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COPY of CorrESPONDENCE between John Clare,

Junior, and the Admiralty,

(Mr. Muguire.)

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,

24 March 1863.

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A “COPY of COMMODORE SEYMOUR'S REPORT upon EXPERIMENTS

made with AUSTRALIAN Coal at Sydney, in June or July 1862.”

Admiralty, 13 April 1863.

C. H. PENNELL,

Chief Clerk.

Use of AUSTRALIAN COAL IN HER MAJESTY'S SHIPS.

(No. 29.) Sir,

“Pelorus ” at Sydney, 16 May 1862. I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, No. 33, of 12th March 1862, and to inform you that I have lost no time in placing myself in communication with the Directors of the Australian Steam Navigation Company, with a view to ascertaining the correctness of the statements regarding the cost of converting the furnaces of one of Her Majesty's ships under my orders, as suggested in the memorandum by Sir Daniel Cooper, which accompanied your letter.

2. I request that you will inform my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that, so far from its being possible to convert the furnaces of any one ship for so small a sum as 50 l., it would not be possible to do it for 500 1. here, or in any port in Australia ; and I enclose a statement and tracing, made by the chief engineer of the Australian Steam Navigation Company, which will prove the truth of my allegation.

I entirely concur with Sir Daniel Cooper that it would be economical and advantageous, were Her Majesty's ships able to use Australian coal exclusively in the seas, and since January 1861, no other coal but New South Wales, Newcastle and Bellambi has been in use on board the “ Pelorus; but the first named is decidedly unsuited to our furnaces, and its expenditure is enormous, while, with the latter, we have never obtained such results as we have derived from the use of Welsh coal.

3. Sir Daniel Cooper is entirely mistaken when he states that the use of Australian coal has been discouraged by the officers in command of Her Majesty's ships on this station. Commodore Loring was always most anxious that its qualities should be tested in every way, and his views have been invariably carried out by myself, Captain Cracroft of the “ Niger,” and every commanding officer out here.

4. With reference to the relative price of Australian and Welsh coal in New South Wales, I may state that Bellambi coal is placed on board here at 23 s. a ton, and that Welsh coal would at present cost 47 s. per

present cost 47 s. per ton ; for the relative consumption of each, I beg to refer their Lordships to the steam reports sent

home since October 1860 from this station, and to acquaint you that I am informed by M. le Commandant Mathieu, of H. I. M. S. “Caetlagon," of 150 horse power, that, under precisely similar circumstances of wind and weather, with an expenditure of 12 tons of Welsh coal, he obtained a speed of 11 knots during 24 hours, while during the same period of time a consumption of 20 tons of Australian coal gave him only an average of 85 knots.

5. I cannot close this letter without adverting to the frequency of strikes which take place at the New South Wales coal mines, and which have the effect of raising the price of coals very frequently to nearly double its usual average. In August and September last, New South Wales coal cost from 37 s. to 40 s. a ton in Sydney, and a strike which is now going on at Newcastle bids fair to last some months, and to extend to the mines at Wollongong, whence our supply of Bellambi coal is derived.

Under the circumstances mentioned in the first paragraph of this letter, I shall not carry out the instructions conveyed to me in your Despatch dated 12th March, respecting the alterations of the furnaces of one of Her Majesty's ships under my orders, until I am honoured by their Lordships further commands on the subject.

I am, &c.

(signed) F. Beauchamp Seymour, The Secretary of the Admiralty,

Commodore. &c. &c.

&c. &c.

REPLIES to certain QUERIES put to Mr. J. M'Arthur, Superintending Engineer of

the Australian Steam Navigation Company, Sydney, New South Wales, by direction of Commodore Seymour, C. B.

Question No. 1.–Be good enough to state what would be the cost at Sydney of converting the boilers of one of Her Majesty's ships so as to fit them for consuming Colonial coals, such as are used by the Australasian Steam Navigation Company, the diameter of the tubes at present in use being 2 inches?

Answer.—The alteration could not be made under a cost of at least 500l.; but a correct estimate could not be made until the boilers to be altered had been thoroughly examined.

Question No. 2. What is the current rate of wages at the present moment of, Ist, boiler-makers; 2d, their assistants ?

Answer.—1st, boiler-makers, 18 s. per diem; 2d, assistants, 14 s. per diem.

Question No. 3.—What form of boiler do you find best suited to the Colonial coal ?

Answer:--See drawings which accompany this memorandum, of boiler fitted with horizontal 4-inch tubes, and vertical uptake tubes 7 inches in diameter.

Question No. 4.- What kind of coals are used by the Australasian Steam Navigation Company, as referred to in Sir Daniel Cooper's memorandum ?

Answer.—The Agricultural Company's Wallsend coal.

Question No. 5.—How long do you consider, from actual practice, that boilers will last, similar to those made for the Australasian Steam Navigation Company by the contractors in England ? Answer.-From six to eight years.

(signed) Samuel Madden,

Chief Engineer H. M. ship “ Pelorus.”

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