HC Deb 07 July 1842 vol 64 cc1160-4

Mr. Hume moved for returns— Showing the services of all Flag Officers in the navy, distinguishing the date of entry of each officer into the service, and the several commissions which they have obtained, distinguishing the period passed in commission in their respective ranks, and the total period on full and half pay: and showing also the period when each was last employed, and the age of each officer at the present time (in continuation of the returns in the report of the Commission of Naval Inquiry in 1840, No. 11, of appendix of that report, and also in continuation of p.p. 251, of 1837.)

He believed that there was no objection to the motion, as the returns that he called for were only a continuance of those granted on previous occasions.

Mr. Sidney Herbert

objected to the motion on the ground that the production of the returns would have an injurious effect on the public service. The returns could only be produced by resorting to objectionable and inquisitorial proceedings.

Mr. Hume

said, that the object which he had in view was to show that the promotions in the navy had been disproportionate to the extent of service. If the hon. Gentleman objected to give the returns in consequence of any expense, he could only say that he would send a clerk down to the Admiralty, at his own expense, to copy them out. He knew where they were to be obtained, and they could be produced in a few hours.

Sir G. Cockburn

said, that the production of the returns would cause the greatest inconvenience at the Admiralty at present. He had particularly wished, in the course of the day, to have some documents prepared, and he found that all the clerks at the Admiralty were engaged in making out the returns for a motion of the hon. Member for Montrose. He should oppose the motion of the hon. Member, unless he could show that the production of the returns was a matter of importance to the country.

Sir C. Napier

regretted, that the returns had been refused, for he thought that it would be advantageous to the House and the country to have the fullest returns on this subject. He believed that if they were produced, that so far from showing that the promotions had been extravagant, it would appear to be quite the contrary. It was most injurious to the interest of the service that so many officers should remain stationary at the rank of captain. A more rapid system of promotion was absolutely necessary for the interest of the service. No doubt a great many promotions had been made during the last three years, but no doubt that could be satisfactorily accounted for.

Captain Pechell

believed if the returns were refused, that the public would think that there was something to screen, which the Admiralty wished to keep from the public.

Mr. C. Wood

corroborated the statement of the Secretary of the Admiralty that the returns moved for frequently impeded the course of public business, and as no ground had been shown for this return, he did not think it ought to be granted.

Mr. Brotherton

said, it was not right to debate such a question at so late an hour (a quarter past two), and he should therefore move the adjournment.

The House divided:—Ayes 21; Noes 71; Majority 50.

List of the AYES.
Bowring, Dr. Plumridge, Capt.
Childers, J. W. Scholefield, J.
Duncan, G. Stuart, Lord J.
Dundas, Adm. Thornely, T.
Ewart, W. Tufnell, H.
Forster, M. Turner, E.
Gill, T. Wallace, R.
Hindley, C. Wawn, J. T.
Hume, J. Wood, B.
Napier, Sir C. TELLERS.
O'Connell, J. Brotherton, J.
Pechell, Capt. Cobden, R.
List of the NOES.
Aglionby, H. A. Courtenay, Lord
Antrobus, E. Cripps, W.
Arkwright, G. Darby, G.
Bailey, J., jun. Denison, E. B.
Bentinck, Lord G. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Boldero, H. G. Dundas, D.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Ebrington, Visct.
Chelsea, Visct. Eliot, Lord
Christopher, R. A. Escott, B.
Clerk, Sir G. Evans, W.
Cockburn, rt hn. Sir G. Fuller, A. E.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Morgan, O.
Gladstone, T. Mundy, E. M.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Muntz, G. F.
Goulburn, rt. hn. H. O'Connell, M. J.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Packe, C. W.
Greene, T. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Grimston, Visct. Peel, J.
Grogan, E. Pringle, A.
Hamilton, W. J. Pusey, P.
Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H. Rushbrooke, Col.
Hardy, J. Scott, hon. F.
Henley, J. W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Herbert, hon. S. Stanley, Lord
Howard, P. H. Stuart, H.
Hughes, W. B. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Hussey, T. Trotter, J.
Jackson, J. D. Vesey, hon. T.
Layard, Capt. Waddington, H. S.
Legh, G. C. Wilbraham, hon. R.B.
Lincoln, Earl of Wood, C.
Litton, E. Yorke, H. R.
Lockhart, W. Young, J.
Mackenzie, W. F. TELLERS.
Marsham, Visct. Fremantle, Sir C.
Millies, R. M. Baring, H.

On the original question being again put, a motion was made to adjourn the debate, which was accordingly adjourned till the following Monday.

House adjourned at a quarter past three o'clock.