§ (1.) 67,120 Men and Boys, Sea and Coast Guard Services, including 14,700 Royal Marines.
said, it was somewhat unusual to pass a Vote for the men required for the Navy before hearing the general explanatory Statement on the Navy Estimates; but in the present state of public business this course was inevitable, because it was necessary that the new Mutiny Bill should receive the Royal Assent before the Easter holydays, which would probably commence at an earlier period than had been stated at the commencement of the evening.
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, it was contrary to general practice to submit such a Vote to a Committee of Supply before any explanatory Statement had been made on the part of the Board of Admiralty. But if it were to be understood that the Vote was taken merely for the purpose of securing time for the passing of the Mutiny Act before the Easter holydays, and that they were not hereafter to be precluded from discussing the details of the Navy Estimates, he would not oppose the Motion.
pointed out that this was not a money Vote, but simply had reference to the number of men. There was a precedent in 1846 for the course now adopted.
§ MR. O'REILLY
presumed that it was simply a conditional Vote as to the number of men, and would be subject to any Amendment which might be proposed hereafter.
asked the right hon. Gentleman, whether any directions had been given by the Board of Admiralty to remove the ship Wellesley, which had been so long stationed at Chatham; and whether any determination had been come to by the Admiralty to fit out, or pay off, any more ships at Chatham?
said, he had an important statement to make on the subject when he formally brought forward the Navy Estimates. It would be inconvenient, therefore, to answer the question at the present time.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (2.) £2,000,000, on account for Navy Services, agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow;
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.