HC Deb 07 April 1870 vol 200 c1426

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been drawn to a letter written to a newspaper by a Commander in the Navy, commenting on a Debate in this House, and whether he intends to take any notice of this proceeding?


In reply, Sir, to the Question of my hon. Friend, I beg to say that my attention was drawn to a letter published in a newspaper by a Commander in the Navy commenting on debates in this House, and that by the 12th chapter of the Queen's Regulations officers are forbidden to write to any newspaper on subjects connected with the naval service, or publish, or cause to be published, directly or indirectly, in a newspaper or other periodical, any matter or thing relating to the public, service. There is no doubt that the publication of that letter was not in accordance with the regulation I have just read; but I am bound to say that this regulation has been, both lately and for some time past, so frequently violated by officers of much higher rank than the officer to whom I presume my hon. Friend alludes, that I should think it far from fair if I took public notice of this letter, considering that others have committed the same irregularity without any notice being taken of it. Under these circumstances, it is not my intention to take any public notice of this proceeding; but the attention of myself and my Colleagues has been given to this subject, and before long we propose to take such steps with reference to the Queen's Regulations, as in our opinion will be advisable, with a view to preventing a repetition of irregularities in this respect.