HC Deb 23 April 1885 vol 297 cc479-80

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, On what grounds the term of Mr. Willis's appointment as Accountant General of the Navy was limited to three years; whether he would place upon the Table a Return of the several officers who have held the position of Accountant General of the Navy, showing their previous service, the length of time they held the office, their age on retirement, and the cause of their retirement, i.e., whether the same was voluntary or not; and, whether he would grant a Return of the Members constituting the Board of Admiralty since 1st January 1865, showing their tenure of office and cause of leaving?


The Office of Accountant General of the Navy became vacant in 1882 by the promotion of Mr. (now Sir) Robert Hamilton. Mr. Willis was at that time the Deputy Accountant General, and was approaching his 60th year, when, underordinary circumstances, he would have been retired. But the re-organization of the Department had only recently been completed, and it was deemed advisable to retain Mr. Willis's services for a limited period in the position vacated by Mr. Hamilton. The period was fixed at three years, because that period was necessary to enable Mr. Willis, on retirement, to receive his full pension. No object would be gained by presenting the Return asked for relating to the tenure of office by previous officers holding the position of Account- ant General; but, if desired, the information could be given. With regard to the last sentence of the Question, I do not see why the officials of the Admiralty should be taken away from more important work to make a Return which the hon. Member can make for himself in half-an-hour from The Navy Lists in the Library. The chief causes why Members of the Board have left their respective offices have been promotions and changes of Government.