it anything beyond the real interests of the country. I will endeavour to answer as clearly as I can the questions arising from the observations which the noble Earl has made. I must remind your Lordships that when I first came into office three years ago, in the summer of 1859, the pressure put upon the Admiralty by this House, by the House of Commons, and by the public, was—not to put aside wooden ships and to build iron ships only—but to add to the strength of the navy; the questions with regard to which anxiety was more immediately felt were that we should possess a powerful fleet of line-of-battle ships, and that we should add to the strength of our naval reserve. We found when we came into office a programme left by the previous Government, in which was included a proposal for building a large number of wooden ships, and it was also contemplated to take money for two iron-cased ships. We did not think it right to set aside the scheme of the late Government in reference to wooden ships, and the building of the two iron-cased ships was also proceeded with. But before many months passed I was compelled to make an addition to their programme. Information was brought to me which made me press upon the Government the necessity of having four iron-cased vessels, instead of two. Of these vessels, the first, as your Lordships are well aware, was the Warrior; it had been ordered and commenced before the Government came in. The next, the Black Prince, had been also ordered within a couple of months of my coming into office. I considered without loss of time, whether it was possible to make any improvements in her; but I found it would be necessary to have the whole details calculated over again and the lines re-drawn, which would have taken three or four months; and as there was a feeling throughout the country that it was desirable to proceed, I ordered her to be completed on the same lines as the Warrior. But I was not quite satisfied with those vessels. I admit, with the noble Earl, that great length and great draught of water, although characteristic of powerful vessels, and enabling them to make rapid passages, are also attended with inconveniences. I therefore caused the Department to reconsider the question, and to suggest plans for two vessels of a smaller class, which were accordingly prepared at the close of the autumn. Those two were the Defence and Resistance. The Warrior and Black Prince, as your Lordships are aware, are vessels of 6,000 tons, carrying 26 guns, partially protected by thick iron plates. They may also carry guns at their stern and bow, which are not strongly plated; but I do not call these fighting guns, like the others. The Defence and Resistance are vessels of a smaller construction. They are each of 3,700 tons, and carry 12 guns, protected by iron casings. These four vessels are now ready. I was not satisfied with these. Your Lordships must observe that this is so new a question that difficulties arise at every step. We saw that these vessels were not sufficiently protected, and, after consulting practical men, another class was proposed, which I shall call the Valiant class. These ships are of 4,100 tons, carrying 32 guns, all protected by strong iron plates: one of them will be launched in August; the other, through failure on the part of the contractor, not till early next year. We agree to build these vessels by contract; but when the contractors undertake the work, they find more difficulties than they had calculated upon; so much time is required in forging the enormous pieces of iron, and the quality of the iron is so carefully examined by us that contractors complain of the heavy obligations under which they labour in meeting our requirements, and we have had a great deal of trouble in some cases to get them to continue the work. In the case of one of these vessels the contractor entirely gave up the undertaking—a step which has necessarily been productive of delay.

With the considerations affecting these vessels of course arises the question of armament. In the course of the last few years great progress has been made in gunnery. Formerly it was thought that a 68-pounder was the heaviest gun that could be carried on board ship; now we have the 100-pounder Armstrong gun mounted on board. We consulted the Controller of the Navy, and we found, that if both the armaments and the iron plates which vessels carried were greatly increased in weight, the vessels would be very ill adapted for service at sea. Officers abroad report that even at present the weight of the guns in the bow of a ship press her down so that the vessel is actually torn to pieces by her own armament. We accordingly ordered three other vessels in the summer of last year, which were to be no longer than the Warrior, but were to have more displacement, in place of 6,000 tons having 6,700; they will carry 40 guns, protected all round—not partially but entirely—and they will have steam power in proportion to their size, namely, 1,300 horse power. Here, then, we have got 10 vessels of iron, four of which are already launched, and another will be launched in August. In addition, however, to the progress thus made, your Lordships will remember that last year I proposed to take the frames of some wooden ships which had been prepared for line-of-battle ships, and to lengthen them; so that they might bear the weight of plating, which they would not otherwise do. These vessels will be each of about 4,000 tons, and will carry 40 guns, all protected. With these vessels we can advance much more rapidly in our own dockyards than with those which are built by contract; and when completed the whole number will be sea-going ships. Three of these will be ready this autumn and two more early next year.

But, last summer I felt that we still had not got the proper vessels for the de-fence of our harbours and ports; and as soon as the plans for lengthening these wooden ships had been completed, we considered the question of building a vessel specially for this purpose, and I arrived at the conclusion that to this end the cupola ship recommended by Captain Coles would be very well adapted. But the plan, though it had been considered, had never been experimentally tried; and I therefore caused a cupola upon this pattern, which had been commenced a year or two before, to be finished and put on board a ship. I sent it out to sea with some naval officers, in order that they might try whether they could in a heavy sea use the cupola so as to point the guns. The officers reported very favourably. They could fire so rapidly that some men taken from the Excellent gave up the contest, saying that they had no chance against the cupola. So far as firing went, that was very successful. I then desired to try how far the cupola would be proof against damage from an enemy's fire, or how far the machinery on which it rested would be injured so as to interfere with its revolving. To ascertain this, we had a vessel brought within 200 yards of the cupola ship, and from that distance the latter vessel was subjected to such a fire as a vessel would hardly ever meet with, even in action. In the first instance she was fired at from some eight or ten 40 pounders, next from some fifteen or twenty 68-pounders, and finally more than forty 100-pounders were fired at her. That severe fire did her no injury. One plate was injured, but we found that it was not of good quality. Having tried these experiments, I thought that we had got a vessel that would be most useful for harbour defence. But it was suggested that these cupolas were very heavy, each weighing, with its machinery, about 70 tons, and that it would be a great advantage if instead of one gun they could each contain two, which should both be pointed in the same direction. To ascertain whether that could be done, we had made a wooden shield of the diameter required, and had it tried at Portsmouth last autumn, when it succeeded perfectly. I was at once satisfied that we had got a vessel which would be most useful for the protection of our harbours. But as there was no pressure for defence, and no alarm about the safety of our harbours, I did not think it necessary to apply to the Treasury For authority to commence that vessel at once. I thought I might leave the matter to be discussed by Parliament. A Vote for this purpose was placed on the Estimates this year; and as soon as it was passed, I obtained tenders for the construction of the vessel, and I believe that she will be commenced in the course of a few days, or at most of a few weeks, She will be wholly iron, fitted with cupolas on Captain Coles's plan. Her length will be almost 250 ft., her tonnage little above 2,000, and she will only draw 20 ft. of water. That, I think, will be a very effective and powerful vessel. The noble Earl asked why we did not try the cupola in some wooden ships cut down. I did think of that; but then it was objected that I was about to adopt an entirely new principle, and that if I tried the experiment with an old ship, and it did not perfectly answer, discredit would be thrown upon the whole scheme. I therefore preferred, in the first instance at least, to try it with a vessel built expressly for the purpose. At the same time, my own belief is, that we may also succeed in arming some of our wooden ships, when cut down, with these cupolas; in fact, I propose to do so: but in order that I might be certain of success, I thought it best to order the construction of an iron ship, which should be built in consultation with Captain Coles, who has given up a great deal of his time, and has rendered the Admiralty much assistance in designing and arranging this vessel. The method of construction will not be precisely similar to that recommended by Captain Coles in the pamphlet which he published last year—namely, an external thin coat and an internal thick coat. There are structural objections to that form, and we have not adopted it. She will be a strong iron-plated vessel, carrying her guns in the cupolas about 9 ft. 6 in. out of the water. She will be able to go all round the coast, but she is not intended for a seagoing vessel. Masts and yards would interfere with the training of her guns, therefore she will have none. That I believe will be the best form of vessel that we can have for the protection of our coasts; and I have no doubt that we may with advantage construct some rather smaller upon the same principle. I thought, however, that if I at first built a ship with only one or two cupolas, and that it was seen how heavy would be the cost of carrying two guns in that way, it would re-fleet less credit upon the invention of Captain Coles than if we built a vessel to carry twelve guns. Twelve guns in these cupolas will have the effect of twenty-four as they are ordinarily carried, because the cupolas can be turned round, and the guns fired towards either side.

I have, therefore, shown your Lordships that we are now building plated vessels according to six different plans, but with all this I am not quite satisfied. We have not yet constructed a vessel in which the iron-plating adds to or assists in constituting the strength of the vessel. Many experiments have been made with a view to solve this difficulty, but they have not been entirely successful. I do, however, hope that before long we shall be able to construct a vessel upon such a plan that her thick iron plating will not only protect her against shots, but will greatly contribute to the strength of the vessel. At present the fault of iron plating, especially where wooden vessels are concerned, is that it hangs upon the side, but does not, as it ought, contribute to the strength of the vessel. This defect, I have no doubt, will eventually be remedied.

The noble Earl asked me what we are going to do with our wooden ships. That is a question to which, of course, I have turned my attention. The question is not easy to answer. At present we have prepared the frames of several vessels, and these frames can be easily adapted to the reception of plates. We have five frames of line-of-battle ships and seven frames of frigates which can be easily adapted; and we have also the frames of eight large corvettes which can be adapted to carry at least some guns protected by iron plates. With regard to our vessels generally, we could cut down twenty line-of-battle ships and adapt them to coast service; and as they have their machinery on board, it would be at a comparatively small cost that vessels of this class would be produced. While doing that we should still have a powerful fleet of more than forty ships to oppose any wooden fleet that we might have to engage. Therefore, if the nations of the world wish to have iron ships and to fight with iron, we are as well prepared as any other country.

I wish to say a word with reference to this conflict which has taken place in America. It is said that it alters all our previous notions of maritime warfare. Now. I should like to state what I think it alters, and what I think it leaves unchanged. It leaves unaltered the relation between iron ships and wooden ships. It was already the undivided opinion of all experienced men that where wooden ships met iron ships the former could not live. But it makes this great difference—before this, we thought that we should have to keep iron ships only for home service, for the purposes of coast defence; but if other nations follow the example of the Americans, and have iron fleets, we must be prepared to meet iron ships in all quarters of the globe. Whereas before, we thought that we could keep our iron fleet to protect our coast, and perform our service abroad by means of wooden frigates and corvettes, we must now send iron vessels to every place where we may be liable to meet iron ships. That makes a great change. As to the probable financial effect of this change, I do not think that it will be so expensive to this country as some persons seem to anticipate. When we have these powerful vessels, it will be our object not to send them out to buffet the winds and waves, but to have them in harbour, or at a station where they can be used for the real purposes of war; and to use for the purpose of showing the flag, protecting merchant ships, repressing piracy, or other minor purposes, smaller vessels which will be quite adequate to the performance of such services. I therefore do not think that the change will be attended with such great expense as some people fear. People in this country seem at once to have jumped to the conclusion that iron ships are invulnerable. They may be so when opposed to wooden ships, but not when they meet vessels similar to themselves. It is also said that they can run down every hostile vessel. Let us see what happened in the recent American engagement. Much has been made of the Merrimac running down the Federal frigate. But it must be remembered that the frigate was at anchor and that the Merrimac was a moving mass of 3,000 tons; that she came on at the top of her speed, which, however, is not very great, not more than five or six knots an hour. I believe that a wooden vessel might have done as much under similar circumstances. I do not, therefore, think the result very conclusive. Moreover, it would not be so easy to run down a steamer in motion, which would be able to avoid a collision. There is also an important fact which we have yet to learn, and that is how much the Merrimac was injured by the encounter. Some time back Sir Howard Douglas suggested that it would be a very interesting experiment to put a ship in the river and let it be run into by another of iron. But as a two-decker was required for the purpose, it seemed to me that the experiment would be rather costly, and that it was doubtful whether the House of Commons would sanction such expenditure in the Estimates. It is quite true, I believe, that railway bar iron was used in the Merrimac. It is also a very long frigate. [The Earl of HARDWICKE: Not very long] The Monitor is a vessel of a very curious form. In a letter attributed to Mr. Ericsson it is asserted that this is an entirely new invention, and that it is intended as a "monitor" to the British Government. I, on the part of the Admiralty, am much obliged to him for his admonition, and still more to the Americans for their experiments. If they will only perform a few more experiments of the same kind, it will save the Department a great deal of trouble. This Monitor is something between a raft and a diving bell. Her deck is just two feet above the water in a perfect calm. When the water is at all disturbed, the deck will, no doubt, be immersed. There is no sort of protection for the deck, and nobody can stand or walk on it. The crew, must therefore, live below hatches, under the level of the water, breathing through a pipe that passes through the deck into the air. This strange vessel is furnished with a cupola. One can almost fancy that in constructing this cupola the Americans had heard of Captain Coles's invention. The cupola of the Monitor is plated with inch-iron on inch-iron, until the thickness of eight inches is attained. That is certainly a very ingenious makeshift; but if our experiments are worth anything, they prove beyond a doubt that four solid inches of iron in one plate are worth far more than the same quantity of iron in a couple of plates of two inches each. The American vessel is therefore defective in that respect. Besides, for our purposes such a vessel would not answer, because it could not go from port to port. The voyage from New York to Fort Monroe, was very dangerous to the Monitor. The following account is given in a Montreal newspaper: — The Federal Congress has voted 15,000,000 dollars for iron war vessels, and from the success of the Monitor it is probable that a considerable number of vessels of her description will be constructed. There is, we think, little in this success to warrant the assumption that the problem of the beat construction of such vessels has been solved. On her voyage to Fortress Monroe the Monitor was all but lost; the waves broke over her and extinguished her fires, and, but for the assistance of a steamer that took her in tow, she would have sunk. Her success in the contest with the Merrimac, or Virginia, as she is now called, was negative. Her crew narrowly escaped suffocation, their situation being thus described:— 'The inside life in these iron-clad vessels is a sort of Calcutta Black-hole existence, at best. The ventilation is close, and the fire and smoke, with the bad confined air, are almost intolerable. The Merrimac had to endure this with 400 men. The Monitor's men suffered even more, the vessel being so much smaller. The eyes and nose of almost every man at the guns literally shed blood.' The concussion of shot upon the tower containing the armament is so severe as to disable the men inside, and several were rendered senseless by it. That reminds me that in regard to concussions we experienced the same difficulty when we first tried the cupola; but the top was afterwards altered in such a way as to obviate this inconvenience. It is a remarkable fact that these two American vessels fought for five hours, and no one wag hurt. It becomes, therefore, important to ask what armament they bore. All the American vessels have Dahlgren guns, which, if they are shell guns, are nearly useless against iron plates. This is sufficient to account for the absence of results in that long cannonade. Then, again, these guns are rifled shell ordnance. The force of a projectile depends partly, of course, on its weight, but more on its velocity. The velocity of these American guns, on the showing of one of their officers, who has published a book on the subject, is only 900 feet per second, while our 68 pounders have a velocity of 1,500 feet in a second. In making some experiments lately on a target, representing the side of the Warrior, we found that shells produced little or no effect upon the plates. I used to think that no plates could resist the rifled guns; but I have changed that opinion. We have found that they are not so effective as we supposed, and that we must arm our ships with heavy smoothbore guns, the velocity of which at 200 yards is much greater. With a powerful wrought-iron gun of smooth bore we can easily have a velocity of 1,700 feet per second. I shall be curious to see how far the plates will stand the discharge of such a gun. I doubt whether they will be able to resist it; but if they do, I am sure we shall have much larger and more powerful guns in a few years than any that have yet been brought into use. The results of the experiments, however, hitherto have been to show that while rifled guns maintain a higher velocity for a greater distance, yet for the purpose of penetrating plates near at hand recourse must be had to wrought-iron smooth-bore guns. Of course, it is essential that this ordnance should be made, not of cast-iron, which will not bear the strain, but of wrought-iron, manufactured, or built up, like the Armstrong gun.

The noble Earl says we must have two classes of ships. I am of opinion that we shall require at least three classes. We must have a number of speedy iron-cased-wooden or iron-plated ships to serve as convoys to merchant vessels, and to accompany the fleet. The other day, when sending troop-ships to America, it was asked, why not convoy them? But we cannot convoy them. Convoying these fast steamers is like putting a pony to follow a racer. It is, therefore, desirable to have some vessels for the protection of commerce. We must, secondly, have another class of ships to cruise at sea; and we must have a third class of iron ships for the defence of our coasts and harbours. In the present state of our knowledge it would be unwise to proceed further than we are doing in the construction of wooden vessels. It is desirable that we should limit the building of wooden ships to despatch vessels, always a useful class, and some other small class of vessels. And this is the plan we hare followed for two or three years. Since I have been in office no new wooden line-of-battle ship has been commenced and completed. Some frames have been prepared, but they are now converted into the iron ships of which I have spoken; and we mean to proceed in the same course. As to the question whether iron ships constructed upon Captain Coles's plan are capable of being entirely substituted for forts, I believe that in conjunction with forts they will render any approach to a harbour almost impossible; and should a ship come in crippled after an action, it would be glad to get under the protection of the guns of a fort. It must also be remembered that there is no limit to the size of guns that can be placed on forts; while there is a limit to the weight of guns that can be worked on ships. No doubt we, of the Admiralty, are apt to think that vessels can do all the work; but I think we ought not hastily to give up the construc- tion of forts. It is a subject that requires to be gravely considered; and it would be a great mistake to jump hastily to a conclusion from one result, and that result so imperfectly known. We hear that the Merrimac silenced some forts; but it did not silence Fort Monroe. There is also one reason why the Monitor escaped so easily. The training of the guns of the Merrimac was lateral, not vertical. She therefore could not bring her guns to bear on a vessel so low in the water. When Lord Dundonald took a large Spanish ship of war, he ran his small vessel so close under the enemy's ship that the Spaniard fired over the heads of the attacking crew; and Lord Dundonald boarded and took her. I think the Merrimac, in trying to fight the Monitor, was much in the same position. It is impossible to wish for the repetition of such experiments at the cost of so much sorrow and waste of life as the war is inflicting on America; but these conflicts, viewed solely as matters of scientific experiment, are highly interesting. I believe I have now explained to your Lordships the course the Government intends to adopt, and I trust they will be considered satisfactory to your Lordships and the country.


was exceedingly glad the subject had been brought forward. He believed the very practical speech of the noble Duke would give great satisfaction to the country. It was evident his attention was fixed on this important question, and that he had considered it in all its bearings. His speech would reassure the public, which was certainly not the case with some speeches that had been made in another place.

House adjourned at a quarter before Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.