HC Deb 01 April 1889 vol 334 cc1250-1
SIR C. PALMER (Jarrow)

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give any information as to the escape of Her Majesty's ship Calliope, in the hurricane off Samoa, which proved so disastrous to the squadrons of other Powers; what class of ship she was; and whether she owed her safety to her greater steaming power, or to the superior seamanship of the crew? Any information the First Lord can give would be specially interesting, in view of the debate upon which the House is about to enter.


I have had no information since Saturday morning of the sad catastrophe that has occurred to the German and American Squadrons at Samoa. Early on Saturday morning I received a telegram from the Naval Commander-in-Chief in New Zealand waters, stating that a hurricane, which suddenly broke over Samoa, had totally destroyed the German and American Squadrons, but that the Calliope had escaped and got out to sea; and he adds that she was uninjured as regards her engines and her hull, from which I infer that she suffered some minor injuries. The Calliope is a vessel of the "C" class, and we have no particulars at all as to how she effected her escape. Perhaps I may be permitted, as representing the English Board of Admiralty, to express here publicly our deep regret and sympathy at the terrible calamity which has befallen the Squadrons of two friendly Powers.

MR. O. V. MORGAN (Battersea)

Can the First Lord of the Treasury give the House the names of the officers of the Calliope?


They are in the Navy List, and can be seen by any hon. Gentleman who goes into the Library.