§ MR. MARTIN (Worcester, Droitwich)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he can now inform the House what exact steps have been taken by the Admiralty to prevent chains, that have been condemned as unfit for service, and sold as old iron, being made up and resold as new chains, to the danger of purchasers and the detriment of the chain makers' trade?
* THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Sir U. KAY-SHUTTLEWORTH,) Lancashire, Clitheroe
After an inquiry into the whole question of the disposal of old chain, an Admiralty Circular was issued on the 19th of March to the Home Yards and Malta, directing how old chain returned from ships is to be dealt with in future. I shall be happy to show a copy of the Circular to any hon. Member who may be interested in the subject. The following are the principal points:—Any defective links found, after thorough examination, are to be cut out, and new links inserted and the chains, after due test, are to be returned to the store or ship as good and fit for sea service. Chain which cannot be made serviceable, or made good and fit for harbour service, is to be cut up and worked into forgings for ship and engine work; but If it cannot be conveniently and economically used, and is proposed for sale, the end links, and distances of about 6 feet apart, are to be stamped, and the stay pins between these marks knocked out.These rules will, we hope, while tending to economy, be an effective check on future attempts to make up, and sell as new chain, chains which have been condemned as unfit for use in the Service.