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them fit for sea earlier than if course of construction. In addi. they were to be built of iron. tion to this, it had been decided We should then have 12 of these to plate some of our wooden vessels to 15 of the French. ships with iron, although he did This must not imply that it was not think they would be very not intended to build other ves- efficient, for it was his opinion sels of iron ; but before this was that we ought to construct our done it would be prudent to as- ships entirely of iron. None, certain by experiment, as well as however, of the armour yet tried inquiry, the best mode of con- could resist the tremendous struction.
power of the Armstrong guns, A short time afterwards, Lord and in consequence the AdmiCarnarvon called the attention of ralty had ordered, as it the House of Lords to the state- proved that ships could not be ment of Sir J. Pakington, that not made as secure as could be deonly was France vastly superior sired, that our ships should have to this country in the number of the best means of offence, and iron-cased vessels of war, but that be armed with the Armstrong the French dockyards were at guns. The noble Duke then the present moment constructing proceeded to repel the charge of similar vessels for Spain and vacillation and change brought Italy. The acquisition of a navy against the Admiralty. With by Spain or Italy was of small regard to these different experiimportance in itself, but if a sup- ments, the noble lord says the posed combination of the naval Admiralty have always been forces of those two nations with changing their policy. Why, my France was admitted, it was full lords, the reason is obvious. The of danger to our naval position world is changing; alterations in the Mediterranean. In case are going on everywhere. So far of such a combination against from the Admiralty vacillating, England a naval battle would, from the time we came into office probably, occur in
we have gone on in the course where, in consequence of bad which I believe your lordships management at Malta, we had will say was the right and proper not an effective dock to refit a course for us to adopt under the damaged fleet. He did not blame circumstances. My noble friend Her Majesty's Government for the other day said we were going this, for he thought the evils on building three-deckers and were due to the incessant changes laying down ships of war; but which characterized the naval what is the fact? The last threeadministration of the country.
decker ordered to be built was in The Duke of Somerset, in a January, 1855. It is quite true very interesting speech, detailed that two three-deckers were the course which the Admiralty launched in the course of 1859; had pursued in constructing iron- but these three-deckers had been cased ships of 'war. They had nearly finished for a long time; not rashly committed themselves their engines and everything had to new inventions, but had pro- been ordered ; it was, therefore, ceeded experimentally, and had thought better that they should now seven of these vessels in' be launched, and thus make room
for other work to be gone on in iron, it might bear four and a with. Well, then, it was said, half-inch iron; but it would not why do we go on with two- then be a very effective shipdeckers ? Now, we have not been the ports would be too near the going on with two-deckers. The water, and it would not be so last two-decker ordered was by good a sea-going ship as I should the late Government in 1859. wish the Admiralty to build, unThe present Board have ordered less there was any pressure; for
But it is said the Admi- next year we ought to build a ralty is going on ordering new far better ship. Another course large wooden ships. Nothing of might to some extent be adopted. the kind. It is quite true we We have frames cut out for cerhave ordered small vessels, cor- tain line-of-battle ships. We vettes, sloops, and some frigates can easily add to the length of and gun-vessels; but if you
vessels and make effective wooden to keep up the maritime power of ships, which we can use herethis country we have not yet ar- after as wooden frigates or as rived at that forward state in iron-cased ships. Another course which we can leave off building would be, to order frames of iron We have been building what ships to be prepared with a view we thought would be most to case them with thick iron. useful, and we have ordered Then comes the question, of what them all to be armed with the iron they ought to be constructed, new guns; and, instead of carry- and the best mode of fastening ing the large number of guns the iron plates. Every day new they formerly used to do, , our questions arise. I am unwilling vessels will carry few guns, but to advance too fast, because I guns of great power. The noble feel that we can advance much earl referred to our gunboats, more efficiently by waiting a litwhich he said were rotting in tle longer. It is only a few days harbour ; but, if these were since the last of these experiarmed with a 100-pounder they ments took place with eightwould be most formidable vessels, inch plates. I am very anxious and would serve most materially to do all in my power, and I have to defend our coasts in case of ordered six-inch plates. I have hostile aggression; while, being great doubt whether the mode of themselves small, they would fastening the plates is satisfacpresent a very slight object tory. On that account, therefore, of attack for the enemy. With I thought a trial should be made regard to what we ought to before we laid down the scale ; do in the way of preparation, and that done, we felt we might there are two or three courses rely on the power we have in that might be adopted. If there building iron vessels if the counwas any immediate necessity for try once takes it in hand. We alarm, we could readily cut down know what the private yards in some of the three-deckers and this country can do. We could case them in iron. I have had
soon produce a fleet of iron ships calculations made, and I find if far greater than all the other you were to cut down, say the Powers of Europe besides. It Royal Albert, and case the vessel is true, as the noble earl has
stated, that France is not the mate of two millions and a half only country which is building for the construction of iron-cased wooden ships to be covered with ships coming under discussion in iron. There are some being the House of Commons on the built for Russia. I do not know 26th of July, Mr. Lindsay enerwhere the contracts were taken, getically remonstrated against the but contracts are in course of outlay for that purpose. In anexecution for Russia and also for swer to his objections, Spain. One wooden ship co- Lord Palmerston stated that vered with iron has likewise been he had distinct and positive inbuilt for Sardinia. The French formation, upon which he could ships are for the most part rely, that the French had six wooden ships covered with iron. iron vessels afloat, 10 building, I believe the best ships will be which could be completed in a found to be those which are built year and a half or two years, and of, as well as covered with, iron. 11 floating batteries, some of Ours are iron ships with two co- them powerful vessels, making verings-one of teak 26 inches
an aggregate of 27 iron-clad thick and one of iron four and a ships. half inches thick. That is how Lord C. Paget stated the names the Warrior is built, and I have and localities of the vessels, and no doubt it will offer great resist- added that other nations were inance to shot and shell.”
creasing their iron navies in a corEarl Grey said he had heard responding ratio, Austria, Italy, the statement with great satisfac- and Spain having eight of these tion. Far from blaming the Ad- vessels built or building. miralty for being too fast, he Mr. Lindsay said, after these thought they were too slow. He statements, differing so greatly believed the course now pursued from information he had received to be the proper one—not to from the highest authority in hurry on too rapidly with new France, he should offer no oppoinventions, until they had been sition to the vote. fairly tried, but, on the other A statement of some importhand, when there were new inven- ance was made by Lord Palmertions which held out every pro- ston, just before the end of the spect of being successful, not to session, with respect to the relacontinue spending large sums of tive naval strength of France and money in building vessels which England. It arose upon the third in all probability would be useless; reading of a Bill proposed by the to make arrangements for the Government, and finally passed rapid creation, in case of neces- into a law, authorizing the emsity, of a large force of that deployment of officers belonging to scription of vessels which would the merchant service, as officers be most wanted and most ser- of reserve in the Royal Navy, in viceable, but not, under the in case of emergency. fluence of panic, to proceed In remarking upon this Bill, too fast in the construction of which he did in terms of general ships which would not be likely approval, Mr. Lindsay inquired to answer.
of the Ministers whether it Upon the supplemental Esti- would not be practicable to 'come to some arrangement with would, I think, lead to intermithe French Government with re- nable doubts and disputes. We spect to the proportionate force must have officers watching to be maintained on either side ? them, and they must have offi.
In answer to this question cers watching us; there would Lord Palmerston stated, that all be doubts and suspicions of bad increased preparations in our fáith; and, instead of laying dockyards had been subsequent the foundations of peace, we to, and in consequence of, in- should, I fear, be sowing the creased preparations in the seeds of future interminable dis- French dockyards, and that the sensions." reverse could not possibly be This statement was received said to have been the case. “Now, with much approbation by the as to the other question-one of House. great importance-whether the The Army Estimates were British Government could not moved by Mr. T. G. Baring, enter into communication with Under Secretary of State for any foreign Government-for it War, on the 14th of March, must not be confined to France, The honourable member stated but with any foreign Govern- that the number of men proposed ment-with a view to impose a for the current year was 146,044, limit upon the respective naval exclusive of the force in the East forces of the two countries, that Indies, which would raise the agis a more important question, of gregate number to 212,773. The great difficulty, and open to sum to be voted was 14,606,7511., much criticisin. Although at which was less than the estithe first blush it appears to be mates of 1860-vl by 185,7951. a practicable thing, I think that This was, however, he afterany British Government would wards explained, less than the long pause and hesitate before it real decrease. Having discussed entered into any agreement with various details connected with foreign countries for limiting the the numbers, he proceeded to amount of force, naval or mili- consider the items of expendi. tary, which this country ought to ture, explaining the mode in maintain. We should judge of which reductions had been made, that amount according to the cir- and replying to the objection cumstances of the moment. Any of General Peel, that the estiagreement must be with several mated sum would prove insufforeign Powers, because it is not cient. He noticed the improveFrance alone that is a naval ments which had been effected Power. There is Russia, the in re-enlistments, food, and clothUnited States, Spain (which is ing. The health of the Army growing in importance), and during the past year had been other States which have navies, extremely good ; the mortality and therefore any limitation of abroad had been below the averour own force must be made with age. He went over the votes a view not only to the naval for the medical staff and admipower of France, but to any nistrative departments of the repossible combination of other gular Army, and the vote for the Powers. Such an arrangement Volunteers, reserving details upon
this last head for the discussion number of men had been 21 or of the wants of this force, to 22 per cent., and that in the which Lord Elcho had proposed amount of charge 60 per cent. to call the attention of the House. in every branch of the service. He reviewed the estimates re- General Peel, in the course of lating to the matériel of the Army, some critical remarks and gave details of much interest estimates, stated that the numon the subject of the Armstrong ber of men voted would, by the guns. The number of these for addition of two ciphers, always which provision had been made give very nearly the amount of in the estimates was 1057, of the the expenditure. He added, that following calibre, viz.—330 100- he did not think the number of pounders, 280 40-pounders, and men proposed by the Govern250 12-pounders. All the reports ment excessive. which had been received bore Lord Palmerston vindicated testimony to the superiority of the calculations and requirements these guns in every respect, du- of the Government. It was adrability and strength included. mitted, he said, that the number The warlike stores had been in- of men was not too large, and all creased, and put on an efficient knew that the armament was footing. There was a diminution expensive. “ Now, if hon. memof 44,5001. in the charge for civil bers look at these estimates, they buildings and barracks. With will find that a great portion of regard to the non-effective ser- the increase arises, first, from the vices, it was arranged that the addition to the number of men; Indian revenue should contribute and, secondly, from the change 20,0001. a-year towards the ex- of the implements of war. But, pense, but in other respects there besides that, hon. gentlemen was little or no difference in the ought to bear in mind that cervotes for the present year beyond tainly no session passes, and not the ordinary increase from na- many months in any session tural causes, which amounted to pass, without members propos27,6401. The total of real de- ing good, but at the same time crease in the estimates of the expensive, changes in all the year was 295,7951.
arrangements connected with the A desultory debate followed army, One member presses this statement. Several mem- upon the House the necessity bers complained of the great of improving the barrack acamount of the estimates, others commodation for the soldiers ; criticised particular details, as another says the clothing is dethe management of the Govern- fective in quality and ought to be ment factories, the state of the improved ; while a third states barracks, the payments for food, that the hospital accommodation lighting, and other charges. Mr. is not what it should be, and W. Williams and Colonel Dick- that various other changes ought son particularly remonstrated to be made to render the condiagainst what they considered the tion of the soldiers more suited to enormous amount of the esti- the improved temper and habits mates. Mr. Henley stated that of the times. All these alterasince 1853, the increase in the tions, good though they may