§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that certain specific charges of grave character have been recently reported to the Superintendent Engineer of the Portsmouth Dockyard; whether any and what inquiry has been made, and by whom, into such complaints; whether any and what evidence was taken, and with what result; and whether any further action will be taken in the matter?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Lord G. HAMILTON,) Middlesex, Baling
The charges referred to appear to be those which have been made periodically since 1884, with regard to irregularities alleged to have taken place as far back as 1883 in connection with the dredging contract at Portsmouth. They have been brought forward on each occasion by bargemen who had been discharged by the contractor. When first made they were investigated by the Admiral Superintendent and the Superintending Engineer of the Dockyard, and they have subsequently been reported upon by successive Superintending Engineers, and it has always been decided that they were groundless.