HC Deb 10 March 1882 vol 267 c626

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty a Question of which he had given him private Notice—namely, Whether he will state to the House the changes that are contemplated in the Board of Admiralty or in the Office of the Admiralty?


Sir, it is the case that, in view of the great and increasing bearing of mechanical science upon the construction and arming of our ships, Lord Northbrook and his Colleagues have determined to call into their council scientific assistance from both inside and outside the Navy. The Controller (Admiral Brandreth), who has done so well at Chatham, has been invited to join the Board; and a new office has been created, with a salary attached to it of £2,000 a-year, to be held by a practical man of science, who shall unite special mechanical and engineering knowledge to wide administrative experience. Such a man has been found in Mr. George Rendel, whose qualifications for the post cannot well be described within the limits of an answer to a Question, but I will venture to think are undisputed either in scientific or naval circles. In order to enable our Successors to have the advantage, if they choose, of Mr. Rendel's services, the new Lordship of the Admiralty cannot be held by anyone who has a seat in Parliament. On the retirement of Vice Admiral Hall, who has for 10 years held the post of Naval Secretary, it is proposed to revert to the old arrangement, which is, that besides the Parliamentary Secretary there should be one Permanent Secretary, who may be either a naval officer or a civilian. On Admiral Hall's retirement it is intended to appoint to the post of Secretary Mr. Hamilton, the present Accountant General, who is generally recognized as one of the most distinguished ornaments of the Civil Service.