§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ SIR GEORGE PECHELL
desired to know if it were intended by this Bill to leave three months' pay in arrears instead of six months'?
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
Where is the necessity for any alteration? In what manner does the present system work ill?
§ MR. STAFFORD
said, that by the present Bill the pay of seamen of the Royal Navy was never to be more than three months in arrear, instead of six. The latter arrangement was unpopular with the seamen, and contrasted unfavourably with the practice in the merchant service. The provision for six months' arrears was passed as a precaution against desertion, and as such it was now found to be unnecessary, since the condition of the seamen of the Royal Fleet had been so much improved.
§ ADMIRAL STEWART
thanked the Government for bringing forward the measure, which would be very gratefully received by the seamen. Take the seamen on board the Excellent; practically they did not get their pay until the end of the first twelve months, and they were thus driven to various expedients for raising money. He heartily concurred in the measure, which would tend to make our naval service so popular that, without giving up the right of impressment, it would be needless to exercise it. He regretted that the Government had given up the plan of the naval reserve, which would have been most beneficial, and the difficulties in the way of it had been overrated.
§ CAPTAIN SCOBELL
concurred in thinking the Bill, as far as it went, would make the Navy popular. He wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether it affected seamen on foreign stations—because most of our Navy served abroad?
§ MR. STAFFORD
replied, that it would not occasion one farthing's additional expense; and that the measure would apply to seamen on foreign stations.
§ Clause agreed to. Bill reported. House resumed.