HC Deb 25 February 1879 vol 243 cc1750-1

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether it has not hitherto been the rule or practice in Her Majesty's Navy to promote sub-lieutenants to the rank of lieutenant at the end of four years service; whether it is intended to alter that rule or practice by extending the period of service; whether such an alteration will not affect the promotion of officers of all grades and their prospects as to the rank upon which they might have to retire; and, whether such alteration is to apply to officers now serving who entered upon service under the hitherto existing rule or practice?


, in reply, said, there was no fixed Regulation which determined the period of service for sublieutenants to obtain their promotion; but latterly it had been the practice to promote them after four years' service. The Order in Council of November, 1872, gave the Admiralty the power to do so, provided the list of sub-lieutenants was above 250. The number was now below that figure, so that promotions could only be made under the provisions of the Order in Council of March, 1870, which provided that until the list of active lieutenants should have been reduced to 600, only one in every four vacancies, caused by retirement and promotion consequent thereon, should be filled, but that vacancies caused by death were to be filled as they arose. He was not in a position at present to say that the Admiralty had any intention of altering the system which prevailed; but he would admit that the slower promotion did very seriously affect sub-lieutenants and other officers.