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member that it was imagined They have nothing but what we by many persons that they would call schooner masts. They could be a failure; that, first of all, not at all trust to sails for anyspeed could not be got from thing like speed. They are, in them, on account of their being fact, entirely steam vessels-screw so heavily loaded; and, secondly, vessels-and have no pretence to that they would not be sea- anything beyond that. I believe worthy. We have got proofs La Gloire was built on the model that La Gloire has great speed, of the Napoleon, and it stands to and also that she is seaworthy, reason that her stowage must be We know that she was appointed confined, both with regard to to accompany the French Em- provisions and coal. The French peror to Algeria last autumn. build their vessels of wood, and We know, also that His Majesty they build them of a size somewas accompanied by one of the thing larger than a line-of-battle finest and fastest squadrons in ship. They consider them as the French navy. My hon. friend, vessels for narrow seas, and not the member for Finsbury, was at for long voyages, and they think Algeria when the Emperorarrived. it right to case them entirely La Gloire was in company with with iron. We have adopted His Majesty's yacht, which is an entirely different principle ; a very fast one, and the rest of and it is not for me to say the squadron were out of sight. who is right, and who is wrong. It is clear from that fact, that La No credit is due to me for the Gloire is a vessel of great speed. Warrior, and, as she was deThen comes the question - Is she signed by a former Board of seaworthy ? When returning from Admiralty, I may state candidly Algeria the squadron of the Em- what I consider to be her merits, peror encountered a gale in the and what I regard as her deGulf of Lyons. I know an in- fects. The great distinction betelligent captain of a merchant tween us and the French is this steamer who was in company —they are building their iron. with the squadron at the time, cased vessels of wood, and of a and he said that he never saw a tonnage not much larger than a heavier sea or a heavier gale. I line-of-battle ship ; while we are myself saw La Gloire at Toulon building our vessels of iron, and a few days after her voyage, and of a tonnage of over 6000 tons; she looked nothing the worse for that is the tonnage of the for it. She lived through the Warrior, the usual tonnage of a gale, and kept company with the 90-gun line-of-battle ship being Emperor's yacht. Here is a proof little more than 3000 tons. Our that La Gloire is a very fast boat, ships are only partly cased with and, I will not say a good sea armour, but they are rigged fully boat, but a boat that could live in as line-of-battle ships, and have very bad weather. With regard immense stowage as compared to the interior accommodation of with other ships in the navy, and La Gloire I know nothing. The I believe this large class of ships, whole of the French iron-cased of which the Warrior is one, ships are built of wood and will have very great speed. It is covered with armour throughout. a very interesting question to VOL. CIII.
consider which, as a whole, is Government, I think, acted the better class of construction. wisely in resolving to build vesThere is no doubt that the sels of this large tonnage. It is French construction is attended of importance, too, that these with very considerable advan- vessels should be able to take a tages on the score of economy; large stock of provisions and for we know that a ship of 3000 coals; and accordingly the Wartons costs less than one of 6000 rior is provided with a great power tons; but wood is a very perish- of stowage, so that she might be able article, and it is said that well supplied in these respects. with iron plates a considerable Another thing which we consider degree of decay takes place. to be absolutely necessary, and Why, then, should we build ves- which other nations consider to sels of 6000 tons when another be unnecessary, is that these nation is building vessels of only vessels should be fully rigged. one-half that tonnage with nearly The iron-cased ships of other as many guns, with, perhaps, not nations are merely rigged with so heavy, but still a heavy arma- schooner masts. We have rigged ment? Here arises a considera- our vessels independently altotion which, I think, must have gether of their engines, and that influenced the late Board of I take to be a wise course, beAdmiralty, and which is of great cause it is impossible to say importance. All those engineers where these ships may be rewho are making improvements quired to go. They may be in projectiles tell us that we are called suddenly from one station only in the infancy of gunmaking. to another, and it is, therefore, I have heard that a gun is to be important that we should be able produced which will pierce a 6- to dispense with their engines. inch plate. If that be so, what Another point to which I shall will be the effect upon our advert is the extent of the ironships cased with 4-inch plates. casing. Other nations think it This class of vessels will be ren- right that their ships should be dered altogether useless. One entirely cased with iron, but ours great advantage, however, of are only partially cased. The building these very large vessels reasons for this are manifest. is, that we can, if necessary, in- There can be no doubt that when crease the thickness of the plates you build ships of great speed --we may even double them. I with very fine ends, and load have taken the trouble to as- these ends with heavy armour certain what would be the effect plates, it is impossible those of an increase of thickness upon ships can go well in a heavy sea. the flotation of one of these This is one of the defects of the ships, and I find that with a foreign iron-cased ships now 9-inch plate the immersion would building. They will do tolerably be increased only two feet. If, well in smooth water, but in a therefore, it should be necessary heavy sea they will be total to increase the thickness of the failures. But it may be said plates to 6 inches or more, we shot will penetrate these exposed shall be in a position to do so. places, and vessels will be liable This is in itself a reason why the to be sunk. This I think is
rather hypercritical, but I may tended to improve the sailors' state that the greatest care is diet by curing beef for the navy taken to provide against such a at Devonport; that they intended contingency. The ends of the also to establish naval barracks, vessels are built in compartments, beginning at a place near Devonwater-tight, and any serious port, to enlarge the marine bardamage from shot or otherwise racks, and to go on with the new will be prevented. I have gone docks at Portsmouth. carefully into a calculation as to plained also that men had been what would be the effect upon discharged from the dockyards the Warrior if a shot struck her because satisfactory progress had and went through the bow or the been made in shipbuilding. He stern, and I find that the effect stated also a variety of other would be perfectly trifling-in- details, going fully into the redeed it would amount almost to spective items, and concluded by nothing-as the shot would only moving the first vote for 78,200 affect a particular compartment, men. to which are fitted pumps con- Sir John Pakington reviewed nected with the engine. It must at some length the principal not be supposed that because topics embraced in the speech of these ships are not cased with Lord C. Paget, adding some reiron throughout they are not marks on the discipline of the sufficiently strong. All the navy. He spoke in praise of the plates of the Warrior are 9-16ths Warrior and of iron ships geneof an inch in thickness, and if rally, though not to the exclusion a shot struck at an acute angle of wood. the effect would be that it would Mr. Baxter called attention to be warded off altogether. Then the comparative strength of the the Warrior is fitted with cross English and French navies, as a bulkheads both fore and aft, in reason for reducing the estimates, which in an engagement the which he said were based on an crew will be completely cased exaggerated calculation of the in armour, though the ship is maritime resources and preparanot entirely cased with iron." tions of France. The Admiralty, however, would Mr. Bentinck dissented from not give up the use of wooden Mr. Baxter's views on this point, ships, feeling that they must still and he insisted that the discipline rely on them for employment of the Navy was not so bad as reon distant stations where there presented by Sir J. Pakington. were no docks.
Mr. Lindsay dwelt upon the The noble lord then vast preponderance of the Navy tinued his explanation of the of England over that of France, votes seriatim. He stated that which he contended had been the seamen in the Royal Navy much exaggerated and misrepregot bigher pay than those in sented. the mercbant service; that some Lord Clarence Paget offered addition would be made to the some further statements as to the pay of the officers, the whole French navy. We had 53 screw increase being about 50,0001. line-of-battle ships, and 14 pada-year; that the Government in- dles, making altogether 67. The
French had 35 line-of-battle ships not a long period, certainly not afloat and 2 building, making 37. far short of 85,000 men. The The English navy had of frigates noble lord, in conclusion, vindi31 screws and 9 paddles afloat, cated the discipline of the fleet, besides 12 building, making a and read soine reports in confirtotal of 52 frigates. The French mation of his statement. had 18 paddle frigates and 21 Mr. Bright criticised the noble screws, making a total of 39 lord's speech, and argued that afloat, and they had 8 more build- the French fleet had been prodi. ing, making a grand total of giously over-rated. Alarms had 47. Then, with regard to the been raised upon the foundation smaller class of vessels, he did of monstrous falsehoods. “The not think that the discussion had Treasury," he said, “was not the much extended to them, and he bourne from which no traveller would continue his comparative returns, but the bourne from statement by a reference to the which no honest man returns. totals. The French had 266 ships I have never heard the noble of all classes, and 61 were build. lord at the head of the Going, making a total of 327. The vernment, or any of his colEnglish navy bad a total of 505 leagues, make a distinct state. vessels afloat and 57 building and ment. They don't condescend converting, giving a total of 562. to particularize on this matter, Therefore, we were in a very satis- but they allow these alarms to factory condition. From all the exist and these assertions to circoncurrent testimony which he culate throughout the country. could obtain, he found that the They make use of them for the French navy contained from purpose of seizing on a time of 35,000 to 38,000 men. Of these popular delusion to add to the 10,000 belonged to the conscrip- navy and to the expenditure of tion, and 25,000 to the adscrip- the country. Instead of that, tion. The latter were the sea- if they were to tell the people faring population of France who the truth, which they know,were liable to serve. Then what which I am convinced that they had they in addition in reserve? know,- which to my certain French officers who had studied knowledge their own officers these things would tell them that send to them from Paris, they in the course of a month or six might have saved millions during weeks, and particularly in the the last few years. There is winter, they could add at once
man in Paris, whether 25,000 men to the navy. That Bonapartist, Orleanist, or Repubwas his honest belief. They had lican, who does not entirely disnow 38,000, and they could add believe and disavow all the state25,000 in the course of a month. ments made in this House and He admitted that this would be in this country as to the gigantic very damaging to their mercan- naval preparations of France, and tile marine. If they took the the disposition of its Government actual naval force of France, with towards England.
Surely, after every seafaring man she had the what was done in consequence of power to obtain, they would find the panic, excited when the right that France could produce, within hon. member for Droitwitch was
at the Admiralty, and consider-' were built, and then, by a stroke ing that this is a time of pecu- of the pen, added, as it was foreliar pressure, when a general seen they would be, to the French discontent is arising in different navy. parts of the country at this enor- The vote was then agreed to. mous expenditure, the Govern- The whole subject of the goment might easily have reduced vernment and administration of the military estimates of the year the navy, having been the subby four or five millions. And I ject of much dissatisfaction undo not believe there is a man in derwent, during this year, the the kingdom, with the slightest ordeal of a parliamentary inquiry. knowledge of politics, who could Two motions for this purpose imagine that we were not quite were made early in the session, as safe as we shall be when all by members connected with that this money has been voted.” service, and sitting on the Oppo
Lord Palmerston said it was sition side of the House. The true that those who passed to first was by Admiral Duncombe, the Treasury benches were apt who moved for a Select Comto change their opinions, but mittee to inquire into the conthat was because they came to stitution of the Board of Admiknow the real state of things, ralty, and the various duties deand were charged with a respon- volving upon it, and also as to sibility that did not affect Mr. the general effect of the system Bright. If he were to sit on the upon the navy. The gallant Treasury bench, he would soon officer said that he did not mean be one of the stoutest advocates to blame the present Board of for good naval and military esta- Admiralty, who, he believed, did blishments. Members came to their best with a very cumbrous the House recounting what they machinery: his object was to bad been told in Paris by per- inquire whether a scheme could sons excessively interested in not be devised by a Committee, misleading public opinion here, that would improve the system and making us believe that no- of naval administration, and he thing can be more harmless than hoped the investigation would be all the naval and military prepa- an impartial and fearless one. rations of France." I say, 'Equo Admiral Walcot seconded the ne credite Teucri.' Really, sir, it motion. is shutting one's eyes against no- Lord C. Paget, speaking in the torious facts, to go on contend- name of the Duke of Somerset, ing that the policy of France- said that, so far from objecting of which I do not now complain to the motion, he would give -has not for a great length of every facility in his power to the time been to get up a navy which inquiries of the Committee. He shall be equal, if not superior, to did not say that the naval admi. our own." The noble lord illus- nistration was perfect; but the trated his proposition by a refer- Government had introduced, and ence to the famous Enquíte Par- were introducing improvements, lementaire, and by describing how and when the delinquencies of sixteen innocent mail packets the Admiralty were talked of, he