HC Deb 22 March 1842 vol 61 cc1034-69
Sir C. Napier

in rising to bring under the notice of the House, the state of the Navy, must express a hope that it would not be supposed by hon. Members on either side that he had any political or party purpose in view. Least of all was his motion to be construed into any disrespect of the noble Lord at the head of the Admiralty; for he believed the right hon. Baronet opposite could have found no civilian whatever who could have acted in the situation that noble Lord had the honour to fill with more propriety, justice, and impartiality. It was to the formation of the board alone that his observations should apply. The board, it was well known, was generally composed of a civilian at its head, four naval officers, and a secretary. He objected to have a civilian at the head of the Admiralty, who might have no naval knowledge, and never, perhaps, saw a ship in his life. It was morally impossible that he could carry on the business of the navy in a proper manner. It was frequently the case that a First Lord finding himself Comparatively ignorant of his duties, resorted to some relative of his own, who might not be exactly the sort of persons to be depended upon. The navy ought to be ruled by a Commander-in-Chief, just as the army was. The First Lord was really at present wholly irresponsible. He did not know that he could better establish this position than by referring to a letter which the Earl of Minto himself quoted lately in the other House, relative to the removal of the Mediterranean fleet to Cyprus, and which was addressed by Sir R. Stopford to Lord Ponsonby. The letter commenced thus:

" Princess Charlotte, off South End of Cyprus, July 11, 1839. I have the honour to inform your Excellency of my arrival here, with the squadron under my command, in pursuance of a private intimation from the Earl of Minto, signifying: his wish for the squadron to assemble in this neighbourhood, and to await further orders, &c. Now his opinion distinctly was, that if the First Lord had authority to convey such a "private intimation to any admiral in command of a squadron, because it might be inconvenient to bring the matter regularly before the board, the junior Lords were of no use whatever. But this was not all. The Earl of Minto had done the very same thing, as he had shown before with reference to the manning of the navy. When he referred to this subject on. a former occasion, it had been said, that great achievements had been effected under the presidency of a civilian as First Lord. It was true that under Earl Spencer three general actions had been fought, but that was no proof that the First Lord should be a civilian. The greatest naval victory—Trafalgar, was gained under Lord Barham, a naval man; and the battle of Copenhagen was fought under Lord St. Vincent, also a naval man. On the other hand, the mutiny at the more took place under a civilian, and, as was well known, because the Board of Admiralty had neglected the wants and grievances of the navy. Under the York Administration of the Admiralty no less than four sail of the line were lost in the Baltic, simply because they were kept there at an improper season of the year. We were defeated in America under Melville, because the ships were sent out improperly manned. First of all two or three brigs were taken, and we did not open our eyes till we saw two or three British frigates walked off. It was under a civilian, and during the administration of the late Board of Admiralty, that the British navy ran the risk of being defeated in the Mediterranean in 1840, in consequence of the ships being improperly manned. The representations of the officers were not attended to, and it was owing to want of knowledge in the First Lord of the Admiralty that the ships were never manned as they ought to be While the navy establishment was kept below the proper point the French were collecting together from various points twenty or thirty sail, and the commanders had orders to take possession of the West-India islands, where the British force only amounted to one frigate and two ships of war. He complained again of the irresponsibility of the Board of Admiralty. The First Lord was a member of the Cabinet, and he alone was not responsible for the ineffective state of the navy but, of course, the responsibility would be shared by the whole Cabinet. He begged the House to bear in mind that what happened with reference to the West Indies two years ago might happen again. He did not think our relations with foreign powers appeared to be in a very comfortable state, but the right hon. Baronet was the best judge of that. Six sail of the line had been reduced, and he thought it extremely dangerous at the present moment to reduce one line-of-battle ship. Another great objection to the Admiralty, as at present constituted, was, that it regarded political considerations in the distribution of patronage. It was well-known, and not denied by the Admiralty itself, that in this country it was impossible to resist political influence in the distribution of naval patronage, particularly when parties were nearly balanced in that House; so that the patronage of the navy must be sacrificed for party considerations. He did not mean to say that a Minister ought not to have as much right as an admiral to bring forward his son in the navy. But things ought to be managed with some little degree of decency; and he was happy to say, that since the Reform Bill they had been very much ameliorated.

Lord Melville presided over the Admiralty for a considerable number of years, much too long for the good of the country, and, looking over the list of promotions, he found under his Lordship's administration a pretty frequent recurrence of the names of Hope, Johnstone and Dundas. Then came the Greys, and then a little touch of the Russells; but the promotion given to them was extremely moderate, particularly When it was Considered that the noble Lord had held so high a post in the Administration The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir J. Graham) was First Lord Of the Admiralty Under Earl Grey, but had, he believed, only one relative in the navy; Lord Auckland, fortunately for the Service, had no sons or nephews in the navy; but then followed the Earl of Minto, who ransacked the whole of Scotland to find out an Elliot. He Was not even satisfied with Scotland, but he went to Plymouth, and as far as the Cape of Good Hope in the same investigation. He had a letter in his pocket, stating, that under the Earl of Minto's administration of naval affairs a man was taken from the Cape of Good Hope, Who had never once served in the navy, and made storekeeper at Halifax, a situation Which ought to have been given to an old officer. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman opposite would not follow the Earl of Minto's example. He perceived the name of Grey in the promotion list; and he must say he had not the least objection to Earl Grey's son getting On, provided his promotion was conducted With decency to others. But this was a case in point. Captain G. Grey Was an excellent and gallant officer, as well as his brother, but he unfortunately joined, as he learnt from a letter he had, the Jupiter many years ago, and at the same time a young gentleman by the name "bf Davies joined that ship. Captain Grey had been a post captain for eight years, and now commanded a second frigate, while Mr. Davies, against whom not a single word could be uttered, having served Seventeen years as a mid shipman, had given up the service in disgust, Which excluded him from the last promotion. He had been placed on the coast-guard service, which some people called "the charitable promotion." He saw great objections to the present system of promotions in the navy, by which promotion only was allowed to the extent of one to each three vacancies-that was to say, that if three persons took into their heads to go out of the world there was only one person to supply their place. The promotion, therefore, was very small, and hence the Minister was much pressed to confer promotion on his immediate friends; and the First Lord of the Admiralty had great difficulty to squeeze forward old officers. He thought it would be advisable, to establish a regulation, permitting naval officers, captains, commanders, and lieutenants, to sell out after a certain number of years, under the superintendence of the Admiralty. By the regulations of the Admiralty in respect to the promotion of captains, lieutenants, and commanders, no man could be raised from a lieutenant to a commander, unless he had served five years in the former capacity, and he could only be raised to a lieutenant from a midshipman after six years' service. But what would be the case if his plan were followed out? Why, all young men asking promotion of the First Lord of the Admiralty would be informed that they must serve the first five years in the one capacity; but he would propose that if they had been only two years as lieutenants, and one year as commanders, they should then have leave to purchase their promotion. This Would be a great check to the system of favouritism, and promotions would be more fairly divided than at present between those who deserved and those who did not deserve them. There was an absolute necessity, in his opinion, for a retired list. Of the first 200 captains only nine officers were under fifty-five years of age. The gallant Member referred to several letters written by Lord Collingwood, for the purpose of showing the injury the Service sustained, in that officer's estimation, from the appointment of men as naval officers whose only qualification for their situations was interest. In speaking of the promotions which took place at the Admiralty, that noble and gallant Officer declared that he saw many young men advanced who never went to sea without doing some mischief—-that it would be better to give them pensions and let them stay ashore—that he had known the case of one lieutenant who had been luckily killed, and thus saved from the mortification which would otherwise have awaited him. He would also again call the attention of the House to the retired list he proposed when the navy estimates were under consideration. His proposition was simply this—to increase the number of out-pensioners of Greenwich Hospital. They were only ten with 80l. a-year, in addition to their pay. He would raise the number to 100, and the sum to 100l. a-year, beside their pay. This plan would cost the country about 10,000l. The whole boon offered by the military com mission for fifty old commanders was 6d. a-day. The commission had better not have sat at all; but at any rate, the old commanders might as well have the 6d. a-day, as it would lend a hand to pay the Income-tax. He thought it desirable that the Government should give a little money for the purpose of forming a retired list, and then the naval force might be divided into two classes—effective and non-effective. He now came to the case of midshipmen. He had already given an instance of a midshipman who had remained seventeen years in that capacity. He believed the number of midshipmen was now very much reduced, but he had not a return of the amount in his possession. He did not think that it would tend to the good of the service, that when a midshipman conducted himself well—when he had gone through his duty with honour and credit, he ought not to be allowed to serve as a midshipman for a longer period than six years after passing his examination, and that then he should be made a lieutenant. With respect to manning the navy, he believed, under proper regulations there would be no difficulty in effecting that object; and the stationing of small ships, as was the case at present, at different ports, such as Liverpool and Newcastle, would facilitate the getting of men. There was an act, the 2nd and 3rd of June, which authorised magistrates to bind parish apprentices to the captains in the merchant service. The provisions of this act were not repealed, and might be made serviceable for the navy, for he would propose that these apprentices, after serving four years in the merchant service, should serve the last three years in the navy. When he stated on a former occasion the propriety of increasing the pay of the petty officers and seamen, the right hon. Gentleman opposite opposed it, on the principle that such a measure would tend to raise the pay in the merchant service. This was a consideration the House ought not to regard, if they thought the pay of the seamen too little. This was a mari- time country, and depended on its seamen for its safety and protection, and he thought would never refuse justice to the petty officers and seamen merely because the wages in the merchant service might be raised thereby. In his opinion, more attention ought to be. paid to the dock yards and civil stations, with a view to give encouragement to the manning of the navy. When ships got into harbour and were paid off, the seamen who were competent might be employed as sailmakers and ropemakers, &c, and it might be made a rule that men, in order to get into the dockyards, should first serve in the navy. At the end of the war 9d. a day was given to British seamen after fourteen years 'service. The Government had now taken away that remuneration for fourteen years, and made it dependent on twenty-one years' service. The House would agree with him in thinking, that it was consistent with a seaman's character to look forward to a provision after twenty-one years. If the term were reduced to ten years, and a small remuneration then given, and a promise held out that it would be increased at the end of five years' more service, the men would be trained on gradually, and would be much more likely to serve contentedly than if they were told they should have a comfortable retirement after twenty-one years' service, but nothing before. The plan of giving pensions to officers for wounds required a good deal of improvement. Perhaps it was not known, that by the navy instructions and the Queen's orders in Council, the right was reserved to her Majesty of offering pensions to officers whose wounds entitled them to receive pensions; 150 years ago no pension was given for a wound, unless it was equivalent to the loss of a limb, and in this case a captain got 3002. a year; but if the wound was not equivalent, though almost equivalent to the loss of the limb, he did not get a sixpence. He would say what had been said by Mr; Tierney, "give him but a navy well manned and a full Exchequer, and he would defy the world." He agreed with the steps which had been taken by the right hon. Gentleman opposite to man the navy, although he did not agree with the right hon. Baronet in all the steps he was taking to fill the Exchequer. He would now make a statement which he wished to go forth to the public and to foreign nations, because he had observed a great deal of crowing on account of the British navy not having been in the position it ought to have been in in 1840, and it was this—that if the British navy continued to be manned as it was at the present moment, all the nations in the world might keep themselves perfectly quiet, for they might rely on it that they would get a good licking if they did not. He would read three resolutions which he meant to put to the House, and should divide separately on each, they were drawn up with much moderation. Not that he entirely approved of them himself; but, as he could not get all he wanted, and his brother officers would not wholly agree with him, he did not stick so closely to his resolutions as the right hon. Baronet did to his Income-tax, and would therefore take all that he could possibly get. His first resolution was this: "That it is the opinion of this House that in the construction of the Board of Admiralty the advantage of having that board composed of naval officers should be fully considered, as well as the expediency of having a naval officer at the Board of Ordnance. His second resolution was, That it is the recommendation of this House that previous to the preparation of the estimates for 1843 and 1844, a plan of retirement should be devised with a view to render the naval service efficient, and of rewarding old and meritorious officers; And his third and last resolution was,

" That it is the opinion of this House, with the view to encourage and reward the service, that naval civil situations should be filled by naval officers, petty officers, and seamen, in order according to their rank, and that preference should be given, in filling situations in dockyards, to men who had served at sea, as an encouragement to petty officers and seamen."
Sir J. Graham

said, he must acknowledge the frank, manly, and, he would add, patriotic manner in which the hon. and gallant Officer had brought under the consideration of the House one of the most important subjects that could come before them; and he was sure it was unnecessary for the gallant Officer to have prefaced his motion with the observation with which he had commenced—that this ought not to be a party question. This was a matter in which the whole nation had the deepest interest; it was far beyond all party considerations; and sitting there as the representatives of a great nation to consider a subject with which their freedom was connected as well as the independence and naval supremacy of the country, it was their bounden duty to listen to any suggestion from any quarter having the weight of naval experience, and without flattery he might add that any recommendation from an authority so respectable as the hon. and gallant Officer opposite was entitled to their serious attention. He would endeavour to deal with the different topics introduced by the hon. and gallant Officer as shortly as possible; but some apology might seem necessary that he should have presented himself on this occasion. If it were imagined that he had any personal interest in some of the questions introduced by the hon. and gallant Officer, or if he were not aware, that having had some experience in the consideration of naval affairs, he had acquired a knowledge of the subjects to which the hon. and gallant Officer had alluded, he should not have dealt with the questions now under discussion; but he was bound, with a due regard to the public interest, to state what his opinion was, and was most anxious that no decision should be taken on a subject of such importance in a manner inconsistent with the large interests that were at stake. The first point to which he would refer was the question of the advantage that would accrue to the public, from the exclusive service at the head of the Board of Admiralty of naval officers. On that point the hon. and gallant Officer drew his analogy from the command of the army; and he must demur to that analogy, for it was defective in one striking particular. The Sovereign of this country delegated to the Admiralty the entire authority and command of the British navy. With respect to the army, the reverse was the fact. The Crown did not surrender to the Commander-in-chief any part of its prerogative in respect to the army. The whole discipline of the army was in the hands of the Sovereign; the report of every military court-martial was submitted to her Majesty; the whole question of the removal of troops was guided by her Majesty, through the Secretary of State; the removal of troops in foreign stations was, at her Majesty's pleasure, expressed through the Secretary for the Colonies; and the removal of troops at home was directed by her Majesty, through the Sectary for the Home Department. With respect to the navy the case was entirely different. The whole authority was absolutely delegated to the Board bf Admiralty; and her Majesty exercised no direct control whatever over that board. The Whole discipline bf the navy was vested in the Admiralty; the whole movements' of ships and other matters connected with the navy were entirely under its control. It Was very remarkable, that when the hon and gallant Officer was so anxious to adopt the analogy of the army with respect to the command of the navy, several hon. Gentlemen sitting on the same benches were most anxious, but as he thought most indiscreetly and unwisely, for ft reverse course, and to adopt, with respect to the army, the analogy of the navy. The hon. arid gallant Officer said that the! responsibility of the First Lord of the Admiralty Was an imperfect responsibility. He entirely denied that proposition. He contended that both constitutionally and legally, the First Lord of the Admiralty was, in the eyes of Parliament and of the public, mainly, if not exclusively, responsible for the administration of the naval affairs of the country. As a proof of that he Would ask what, in the year 1782, was the conduct of the Board of Admiralty in the great struggle of party just before the great contest on the India Bill. This subject Was then discussed in bath House of Parliament. In that House Mr. Fox made a motion on the subject. He did not move a vote of censure on the Board of Admiralty but he proposed an Address to the Crown in the strongest terms of censure for the removal of the Earl of Sandwich from the head of that board. There was a similar motion in the House of Lords; and what course did the Earl of Sandwich take? Did he shelter himself under the board over which he presided? No, he took a different course. He manfully met the charge; rested the case on its merits; personally took upon himself the responsibility, and most successfully defeated the charge. He also must express his decided opinion, although in the presence of very distinguished naval officers; that as to the distribution of patronage the First Lord of the Admiralty retained that patronage exclusively in his own hands and that, not Only technically, but really and exclusively; was he responsible! for it. And what was the fact? Why, the hon. and gallant officer; that evening had made some severe stricture on the mode in which that patronage had been distributed at a former period. He had talked of the distribution of patronage by the Earl of Minto, the late head of the Admiralty, and by former first Lords; and in passing he let fall some observations which he could not help heating without great regret, notwithstanding the qualified terms in which they were made It was with reference to two young officers, whose personal conduct had met With just commendation, and yet the hon. and gallant Officer seemed to regret their promotion. [Sir C. Napier: Not in the least.] He had heard the hon; and gallant Officer with pain, because when he pronounced the name of Grey, his eye fell on a near relative Of theirs sitting on the Bench opposite to him (Viscount Howick), and those young officers had, he thought, the strongest claims on the naval service. One of them was the son of Lord St. Vincent's flag captain, and the other was the son of one who as Viscount Howick had possessed the strongest claims on the naval service of the country, who had been at the head of Our naval affairs, and whilst there had made great improvements in the naval service. In his old age he had filled the highest post in his country's service, was one of the best statesmen of the day, and, as he knew from intimate acquaintance one of the most honest of men. He would just remark, that the hon. and gallant Officer had held the First Lord of the Admiralty to be responsible for the promotions which he recommended; but what could be more salutary than for the First Lord of the Admiralty, in his place in that House or the other House of Parliament, to be called to account for the mode in which he dispensed the patronage of the Crown? That a knowledge of naval affairs was most materially combined With a knowledge of civil affairs in the Board of Admiralty he was bound to admit, yet when he recollected how Very large a portion of civil business was connected with the office of the First Lord of the Admiralty with the utmost respect for naval officers and admitting their talent and indefatigable zeal in the public service, he must say that a knowledge of civil affairs and civil administration in the First Lord of the Admiralty did not appear to him to be of less paramount importance than a know ledge of naval matters. He would ask them, was it wise in them to restrict the choice of the Crown in selecting, such an important functionary within the narrow limits of the navy? He was quite aware that it would be most unjust to say, that there Were not some naval officers from time to time well fitted to fill the offices of the Admiralty; and some, indeed, who deserved the preference; but were they by a resolution 6f that House to tie up the choice of the Crown—to exclude at all times civil officers from all high offices connected with the navy, and confine them to those members of the naval service who might be competent to discharge the duties of them? But he should not act fairly towards the House if he stopped there; he was bound to state his full opinion on the subject; The hon. and gallant Officer had touched on the subject of promotion. He would admit, that that was a most important part of the duty of the First Lord of the Admiralty; but he must state his belief, that upon the whole the First Lord when a civilian, acting under a sense of that responsibility as to patronage which he Would admit attached to him, Was far more likely to act with strict impartiality towards professional men than a naval officer, upon whom political feeling might exercise as strong an influence as upon a civil First Lord of the Admiralty, besides being open also to the influence of personal attachment to messmates and followers; and he assured the hon. and gallant Officer that his opinion greatly preponderated in favour of the advantage which the service would derive from a civil officer than from having a member of the naval profession at the head of the Board of Admiralty. He" would go further and say, that if the opinion of the profession" were taken, officer by officer, whether upon the Whole they thought it more advantageous to the ser vice that a naval officer should be placed exclusively at the head Of the Admiralty, he believed, and he was not speaking lightly, that their opinion would be against such a choice He did not think it necessary to touch upon the speech of the hon. and gallant Gentleman point by point; but there were certain point's which he wished just" to notice. The hon. and gallant Officer appeared to reprehend the late First Lord of the Admiralty for having written, upon an important occasion, a private letter to Sir Robert Stopford on the course to be pursued. Technically, that might not be a binding order for a commander-in-chief} but he was speaking in the presence of Gentlemen On both Sides of the House who were conversant with these affairs, and he might Say, that the intercourse between the First Lord of the Admiralty and the commander-in-chief on a foreign station Was conducive to the public service, and according to the usage and practice of the best times of our navy The hon. and gallant Officer thought, that orders Ought always to be conveyed to a naval commander-in-chief on a foreign station by directions from the Board of Admiralty. There could not be a greater error. All great naval operations mast be conducted in quite a different mode. The Board of Admiralty had not been allowed to be cognisant of the great naval operations which from time to time had been necessary. What was the course that was taken with regard to the great naval expedition to Copenhagen? The strictest secrecy was necessary. The Cabinet were aware of the great object of that expedition; but how was that secrecy pre served? Orders were given by the Board of Admiralty to Lord Gambier, that he Was to obey all orders sent to him by the Secretary of State for the War Department; and so on every occasion where secrecy and despatch were requisite, and unity of purpose consequent on mixed operations of the army and navy, it was considered of paramount importance that the Board of Admiralty should no issue the orders, but that they should proceed direct from the Cabinet to the commander of the fleet. The hon. and gallant Officer commented on various topics connected with different naval administrations, and thought that greater success had attended our arms when naval officers Were at the head of the Admiralty than when civilians were there. [Sir C. Napier: I did not say so.] He was glad to hear the hon. and gallant Officer deny it; and for the best of all reasons—because history did not confirm such an assertion. At the time when the action of Trafalgar" Was fought, Lord Barham was certainly at the head of the Admiralty; but all the great preparations for that action were made by his predecessor, Lord Melville, who only quitted office in April,' as the action was fought in October following. The hon. and gallant Officer also talked of Lord Howe's action in 1782. It was true that Lord Keppel was at that time First Lord of the Admiralty, but it was also true that he had only just succeeded the Earl of Sandwich; and in the House of Lords, when Lord Keppel and his colleagues claimed the merit of that great victory, Lord North said,— True, you have triumphed, but you fought with Philip's troops; the triumph is Lord Keppel's, but the honour belongs to the Earl of Sandwich. He would mention a fact to that House; he did not believe it to be possible for any human being to have a warmer feeling towards the naval service than our late revered monarch, William 4th.; all his predilections were strongly in favour of that profession; and when he wore the Crown of England he considered it an honour to be a member of it. He remembered that when he had his first interview with his Majesty on his acceptance of the office of First Lord of the Admiralty, his Majesty addressed him and said it was right that he should bear in mind two great examples in the administration of naval affairs. Did his Majesty select naval officers? No. His Majesty told him that the two great examples in his opinion were the Earl of Sandwich and Earl Spencer—both civilians; and when he thought of the whole naval administration of Earl Spencer—the great exploits that were performed during that administration —the immense difficulties with which he had to contend—his invincible firmness of purpose—his confidence in power of the nation, and the triumph in which that confidence resulted, he considered that administration as one of the brightest in the annals of our naval history. But he regarded Mr. Pitt as no mean authority upon the merits of a naval administration. It was not possible for any Gentleman in that House to speak of the late Lord St. Vincent otherwise than in terms of gratitude; that noble Lord was at the head of the Admiralty, in the plenitude of his naval reputation, with all his experience, his character formed, and his command over the service as great as ever was enjoyed by any man; yet, looking back historically, they must say that his naval administration was not fortunate; and Mr. Pitt, having had experience up to 1804, throughout the early part of the French revolutionary war, was able to contrast the merits of Earl Spencer's administration with that of Lord St, Vincent, one of the greatest naval com- manders of which this country could boast, and he said:— Great as is my respect for the Lord St. Vincent, I cannot be guilty of the hypocrisy to say this department of the service has been wisely conducted. I have a greater stake even than the reputation of the noble Lord—no less than the safety, the existence of the country, and the fulfilment of my duty, at this critical conjuncture, as a Member of the British Parliament. Now, he wished the House to listen to the opinion expressed by Mr. Pitt on the merits of Lord St. Vincent as First Lord of the Admiralty:— I admire the uncommon talent of the noble Lord, his vast renown, his glorious achievements; to him we are undoubtedly indebted for having shed extraordinary lustre on the national glory. I did believe"— And then Mr. Pitt went on to express what had, previously to the experiment, been his opinion on the point—not very much at variance with that of the gallant Commodore:— I did believe that when his Lordship took upon himself the direction of our naval affairs, the public service would derive great benefit from his patriotic exertions and his professional skill. I did believe that his name, in whatever naval capacity, was a tower of strength; but I am apt to think that between his Lordship as a commander on the sea, and his Lordship as First Lord of the Admiralty, there is a very wide difference. It cannot surely be a matter of surprise that Lord St. Vincent should be less brilliant and less able in a civil capacity than in a warlike one; and with all my lofty ideas of his character as a brave and successful naval commander, I shall not shrink from my duty in censuring him for his conduct when presiding at the Board of Admiralty if he should deserve it. Now, in passing, he could not forbear making a few remarks on some of the statements made by the gallant Commodore; and he could not help regretting that the gallant Officer should have made the observations which he had made respecting the recent condition of the navy. For feeling, as he forcibly did, the vast importance of preserving a proper proportion between the size of ships and the manning of them, and rejoicing, as he did, that his colleagues at the Admiralty had taken measures which he deemed judicious for increasing the crews of our men-of-war, he yet regretted that an Officer of the gallant Commodore's high distinction and talent should have pub- lished it to the world, that in his opinion had the Mediterranean fleet been attacked it would have been defeated. The hon. and gallant Officer did injustice to himself. As a Minister of the Crown, he emphatically declared, he had such confidence in the gallant Officer's bravery, his experience, his prompt decision, his firm nerve, and such confidence in the brother officers of the gallant Commodore (for he drew no distinction between him and them, believing them all deserving of equal confidence), that he was firmly persuaded, whatever might have been the advantage of the enemy as to number, their gallantry would gloriously have sustained, in any contest, the honour of the British flag. Alluding, cursorily, to the various topics which had been started by the gallant Commodore,—the gallant Officer had recommended the introduction of the purchase system into the navy. Now, when he had been at the head of the Admiralty, it would have been impossible for this question not to receive his fullest consideration; and indeed it had been peculiarly recommended to his notice by a most able memorandum, drawn up under a former administration: he admitted much might be said in favour of the purchase system, but, in his opinion, after deliberately considering the subject, the argument and the evidence preponderated on the other side. It would be the introduction of an entirely new system into the navy, not consonant with the feelings of the service nor the feelings of the public. Political influence would not by its introduction be superseded, and, superadded to that, there would be the influence of wealth, most injuriously operating to the detriment of unostentatious merit, obscure in poverty. But the hon. and gallant Officer had suggested another course not open to such objections, and he (Sir J. Graham) would frankly tell him, that as to the opening of the retiring list for such aged officers as might be willing, in time of peace, when it would be consistent with honour to acknowledge their infirmities, to retire from active service—he could well conceive of considerable advantage in carrying out such a proposition. Nor had he understood his right hon. Friend at the head of the Government to have ever stated that such a proposition was not worthy of the most serious attention, or even to have unequivocally negatived all consideration of the purchase system. These, however, were great questions which were most safely left in the hands of the Executive; and the passing of peremptory resolutions, on which they could not be calmly and carefully enough considered, would only embarrass the Government, and could not be at all conducive to the real interests of the service. The hon. and gallant officer had alluded to the various measures which had at different periods been adopted in respect to the manning of the navy, and had thrown out a suggestion that when the Poor-law Amendment Bill was under discussion, clauses might be introduced as to the binding of pauper apprentices. Such a measure would not be conducive to the popularity or the efficiency of the navy; and he must tell the gallant Commodore that with regard to boys and landsmen there was not for such a measure the slightest necessity. There was, on the contrary, a quite sufficient resource in the natural disposition among the peasantry on our sea-coast to enter the navy when opportunities were presented to them, and more than were required would always be found, willing, anxious, to enter that honourable service. The gallant officer had sat down with referring to a saying of the late Mr. Tierney, that "had we only a well-manned, well-officered navy, and a full Exchequer, we might defy the world." He cordially reciprocated that sentiment. One portion of it (the gallant Officer admitted) had been already realized, the navy was now well-manned. It would be the effort of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of her Majesty's Government (and his colleagues were determined therein perseveringly to support him) to realize the second part of the proposition —that, whatever might be the deficiencies of the revenue, the revenue should be replenished. Nor had they any doubt, but the strongest confidence, founded upon the patriotism and good sense of the people, that the Exchequer would thus be fully replenished. He must, without the slightest disrespect to the gallant Officer (in many of whose propositions he concurred), but from a sense of public duty, move the previous question.

Captain Berkeley

said, he felt strongly the difficulty of rising after the right hon. Baronet's most able exposition of the subject; but he owed it as a duty to the gallant Commodore and to the naval service, which, of course, was deeply interested in such a discussion, to express briefly his opinions. With regard to the manning of the navy, as he had had the misfortune to differ from those who were lately at the Admiralty, he would say no more than this, that he very much rejoiced at the measures which had been taken by the present Administration, to remedy the evil which formerly existed in this respect. At the same time, though reluctant to speak on a subject by this time set at rest, he must corroborate what had been said by the gallant Commodore as to the danger of the Mediterranean fleet, respecting which he would say, that four sail of the line, under his gallant Friend, had been within a day and a half's sail of eighteen or twenty Egyptian vessels, with whom had they fallen in,—even had the gallant Officer been desirous of avoiding a contest, which was not likely,—he could not have done so; neither could our ships, imperfectly manned, whatever their gallantry, have been able to contend against such a squadron, of which, otherwise, they would certainly have given a good account. He hoped and believed that British ships would never be in such a situation again; thanks to the prompt measures of the present Admiralty, he believed this would never be the case. With regard to the principle of placing civilians at the head of the Admiralty, he did not see why the resolution of the gallant Commodore, in opposition to such a principle, should be resisted, pledging the House to the adoption of the contrary principle; for the agreeing to the resolution would only express the opinion of the House as to the propriety of placing naval authorities at the head of the Admiralty. He must say, that he could not understand why professional knowledge was to be a disqualification for a First Lord of the Admiralty—at least not exactly a disqualification—but the right hon. Baronet said, it was much better that a civilian should be at the head of the Board than a naval man. It was a common practice to contend, that such matters should be left wholly to the Executive; but Lord G. Lennox had been able to carry a motion in favour of the marines against the Executive, and thus only obtained justice for that corps. He remembered, that when his gallant Friend (Sir C. Napier) brought forward a motion relative to bishops going to the colonies, he was told, that he had much better leave the matter to those who had the management of ecclesiastical affairs. On the same ground, he conceived that a naval man knew much more of naval matters than a civilian could possibly do. Besides this, he could assure the House, that when a civilian visited the dockyard, he had not that weight with the naval officers which a naval man would have. It fell to his lot once, some time ago, to be appointed to a squadron, appointed for a particular service. The First Lord of the Admiralty was expected down. Every officer and man strained his utmost exertions that, their several vessels should be turned out in a way fit for a Board of Admiralty to inspect. The First Lord came, he was a civilian—every officer was anxious that his own ship should be examined; and every midshipman and lieutenant was anxious to see the First Lord, and that he should inspect every vessel. The noble Lord visited only one ship, and went away, no doubt, very much tired with the labour of the investigation. He was certain, that if the gallant Admiral opposite, (Sir G. Cockburn) had been at the time First Lord of the Admiralty, he would have made it a point to visit and inspect the different ships, and thus gratify the officers and men. Add to that, that it was upon those minute details, with which no civilian could be thoroughly acquainted, that the efficiency of the navy mainly depended, there was a prevailing feeling throughout the navy— he feared not contradiction when he said so—that they were neglected, and that if they had a naval officer at the head of the service, they would not at least be so much neglected. As he had said upon a former occasion, it was impossible that a civilian could enter into the feelings of officers like a brother-officer. With regard to the number of promotions under the Earl of Minto, and the nature of those promotions, he begged leave to relate a circumstance which had come under his immediate knowledge. At the Coronation, he had recommended a young man of the best character to the Earl of Minto for promotion, confessing to him, however, that he was politically connected with the borough which he had the honour to represent; the reply of the Earl of Minto was, that he would promote a person recommended by him, but it was on condition that he should be entirely unconnected with politics. He did recommend a person of that description, who received an advancement in the service, while the party whom he had originally recommended still remained unpromoted. He mentioned that for the purpose of showing, that the Earl of Minto had not been influenced in the distribution of his patronage by political motives. He had heard nothing which could induce him to think that the navy could not be governed by a naval man, as well as the army was governed by a soldier. Great inconvenience resulted from the adoption of a different system. In the ease, for instance, of an equal division of votes among the Lords of the Admiralty, the subject would be decided by a man who might, however, know nothing of the matter. He also felt, that there was so little patronage to be distributed in the navy, that it would be considered the greatest boon by the officers, that one of their own body should be appointed to preside over the service. He could state, that it was his opinion, that there was more difficulty in finding officers to fill situations, than in finding situations to give to officers. There was no reward for all their toil and trouble, and he trusted, that a retiring list would be made for them. He hoped that, with respect to the dockyards, all good artificers, having served a certain time in the navy, would have the first claim to situations in them. It would be encouraging persons to enter the navy, and contribute to render it popular. He had one word to say with respect to the ages of admirals. Hon. Members of that House, who were more than sixty years of age, were exempted from serving on Election Committees, and yet they sent men at sixty and seventy years of age to contend with the elements and the enemies of the country. Having heard nothing to show that naval officers were incapacitated from being placed at the Board of Admiralty, he should vote for the resolution of the hon. and gallant Officer behind him.

Lord Ingestrie

said, there could be no doubt, whatever the opinions entertained as to the policy of bringing the subject forward in this form and at this time— the service owed a debt of gratitude to the gallant Officer for having brought the navy under the consideration of the House. Opportunities were afforded by such discussions for the expression of opinion which might be valuable, and which might not otherwise be known. He should support the resolutions. He further observed, it must be obvious to every one that the circumstances of England, after the long and protracted war which terminated in 1815, must have been such as to increase the navy list to an amount which rendered it quite too full for the exigencies of the country. No doubt, in the event of another war breaking out, means must be devised for calling out into active service s younger class of officers than those who, in the present condition of the navy, must of necessity be intrusted with command, and he conceived, that a time of peace was the most suitable period in which to devise some such arrangement. There was no one who had the least practical acquaintance with naval affairs, and at the same time any information respecting the business of Parliament, but must be ready to acknowledge that both in that and the other House, the cause of the navy was not always very efficiently supported, and therefore he was not prepared to say, that naval officers, having seats in Parliament, were not fully warranted in bringing matters connected with their profession frequently under consideration; but there was a difference between doing that, and wearying the House with repeated and useless discussions. Nevertheless, he should have no objection to support two of the resolutions then before the House, which he felt he could do without qualification; and even to the first resolution he should have no objection, if it were limited to the future constitution of the board.

Captain Pechell

would support the resolutions of the gallant Commodore respecting the future construction of the board. There could be no second opinion as to the expediency of making a change in the administration of naval affairs; still there were cases which called much more for praise than for censure. When Lord de Grey, for instance, was at the head of the Board of Admiralty, nothing could be more satisfactory than the course which he pursued; he was at all times ready to receive naval officers, to attend to their representations, and to smooth, as far as was in his power, every difficulty which obstructed the full and efficient performance of their duty. In similar terms he was bound to speak of the manner in which the affairs of the admiralty were conducted during the time his late Majesty (then Duke of Clarence) filled the office of Lord High Admiral, his practical acquaintance with naval affairs, his uni- form condescension, his ready reception of the officers, his cordial hospitality. [A laugh.] He begged to say, that the hospitality or the inhospitality of the First Lord of the Admiralty had a great deal to do with the matter, for friendly and social intercourse very much tended to a good understanding among all classes of men. He had more than one objection to the present constitution of the board—it was an irresponsible board—it was, moreover, a secondary board, and he would give an instance of the evil arising from that state of things. Some years ago, he urged upon the Board of Admiralty the necessity of sending a vessel of war for the purpose of protecting our fishermen on the coast of Sussex from the hostilities of the French fishermen. In the first instance, he went to the Admiralty, they referred him to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, he was then sent to the Foreign Secretary, and twelve months elapsed before his object was accomplished; in the meanwhile the fishermen missed both the mackerel and the herring season. As to the junior Lords of the Admiralty they did 'nothing but that which they were desired; they never presumed to differ from the First Lord, or even from the secretary. The late Sir Joseph Yorke declared, that when he ventured to differ from the First Lord, he found it necessary to turn his stern and make sail as fast as he could from the Admiralty. Amongst the arguments in favour of appointing a naval First Lord was this, that he could do all that a civilian could, and a great deal more besides. In addition to the evils arising from the present constitution of the board, there was much in the state of the navy which called for attention on the part of the responsible advisers of the Crown. He felt it his duty to protest against vessels of war being under-manned or inefficiently armed. In the course of the present and of preceding discussions much had been said of patronage, and it was observed that promotion in the navy was more frequently conferred for services on the hustings rather than for services on the quarter-deck; now, surely naval men were not more likely to be carried away by political predilections than men in civil life. The late board, were certainly, not open to the attack which had been thrown on them respecting the disposal of their patronage, and in the dis- tribution of their rewards he thought them entitled to much praise, especially as regarded the officers engaged in the suppression of the slave-trade: still considerable changes were required in the administration of naval affairs in the half-pay department as well as in the department of active service. With reference to the petty officers, he thought that the preference ought to be given to those who were brought upto the practice of gunnery. He agreed with the gallant Commodore that the half-pay of the petty officers in the navy ought to be increased, and whether the right hon. Gentleman was of the same opinion or not, he believed that the time was not far distant when that class of officers would obtain increased pay, because there was great difficulty in getting men competent for the discharge of their duties, as the placards on the walls of the Admiralty and of the docks and public advertisements fully proved. The best way to make the school on board the Excellent effective was to retain those valuable men in the service, and they ought not to mind making sacrifices to do so. With respect to boys, he had upon every occasion endeavoured to impress upon the Government the necessity of increasing their numbers in the navy. He quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman as to there being no need to compel parish apprentices to enter the service; the supply was already greater than the demand, for the coasts of Kent and Sussex alone could furnish a sufficient complement; at all events, if after three or four years' service they were allowed to enter as men, and not represented at the Admiralty as being supernumeraries, there would be no difficulty in keeping up a regular supply. As to Parliamentary patronage, after all his experience, he must say, that he had yet to learn where the dockyard patronage rested. From the time of Lord Castlereagh down to the present moment, he could find no clue to the disposal of the appointments of clerks in dockyards, except that the First Lord of the Admiralty took care of all appointments down to those in Greenwich Hospital. That being the case it would be most judicious to have a naval man at the head of the Board of Admiralty, and then there would be some prospect of our boatswains and carpenters, and pursers, and old midshipmen, and sons of lieutenants, and officers of marines, being placed in suitable situations in the dockyards, the victualling and store, and other departments, which arrangement, by saving the half-pay of the parties appointed, would be a proportionate saving to the country, while it would also have the effect of removing the impression that such appointments were made in return for Parliamentary or political services. The House had been told by the right hon. Baronet that nothing could be done to injure the navy while there were two naval officers to control the First Lord of the Admiralty, and keep him within his proper sphere. [" No."] Yes, but the right hon. Baronet said it in more Parliamentary and correct phraseology. The right hon. Baronet said, that nothing injurious to the navy could occur, because there were two admirals at the board; nevertheless, he believed that they could not continue to hold their seats at that board, if the First Lord of the Admiralty chose to run counter to them.

Sir R. Peel:

I sincerely hope that the House will pause before its adopts the resolutions of the gallant Commodore, because I think it would be a very bad precedent, if the House of Commons, at the instance of any professional man, however eminent he might be in his profession, should think it right to place any restriction upon the power of the Crown with respect to the selection of competent persons to occupy the seats at the Board of Admiralty. It would be extremely bad taste seriously to entertain such a proposition. But if the House should think fit to impose any such restriction, I hope they will do it in an intelligible and definite manner, and not by such a resolution as that which is now proposed, and which is— That it is the opinion of this House, that in the future construction of the Board of Admiralty, the advantage of having that Board completely composed of naval officers should be fully considered, as well as the expediency of having a naval officer at the Board of Ordnance. I do not doubt the abstract proposition, that it is fit to consider this subject; but I think that the consideration of it ought to be left to the authority at the head of the navy and the army, and that no restriction of this kind should be imposed, implying as it clearly does that the whole Board of Admiralty ought to be constituted of naval men exclusively, and that we should exclude any civilian whatever from it. From that proposition of the gallant Officer I entirely dissent. The experience of long usage, and the practice of all Governments, have been certainly not to exclude altogether laymen or unprofessional men from the Board of Admiralty, and I think the construction of that board would have been defective if nonprofessional men had been altogether excluded from it. For observe what it is that the gallant Commodore means— namely, that the First Lord of the Admiralty should be a naval man; at all events, that is what we must infer to be his meaning from his speech, though it is not expressly stated in his resolution. But that is not all he means; but also that the board should be composed entirely of naval men, for his resolution applies to the junior members of the board as well as to the head of it. So, then, the gallant Commodore would have the whole Board of Admiralty so constructed as that it should consist of naval men only. Now, suppose I had brought forward a motion of this kind when the Earl of Minto was at the head of the Admiralty, what would have been said? Why, "If the House of Commons pass this resolution to change the whole constitution of the Board of Admiralty, the Earl of Minto must resign, because it will imply that it is the opinion of the House that in future the head of the board ought to be a naval man, and it would be improper and inconsistent to leave the administration of the navy even temporarily in the hands of a civilian after the adoption of such a resolution. "It cannot be the intention, I am sure, of the gallant Officer to pass a censure either upon the Earl of Minto or upon my noble Friend, Lord Haddington. Indeed, the gallant Commodore has said that it was utterly impossible to select any man who, during the short period my noble Friend has been in office, could have given more satisfaction to naval men than his noble relation, Lord Haddington. Well, if my noble Friend has so conducted himself as to extract that not reluctant testimony from the gallant Officer, is it not somewhat inconsistent to propose a resolution of this kind, which, if it were passed by the House, would render it impossible for him to continue the performance of those duties in the discharge of which he had hitherto given so much satisfaction? That would be the effect, because by the adop- tion of the resolution the House would imply an opinion that a naval man ought to be at the head of the Admiralty; and though it does not go to the extent of a petition to the Crown to remove my noble Friend, would it not imply that he could not discharge the duties of his office satisfactorily, and that, therefore, he ought not to retain it? I know that this is not intended by the gallant Officer. Again, the only ground of complaint which the gallant Member for Brighton has against Lord Haddington is, that I did not appoint another noble Friend (Lord de Grey) to the office of First Lord of the Admiralty; for the gallant Member says that his knowledge of ship-building, his love of professional pursuits, and his courtesy and affability, gave universal satisfaction to the navy when he formerly held this high office: and all this is granted. Although it would be a most injurious precedent for interference with the prerogatives of the Crown to pass this resolution, yet far be it from me to say that naval officers ought to be excluded; nor does the appointment of non-professional men necessarily imply that naval officers are to be excluded. But I have shown you two instances of two gallant Officers of the navy having spoken of two non-professional First Lords of the Admiralty in terms of approbation; both gallant Officers admitting that it was utterly impossible that any two men could have given greater satisfaction, and therefore the appointment of those men must be satisfactory also. [Sir C. Napier: I said so far as non-professional men were concerned.] Yes, of non-professional men; but they have given satisfaction. Lord de Grey has established peculiar claims upon the gratitude of the gallant Member for Brighton because he protected the Brighton fishermen; and the gallant Officer admits another strong claim upon his gratitude in consequence of his having experienced the noble Lord's hospitality. But that is a virtue which can be practised by a civilian. When I heard the speech of the gallant Officer, I thought at first that the great argument in favour of professional appointments was, that professional men had opportunities of becoming acquainted with the merits of the various officers in actual service; but the gallant Member destroyed that argument by showing that the true way to become acquainted with the merits of naval men was to invite them to the dinner table. Without that kind of intercourse it does not seem possible, according to the gallant Officer, that the Lord of the Admiralty can find out the good qualities of a naval officer. Friendly intercourse is a very good thing to be established, not for the mere purpose of paying compliments to individuals, but to promote confidence and good feeling amongst those who serve under the first Lord of the Admiralty; but the non-professional man has the same opportunities of exercising those virtues as the professional man. Sir, this is not the first time in the history of first Lords of the Admiralty that they have experienced the interference of the House of Commons. The House of Commons worried Lord Keppel out of office. He was succeeded by Lord Howe, and a motion was made in the House of Lords, because Earl Howe omitted two officers from promotion, blaming him for it, which motion was followed by two resolutions in the House of Commons, which were negatived by a majority of only fifteen. In short, the naval men in the House of Commons worried Earl Howe out of office. [Sir C. Napier: He was worn out.] Yes, he was worn out by just such motions as this of the gallant officer. [Sir C.Napier: No, by age.] No, but by the motions which were brought forward, and which had their effect; for you must recollect that his age was not the cause of his retirement. You, your predecessors, worried Earl Howe out of office, for he was First Lord of the Admiralty in 1784, and on the 1st of June, 1794, he was not yet so worn out that he was not fit for action with the enemy, for he achieved a glorious victory. I must take the opportunity, before I conclude, of saying, that I do not see any public advantage of speculating upon the result of hypothetical engagements at sea, between the naval force of this country and that of France, a power with whom we are at peace. Why should we stir up ill-will by one officer asserting that the French would have beaten us, and another as confidently declaring that we should have defeated the French in an imaginary battle. I enter not into such speculations. The misunderstandings which existed between us have ceased to exist; and why should we go back to transactions which ought not now to be discussed? I would, therefore, avoid all such topics; it is quite unnecessary to entertain them. I have confidence in the gallant officers, and in the navy of my country, that they would be equal to any emergency and duty; but 1 do seriously deprecate such speculative discussions about probable results in imaginary actions, which of late we have too frequently heard. I hope the House will consent to no resolution of the kind proposed by the gallant Officer. At the same time, I lay down no rule for the exclusion of naval men. But understand that I will not purchase the abandonment of the motion by making any promise whatever. I will not, as a Minister of the Crown, make any promise as to what I will do in the matter; because, in fact, it must be reserved as the prerogative of the Crown, and I altogether protest against the House of Commons laying any restrictions upon the exercise of the royal prerogatives. If you begin thus with the navy you may next go on with the army; and I say that you who are the advocates of popular government should be the very last to attempt to impose any restriction whatever upon the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown with regard to any branch of the public service. 1 shall, therefore, move the previous question; but I hope the gallant Officer's own good sense will lead him to consider the relation in which he stands, and not he only but the whole of his profession and the House of Commons, in relation with the Crown, and that the House will permit the Crown to consider what steps should be taken with respect to the administration of a great branch of the public service.

Mr. Charles Wood

trusted, that the situation which he had formerly held at the Admiralty would justify him in offering a few observations to the House, and they should be a very few; in fact, had it not been that his hon. and gallant Friend, who had brought forward the motion, had, in doing so, cast imputations on the character of his noble Friend, the Earl of Minto, formerly at the head of the Admiralty, he would not have troubled the House at all on the question. With regard to the general terms of the motion, he entirely concurred in all that had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, the Secretary for the Home Department, and from the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down. He perfectly agreed with them in opinion, that the present constitution of the Board of Admiralty was the one, on the whole, most calculated to be beneficial to the service. Like those right hon. Gentlemen, he had no wish to exclude naval officers from the situation of First Lord of the Admiralty, but he thought it wrong and inexpedient to attempt, by a resolution of that House, to fetter the discretion of the Crown. He also agreed with the right hon. Baronet that it was better not to go back to consider what might have been the result of a collision in the Mediterranean two years since. He thought some consideration was due to the opinion of his hon. and gallant Friends, although, he thought, that, perhaps, they would have acted more wisely had they abstained from giving that opinion. He felt assured, however, that the honour of the British navy could have been placed in no hands more safely than in theirs, and that in their hands the honour of the British flag would never have been tarnished. Perhaps it might be thought, that from the situation which he had held at the Admiralty, under the Earl of Minto, that he could not be an impartial witness. On the contrary, however, he contended that he had been in a situation to form an impartial judgment, for, from the moment he had accepted office, he had laid down a rule for his own conduct, to which he had rigidly adhered, and that was, never to interfere in any manner, or to offer any opinion, upon any question relating to the promotion of officers. He took no credit to himself on that account, as he considered he had only been doing his duty; but to that rule he had ever constantly adhered, therefore, with regard to all such questions, he was merely a looker-on, and he felt bound to declare, as an impartial witness, that if ever there was a First Lord of the Admiralty, who, in the promotion of naval officers, had looked solely to the merits and professional claims of the officers, who had taken infinite pains to acquire a knowledge of those claims, and who had been anxious only to do his duty to the claims of those officers, uninfluenced by personal considerations, that man was the Earl of Minto, and when his gallant Friend had alluded to an officer bearing the same name as his noble Friend, to an officer of the name of Eliot, he thought his gallant Friend must have been aware that that gentleman was no relative or connexion of the noble Earl's. The merits of that gentleman had been admitted on a former occasion, by the right hon. Baronet when discussing the naval estimates, and he could assure his gallant Friend, that if he adduced that Gentleman's promotion as an instance of the exercise of personal patronage on the part of his noble Friend, he did that noble Earl great injustice. That gentleman was totally unconnected with the noble Earl, and had distinguished claims on the country, and whatever might have been the appointment which he had received from the late board, or whatever might be the event of that favourable consideration of his services which he understood had been promised him by the present board, he owed it all solely to his dist inguished services, and not to any personal or political connexion whatever. He thought he should be trespassing on the time of the House if he was to attempt to go over the points of the discussion, which had obtained a desultory character, and which could be productive of but little good. He confessed that he did not agree with what had been stated by many hon. Gentlemen on that side of the House, with respect to the naval service, for he believed that all those matters of detail were infinitely better left to the executive department. He would only remind his gallant Friend (Captain Berkeley) when he referred to the success of the noble Lord to whom his gallant Friend had alluded had withdrawn a motion of which he had given notice on his assurance that the subject would come under the consideration of the Board of Admiralty, although it was true that on a subsequent occasion a committee was appointed in consequence of that motion, and when that committee came to investigate the marine service, they found that the Board of Admiralty had left them but little to do.

Sir T. Troubridge

was afraid the House would be tired of hearing naval speakers; but, considering the position which he held in the late Board of Admiralty, he trusted they would indulge him with only a few words. After the best consideration he could give the matter, he did not believe that the present system of constituting the Board of Admiralty could be changed for the better. He had always thought that the First Lord of the Admiralty was the Minister in the Cabinet who had the most responsibility upon his shoulders. Such a situation required talent and ability of the first order. But in saying so, he did not for a moment suppose that he was excluding officers of the navy from holding the situation. If he were to give an opinion as to who ought to fill the office of First Lord of the Admiralty, he would most unhesitatingly name Lord de Grey. From his high rank, and his high order of talent, and from the position he held in the estimation of the country, there was the best guarantee to the profession and the public, that the duties of that high station would be fairly and impartially performed. The next point referred to was the appointment of a naval officer to the Board of Ordnance. Upon that point he would speak, as that part of the duty had devolved upon him when he had the honour of a seat at the Board of Admiralty, and, from his experience, he could say that very great advantage had arisen from the correspondence between the two boards having been carried on through naval officers, which advantage would be lost had that correspondence to be carried on with a person unacquainted with the matters concerned. With respect to the officers of the dockyards, in his opinion their appointment, and all matters connected with them, ought to be left entirely to the Executive; if they went wrong, they might be brought to account for it in a legitimate way. The next point was with respect to the retirement of officers, and he had no hesitation in saying that he should be glad to see officers retiring, if there was a probability of increasing their allowance. But, at the same time, he thought it was not to be lost sight of, that many of the hon. Gentlemen who supported that motion came into that House pledged. He had had the honour of coming into that House, many years ago, pledged to unflinching economy. If there was any money to spare, he did not hesitate in giving his opinion that there was another class of the navy which deserved increased pay, and that was the petty officers. He should say, that the best mode of remedying the inconvenience attendant upon manning the navy, would be to increase the pay of the petty officers; and he should, therefore, rather give any surplus money for that purpose, than to the allowance of retiring officers. This was his opinion, and he gave it with perfect confidence to the House. Now, the next subject to which he would allude was the state of the Mediterranean fleet. He thought a great deal too much had been said on this subject, but he felt called upon to say a few words. The gallant Officer had said that from the men being ashore, and the inefficient state of the fleet, if the Egyptian fleet had come down upon them they would have been overpowered. He would say that when the ships came home, and he would mention the Asia, several Members went down to view her. They told him themselves that they were delighted with the regularity of the discipline, and more particularly the gunnery of that ship. He would also mention the Rodney, which was a brilliant sample of what a man of war ought to be. There was the Princess Charlotte, and he would mention the Thunderer. Well, here were four line of-battle ships, all of which had the highest encomiums passed upon their discipline and gunnery; how then was it possible, with such ships, they could be captured by the Egyptian fleet? With respect to patronage, he was afraid he was on delicate ground, for it had been so in all admiralties and in all Governments, but he ventured to say, that with respect to private patronage he knew nothing of it, nor was he responsible for it; but when they came to the coronation, or general promotion, his friends, Admiral Adams and Admiral Parker, had a great deal of trouble in looking over the lists, in order to do justice to all parties, and they ought not to have been attacked in that House. No set of men could have taken more trouble or have shown more anxiety than those Gentlemen. Once more he begged to state that he thought the constitution of the Board of Admiralty could not be changed with advantage, and he thought that great responsibility was thrown on the Prime Minister of this country in choosing an officer for the head of the Admiralty.

Captain Berkeley

rose to explain. He had never said, that the navy in the Mediterranean was in such a state as to be likely to be defeated. What he had stated was, that if they had been pressed by eight sail of the line, they would have been placed in great jeopardy. He begged also to state, there was not a number of men wandering on shore.

Captain Pechell

rose to explain. The gallant Officer opposite had defended the appointment of Earl de Grey to the Admiralty on different grounds from those which he had alleged. What he had stated was, that he was fully entitled to the situation from his high station and knowledge of ship-building. He had also alluded to the hospitality of the Lord High Admiral. He could say nothing in that respect of the First Lord of the Admiralty, never having visited him in his life. But with respect to the Lord High Admiral, he would say that there were very few officers but who were acquainted with him, and he was therefore acquainted with the merits of the different officers.

Sir H. Hardinge

wished, before the House divided on the resolution, to advert to an observation made by the hon. and gallant Commodore that evening, as well as when the naval estimates were before the House. The gallant Officer stated, that there was a great disparity between the proportion of general officers created in the army, and the number of admirals in the navy, on the occasion of the brevet. When that remark was made on a former evening, he had not noticed it, for he felt the union that existed between both services, and, for himself had always been most happy to lend his assistance to his brother officers of the naval service. But when the gallant Officer argued that evening that undue favour was shown to the army, he (Sir H. Hardinge) thought it only right to show that no such motives of partiality influenced the Government of the day in the appointment of colonels in the army to be general officers, or captains in the navy to be admirals. On reference to the respective amount of the services at the end of the war, or for thirty or forty years back, it would be seen that, owing to the much larger proportion of the army, there was a greater number of general officers than of admirals employed. In the year 1814 the number of general officers was 555, the army at that time including the regular and irregular forces, in various parts of the world, amounting to about 500,000 men. At the same time we had 500 men of war afloat, the largest force, he believed, ever known in our history, and the number of admirals was 233. The number of general officers was, as nearly as possible, double. He would now refer to some official documents, from which it appeared that at the brevet in 1830 the number of colonels raised to the rank of major-general was sixty-four, and the number of captains in the navy elevated to admirals was forty-four. At the brevet of 1837, forty-two colonels were appointed major-generals, and thirty-six captains in the navy admirals. Finally, by the brevet of 1841, the colonels in the army constituted major-generals amounted to sixty-one, and the naval captains appointed admirals forty or forty-one. The gallant Commodore said the appointments to the rank of major-general in 1841 were seventy-five in number, but this included the marines and the artillery services, while he (Sir H. Hardinge) was speaking strictly of the army. He would himself be very glad to see officers in the navy promoted, but what he wished to prove was, that considering the much larger size of the military force, no injustice whatever had been exercised in the appointments. There were at present ten or eleven admirals employed in active service, and between thirty and forty general officers. The number of 555 general officers had been diminished by 185 since 1814, while for 233 admirals then existing there were now 213; so that if any partiality at all had been shown—which, however, he did not say was the case—it was rather in favour of the navy than the army. Let the hon. and gallant Officer, too, look at the expense of the brevets. The expense of the army brevet in 1830 was 14,000l., and of that in the navy 23,000/. In 1837 the army brevet produced an expense of 11,375l., and the navy brevet 30,596/. In 1841 the expense of the army brevet was 13,000l. or 14,000l., and of the navy 26,000l. Such was the high admiration and respect he felt for the naval service, that if any partiality was shown, he would gladly see the preference given to the naval service; for, in the insular position of this country, the paramount importance of the navy ought to be felt by every one. And he felt confident that he was speaking the sentiments of the army when he said, that if any distinction or preference was made, it should be in favour of the officers of the navy.

Sir C. Napier

said, he begged to assure the gallant Officer, that he did not complain of undue promotion, he only complained of the number of captains made admirals in proportion to the general officers in the army. He could assure the gallant General that he did not wish to institute any unfair comparison between the army and the navy. He could also assure the hon. Gentleman behind him that he did not intend to throw the slightest reflection upon the hon. Captain Grey. He hoped the hon. Gentleman, their relative, would allow him to say, that he had no intention to speak a word against them. The right hon. Baronet had said, that her Majesty delegated her power, and he was quite aware of that, but her Majesty could as well delegate her power to a Lord of the Admiralty as the Board of Admiralty, and if she did so, she would have a responsible man at the head of the navy. The right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had not correctly stated what he (Sir Charles Napier) stated with reference to the danger in which the British navy was in the Mediterranean. What he did say was, that if the French had come out before the British fleet in the Mediterranean was better manned nobody could say what would have been the result. It was not right to tell the British navy, manned as it was at present, that they were able to do so much as the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) had stated, in such complimentary terms, they were able to effect. Nothing was more dangerous than to inspire false confidence. He was once defeated himself in the West Indies, and he knew what it was, and what the result of a defeat would be again, if our ships were manned as they were then; it was impossible that the navy could be effective if it was regulated as it was at present. He defied the angel Gabriel if he was First Lord of the Admiralty, and if he was deprived of the patronage, to regulate the navy with advantage. As it was now regulated, every person who had no interest must wait until the queen was married, or until the queen had a son, before he was promoted, no matter what his length of service might be. The right hon. Baronet opposite had denied that the naval affairs of the country had been improperly administered; but he might adduce on this subject the opinions of Admirals Collingwood and Nelson. Lord Collingwood stated, that many of the young men who, by interest, obtained appointments in the navy, were unable to manage a ship, and knew nothing of their duty; and Lord Nelson said of the navy in his day, that success covered the faults and iniquities of the officers. The hon. and gallant Commodore was understood to say, that he would not press his first resolution, but that he would take the sense of the House with regard to the other two.

The first resolution negatived.

On the second resolution, a division took place on the previous question, namely, that the question be put:—Ayes 40; Noes 138:—Majority 98.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, W. Martin, T. B.
Barclay, D. Morris, D.
Barnard, E. G. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. O'Brien, C.
Bowring, Dr. O'Brien, J.
Brodie, W. B. O'Brien, W. S.
Browne, hon. W. Plumridge, Capt.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Powell, C.
Cobden, R. Pulsford, R.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Rawdon, Col.
Crawford, W. S. Rous, hon. Capt.
Duncan, Visct. Russell, Lord E.
Duncan, G. Stanton, W. H.
Duncombe, T. Stuart, W. V.
Dundas, Adm. Tancred, H. W.
Forster, M. Wakley, T.
Harris, J. Q. Williams, W.
Humphery, Ald. Worsley, Lord
Ingestrie, Visct.
Johnstone, A. TELLERS.
Langston, J. H. Napier, Sir C.
Martin, J. Pechell, Capt.
List of the NOES.
Adderley, C. B. Dickinson, F H.
Allix, J. P. Douglas, Sir C. E.
Antrobus, E. Dowdeswell, W.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Duncombe, hon. A.
Arkwright, G. Duncombe, hon. O
Attwood, M. Eliot, Lord
Bailey, J. Escott.B.
Bailey, J. jun. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Baird, W. Fitzroy, Capt.
Baldwin, C. B. Fuller, A. E.
Baring, hon. W. B. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Gladstone,rt.hn.W.E.
Barrington, Visct. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Bennett, J. Gore, M.
Bentinck, Lord G. Goring, C.
Beresford, Maj. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Bernard, Visct. Granby, Marquess of
Boldero, H. G. Greenall, P.
Borthwick, P. Greene, T.
Brotherton, J. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Buckley, E. Grimsditch, T.
Buller, E. Grogan, E.
Burroughes, H. N. Hale, R. B.
Busfeild,W. Halford, H.
Chetwode, Sir J. Hamilton, W. J.
Childers, J. W. Harcourt, G. G.
Chute, W. L. W. Hardinge, rt.hn. Sir H.
Clive, hon. R. H. Hardy, J.
Cockburn, rt. bn. Sir G. Hawes, B.
Codrington, C. W. Hayes, Sir E.
Coote, Sir G. H. Henley, J. W.
Copeland, Ald. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Corry, right hon. H. Herbert, hon. S
Cripps, W. Houldsworth, T.
Crosse, T. B. Holmes, hn. W. A'Ct.
Dalmeny, Lord Hope, hon. C.
Darby, G. Hope, G. W.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Jerrnyn, Earl
Johnson, W. G. Rose, rt. hon. Sir G.
Jones, Capt. Round, C. G.
Kemble, H. Rushbrooke, Col.
Knatchbull, rt. h. Sir E. Russell, C.
Knight, F. W. Russell, J. D. W.
Lawson, A. Ryder, hon. G. D.
Lincoln, Earl of Somerset, Lord G.
Lockhart, W. Somerville, Sir W. M.
Mackenzie, T. Stanley, Lord
Mahon, Visct. Staunton, Sir G. T.
Mainwaring, T. Stewart, J.
Manners, Lord J. Sutton, hon. H. M.
Martin, C. W. Taylor, J. A.
Martyn, C. C. Tennent, J. E.
Master, T. W. C. Trench, Sir F. W.
Masterman. J. Trotter, J.
Maunsell, T. P. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Mitchell, T. A. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Mordaunt, Sir J. Vere, Sir C. B.
Morgan, O. Vivian, J. E.
Morrison, J. Wall, C. B.
Mundy, E. M. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Nicholl, rt. hon. J. Winnington, Sir T. E.
O'Brien, A. S. Wodehouse, E.
Palmer, R. Wood, C.
Parker, J. Wood, Col.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Wrightson, W. B.
Peel, J. Yorke, hon. E. T.
Polhill, F. Young, J.
Pusey, P. TELLERS.
Rashleigh, W. Fremantle, Sir T.
Reade, W. M. Clerk, Sir G.

On the third resolution being put,

Captain Plumridge

said, that the third resolution was one of very great importance, inasmuch as it related to the petty officers and seamen being employed in our dockyards, and the latter as riggers; and he was of opinion that many hon. Members who might not vote for the two former resolutions would vote for this now before the House. It was not for him to divide the House on this resolution, but he hoped the gallant Commodore would do so, and he should have much satisfaction in following in his wake.

The House also divided for the previous question, on the third resolution;—Ayes 47; Noes 139:—Majority 92.

List of the AYES.
Aldam, W. Duncan, G.
Barclay, D. Duncombe, T.
Beresford, Major Duncombe, hon. A.
Berkeley, hon. Capt. Duncombe, hon. O.
Bowring, Dr. Dundas, Admiral
Brodie, W. B. Forster, M.
Browne, hon. W. Harris, J. Q.
Busfeild, W. Hayes, Sir E.
Carnegie, hon. Capt. Humphery, Mr. Ald.
Cobden, R. Ingestrie, Visct.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Johnstone, A.
Crawford, W. S. Langston, J. H.
Duncan, Visct, Manners, Lord J,
Martin, J. Rawdon, Col.
Martin, T. B. Russell, Lord E.
Morris, D. Russell, J. D. W.
Morrison, J. Stanton, W. H.
Norreys, Sir D. J. Stuart, W. V.
O'Brien, C. Tancred, H. W.
O'Brien, J. Wakley, T.
O'Brien, W. S. Williams, W.
Pechell, Capt. Worsley, Lord
Powell, C. TELLERS.
Pulsford, R. Napier, Sir C.
Rashleigh, W. Plumridge, Capt.
List of the NOES.
Acton, Col. Gaskell, J. Milnes
Adderley, C. B. Gladstone, rt. hn. W.E.
Allix, J. P. Gordon, hon. Capt.
Antobus, E. Gore, M.
Arbuthnott, hon. H. Goring, C.
Arkwright, G. Graham, rt. hn. Sir J.
Attwood, M. Granby, Marquess of
Bailey, J. Greenall, P.
Bailey, J. jun. Greene, T.
Baird, W. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Baldwin, C. B. Grimsditch, T.
Baring, hon, W. B. Grogan, E.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Hale, R. B.
Barnard, E. G. Halford, H.
Barrington, Visct. Hamilton, W. J.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Harcourt, G. G.
Benett, J. Hardinge, rt. hn. Sir H.
Bentinck, Lord G. Hardy, J.
Bernard, Visct. Hawes, B.
Blake, Sir V. Henley, J. W.
Boldero, H. G. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Borthwick, P. Herbert, hon. S.
Broadley, H. Holmes, hn. W. A'C.
Brotherton, J. Hope, hon. C.
Buckley, E. Hope, G. W.
Buller, E. Hornby, J.
Buller, Sir J. Y. Jermyn, Earl
Burroughes, H. N. Johnson, W. G.
Chetwode, Sir J. Jones, Capt.
Childers, J. W. Kemble, H.
Chute, W. L. W. Knatchbull, right hon.
Clive, hon. R. H. Sir E.
Cockburn, rt. hn. Sir G. Knight, F. W.
Codrington, C. W. Lawson, A.
Compton, H. C. Lincoln, Earl of
Coote, Sir C. H. Lockhart, W.
Copeland, Mr. Ald. Mackenzie, T.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Mahon, Visct.
Cripps, W. Mainwaring, T.
Crosse, T. B. Marsham, Visct.
Dalmeny, Lord Martin, C. W.
Darby, G. Martyn, C. C.
Dawnay, hon. W. H. Master, T. W. C.
Dickinson, F. H. Masterman, J.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Maunsell, T. P.
Dowdeswell, W. Mitchell, T. A.
Ebrington, Visct. Mordaunt, Sir, J.
Eliot, Lord Morgan, O.
Escott, B. Mundy, E. M.
Estcourt, T. G, B. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.
Fellowes, E. O'Brien, A. S.
Fitzroy, Capt. Palmer, R.
Fuller, A. E. Parker, J.
Peel, rt. hon. Sir R. Trench, Sir F. W.
Peel, J. Trotter, J.
Polhill, F. Troubridge, Sir E. T.
Pusey, P. Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Reade, W. M. Vere, Sir C. B.
Rose, rt. hon. Sir G. Waddington, H. S.
Round, C. G. Wall, C. B.
Round, J. Wilbraham, hn. R. B.
Rushbrooke, Col. Winnington, Sir T. E.
Russell, C. Wodehouse, E.
Ryder, hon. G. D. Wood, C.
Somerset, Lord G. Wood, Col.
Somerville, Sir W. M. Wrightson, W. B.
Stanley, Lord Yorke, hn. E. T.
Staunton, Sir G. T. Young, J.
Stewart, J.
Sutton, hon. H. M. TELLERS.
Taylor, J. A. Fremantle, Sir T.
Tennent, J. E. Clerk, Sir G.