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Battleship Collision

Volume 180: debated on Wednesday 14 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether a collision between the new battleships "Commonwealth" and "Albemarle" occurred early this year, resulting in severe damage to the former; whether he can state what was the Report of the Court of Inquiry which was held into the circumstances; whether the Report of the Court was accompanied by a covering letter from the Commander-in-Chief; and, if so, what was the nature of that Report and what was the final decision of the Board of Admiralty in the matter.

The Commander-in-Chief, Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Arthur Wilson, reported that it was not in his opinion a case for court-martial, and the Board of Admiralty were of the same opinion.

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Will the right hon Gentleman answer my Question as to the Court of Inquiry?

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May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will not answer my Question why information of a precisely similar kind asked for in this House by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy Burghs was given him by the Admiralty to use against another hon. Member of this House?

That is a totally different Question. I have answered the hon. Member's Question. The Commander-in-Chief reported that it was not, in his opinion, a case for court-martial, and the Board of Admiralty were of the same opinion.

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May I ask, does the Tight hon. Gentleman consider that an Answer to the paragraph which asks what was the Report of the Court of Inquiry which was held into the circumstances.

As I have said, the Commander-in-Chief reported that it was not, in his opinion, a case for court-martial, and the Board of Admiralty are of the same opinion.

Part of the Question is whether the Report of the Court was accompanied by a covering letter from the Commander-in-Chief, and what was the nature of that Report.

The hon. Gentleman really has not answered the Question.