§ MR. HENRY SAMUELSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, with reference to his statement of June 30th, that—A proposal to grant the identical promotion to the Royal Marine Artillery which had been granted to the Royal Artillery had never been placed before the Admiralty, and, therefore, he never had an opportunity of consenting or refusing,Whether Petitions or Memoranda were not received by the Admiralty in 1872 from the Senior First Captains serving (1) at Head Quarters, (2) in the Channel Fleet, and (3) in the Mediterranean, praying for the same promotion which had been granted to First Captains in the Royal Artillery; and if such Petitions were received, whether he has any objection to state what answers were given to them?
§ MR. GOSCHEN,
in reply, said, that Memorials were received from three First Captains serving at Head Quarters, in the Channel Fleet, and in the Mediterranean in the course of July, relative to the general position of the Royal Marine Corps. They were only individual Memorials, and dealt, not exclusively with the position of the Royal Marine Artillery, but generally with the position of the Royal Marine Corps; nor did they pray, as a practical remedy for the grievances complained of, the same promotion which had been granted to First Captains in the Royal Artillery. The answer given to them was, that proposals had been made to the War Office, in which the Admiralty endeavoured to remedy the position both of the officers of the Royal Marine Artillery and of the Light Infantry. But the officers themselves never suggested that any difference ought to be made in their position.
§ MR. HENRY SAMUELSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it is true, as stated in the "Times" of the 7th July, that—There is considerable discontent at present existing among the officers of the Royal Marine Artillery at the head Quarters of the Corps at Eastney, Portsmouth, at what they consider the unjust way they are treated for promotion in comparison with Officers of the Royal Artillery stationed in Portsmouth garrison. It is averred that many Officers of the Royal Artillery have been promoted to Majorities over the heads of Marine Artillery officers, where the latter have had very much greater length of service;And, whether the allegation contained in the last sentence is a true one?
§ MR. GOSCHEN,
in reply, said, that all he could say on the subject was that he had received a Memorial from an Artillery officer at Eastney, Portsmouth, expressing dissatisfaction. No doubt, the officers of the Royal Marine Artillery felt dissatisfied at being superseded in certain cases by the officers of the Royal Artillery. The allegations of discontent were so far correct. On the other hand, as he had endeavoured heretofore to explain, the officers of the Royal Marine Artillery were never treated on different grounds in respect of promotion from those on which the officers of the Royal Marines and of the light Infantry were treated. If promotion were granted to the officers of the Royal Marine Artillery now in the same way as had been granted to officers of the Royal Artillery, 610 those officers would supersede the officers of the light Infantry, with long services, and in thus endeavouring to redress one grievance they would be establishing another. The Admiralty had applied to the War Office for the rank of major, both for the Royal Marines and the light Infantry, but the objection of the War Office was that such a concession would have the effect of superseding a large number of the officers of the Line. A compromise, however, was being effected which he trusted would give satisfaction to all parties concerned, and by it the Government had met the grievance as far as they could.