asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether there is any truth in a report in the newspapers that the new regulations regarding pensions are to be retrospective?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I am much obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend for giving me an opportunity of contradicting the statement which appeared in a weekly paper of Saturday last, that I had announced in this House the intention of the Admiralty to require all men now serving their first en- 426 gagement to re-engage for 12 years in order to obtain a pension. This is a direct misrepresentation of what I said. I stated, in the clearest terms, that our proposal with reference to service would not apply to any men now serving; but would only affect entries made after the necessary legislative powers for the alteration had been obtained. Besides, it is the first term of service, and not the second, which we propose to extend by two years. It is greatly to be regretted that a newspaper should, have published a statement which is so absolutely contrary to facts, and, at the same time, so much calculated to excite reasonable discontent among the men of Her Majesty's Navy.