HL Deb 23 April 1885 vol 297 cc459-60

Can the noble Earl the First Lord of the Admiralty give the House any information about the explosion at the Admiralty? I understood from the noble Earl the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in the early part of the evening, that the noble Earl would do so before the rising of the House.


The information I can give to your Lordships is satisfactory as to the condition of Mr. Swainson, the Assistant Secretary, who has been very seriously injured by the abominable attempt which has been made. His medical attendant assures me that in all human probability he will recover. He has had a concussion of the brain and other injuries of the head; but he has regained consciousness, and the doctor has every reason to believe that the accident will not terminate fatally. I have no information as to the precise character of the instrument or shell that was used—because Colonel Majendie has not yet made the investigations necessary in order to arrive at a conclusion. Of this there is no doubt—that the explosive charge, of whatever it may have been composed, was inside the room, and either in or upon a bookshelf or cupboard between the windows. How it arrived there has not yet been discovered, and inquiries are being made. The explosion itself was not of the same serious character as those which have previously taken place, the charge containing probably not more than 2 lbs. of explosive matter, and the damage which it has produced is not very grave, with the exception of the unfortunate injury to Mr. Swainson. The room in which the explosion took place is wrecked. A certain amount of glass has been broken in the office; but no serious damage has been done excepting in the room itself.