HC Deb 28 July 1879 vol 248 cc1414-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it be the fact that a meeting of petty officers and seamen was held at Portsmouth to protest against the way in which the opinions of the men of the Navy, on the subject of flogging, had been misrepresented by certain Naval officers in Parliament; if Admiral Fanshawe issued a memorandum to captains of ships pointing out that such meetings were subversive of discipline; and, if Admiral Fanshawe has issued any memorandum to officers cautioning them against making public misrepresentations directly provoking to such breaches of discipline?


There is no doubt, Sir, that a meeting was held at Portsmouth, at which petty officers and seamen were present, and the punishment of flogging was discussed; and it is the fact that Admiral Fanshawe, as Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouh, issued a memorandum cautioning the men from attending such meetings. He did so on his own responsibility, but with the entire subsequent approval of the Admiralty, as it is clearly the duty of officers in his position to warn men against being led into acts which are subversive of discipline and are breaches of the Queen's Regulations. The statements which the hon. Member alleges on his own authority to be misrepresentations, having been made in Parliament, do not come under the cognizance of the Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, and I apprehend it would be a breach of the Privileges of this House if he were to take notice of them.