On the Mode of Improving the Navy

Appendix, No. V.

Letter from Mr. Snodgrass to the Admiralty Board, dated Feb. 13, 1795.

My Lords,

I am informed that your Lordships have been impressed with an idea, that the East India Company having large Ships built for their Service is very prejudicial to the procuring large timber for the use of the Navy.

From the conviction of long experience, I am of a very different opinion, and am certain that if Government will attend to what I have stated, in answer to some questions put to me by the Commissioners of the Land Revenue, in the year 1791, which was published with their eleventh Report, and also to what I stated to a Committee of the House of Commons, in the year 1791, on the same subject; it will be the means of reducing the consumption of oak timber, and the expenses of building and repairing the Ships of the Navy full one-third compared with what it has been during the reign of His present Majesty; and the timber saved thereby will be sufficient for the constant building and repairing the whole tonnage of large shipping required for the Service of the East India Company.

And I further beg to observe, that if Government were at this time to order every old Ship of war that requires a considerable repair to be put into Dock, and to double their bottoms and top sides, from keel to gunwale, with three-inch plank, and to strengthen them with as many iron ryders, standards, knees, &c. as may be found necessary, they may be got ready for Sea in a short time, and at a very moderate expense, and those Ships would then be as safe and as serviceable for years to come (even to cruise in Winter Seasons), as any Ships now in His Majesty's Service. This measure will obviate, at present, the necessity of contracting for building new Ships for the Navy, which, at this time, must be a very great extra expense, and attend with many other disadvantages obvious to every professional Man. I have the honour to subscribe myself, with great consideration,

My Lords,
Your Lordships'
Most obedient humble Servant,
East India House,
13th February, 1795.
To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners
for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of
Great Britain.

Naval Chronical Vol. V (1801), pp 321-322.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1995 Lars Bruzelius.