HC Deb 29 June 1832 vol 13 cc1178-80

On the motion of Sir James Graham, the House went into a Committee of Supply.

Sir James Graham moved the following Resolutions which were agreed to:—

52,000l. for defraying the charges for new works at Crenmill:

60,000l. for defraying the charges for new works for the Victualling Department:

42,269l. for the salaries of officers and expenses of the Admiralty Office.

On moving 45,635l. for salaries and contingent expenses of the Navy Office,

Mr. Hume

complained of the appointment of an officer (Captain Symonds) to be Surveyor of the Navy, when there were pupils who had been educated at the School of Naval Architecture, at a considerable expense, who were passed over. It was naturally a subject of great regret to these young men, that, after sixteen years' service, the door of promotion was shut against them.

Sir James Graham

said, that what had fallen from him on a former occasion, in reference to this matter, had been misunderstood. These gentlemen were, under the Order in Council, eligible to the various offices connected with the navy, such as Master Shipwright, Shipwright's Assistant, and other situations; and there was scarcely any one of them at present who did not hold some office of trust. All he had to say now was, to repeat what he had stated on a former occasion, that there was not one of those gentlemen at present who was sufficiently qualified, from length of service, to fill the office of Surveyor to the Navy.

Sir Byam Martin

said, that in his opinion, Captain Symonds was altogether unfit for the situation of Surveyor of the Navy, to which he had been appointed by the right hon. Baronet.

Sir James Graham

said, that in appointing Captain Symonds to that office, he had acted in accordance with the best naval advice, and he was persuaded that he was more competent than any other gentleman that could be selected to fill it. He was satisfied too, that when he met the gallant Admiral to discuss the next naval Estimates, the gallant Admiral would be of his opinion.

Sir George Cockburn

said, that there was not a better officer in existence than Captain Symonds, but he was not convinced that a practical seaman was the best sort of person to make Surveyor of the Navy. Sir Robert Seppings, whom Captain Symonds had displaced, was a most distinguished shipwright, and had rendered the most valuable services to his country. It was quite unnecessary to displace such a man to make room for Captain Symonds.

Sir George Warrender

concurred in the praise bestowed on the services of Sir Robert Seppings, and said, that, without criticising the appointment of Captain Symonds, he had heard with regret and surprise, the right hon. Baronet state, that there was not one of the gentlemen in the School of Naval Architecture qualified to fill that situation.

Lord Ingestre

said, that the appointment of Captain Symonds was a slur upon a body of gentlemen, every one of whom he could state, from his own knowledge, was competent to fill any of the civil appointments connected with the navy.

Vote agreed to—The House resumed.