HC Deb 13 July 1885 vol 299 cc548-66

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [9th July],"That the 14th Resolution be read a second time."

And which Amendment was, to leave out"£830,400,"in order to insert £830,120,"—(Sir George Campbell,)— instead thereof.

Question again proposed, "That '£830,400' stand part of the said Resolution."

Debate resumed.


said, that as the re-instatement of Hobart Pasha was the act of the last Administration and not of the present Government he thought the House would expect a somewhat fuller statement upon the subject than his hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Mr. Caine) was able, from the information he then had in his possession, to make a few nights ago. At the request of the Earl of North-brook, who was responsible for the re-instatement of Admiral Hobart Pasha, he (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) would make a short statement on the subject. For many years it had been the policy of the British Government to encourage British officers to take service in the Turkish Fleet. That had been the case with Admiral Walker and Admiral Slade, both of whom served in command of the Turkish Fleet while remaining in the active service of the British Navy, and it was also the case with Captain Mac-killon, who served in the Egyptian Navy while he was in the active service of the British Navy. Now, in 1868 Captain Hobart accepted service under the Porte in connection with the Turkish Fleet without previously obtaining the consent of the Admiralty; and, no doubt, that was a very serious offence on his part. Having done that he applied to the Admiralty for their consent, and the Admiralty consulted in the matter the Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Secretary—the Earl of Derby—reported that in view of the Cretan insurrection which was then going on it was not desirable for many reasons that the Turkish Fleet should be commanded by a British officer; and he advised that Captain Hobart be informed that he could not be allowed to continue in the British Service if he served under the Turks. Captain Hobart elected to serve under the Porte, and his name was accordingly erased from the list of officers in the British Navy, and he ceased to have any connection with the British Navy. A year later he applied, to be re-instated, and he was in-formed that when the Cretan insurrection was over his application would be considered. Nothing was done until 1874, when he again applied to be reinstated, and the matter was considered by the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Ward Hunt, who consulted again the Foreign Secretary—the Earl of Derby. The Earl of Derby stated on that occa- sion, the Cretan insurrection being over, that in his opinion the re-instatement of Admiral Hobart Pasha, as a matter of Imperial policy, would be of material advantage to the country. In accordance with the view of the Earl of Derby, Mr. Ward Hunt re-instated Admiral Hobart Pasha in the British Navy. Therefore at that time his original offence was condoned. He was at that time a captain; but he bad not served for some years as Captain, and accordingly, by the Rules of the Service, he was at once retired, and he became a retired Admiral, receiving retiring pay at the rate of £1 per day. Hobart Pasha remained in that position till the year 1877, and during the three years he commanded the Turkish Fleet. In 1877 war broke out between Turkey and Russia, and it was then considered by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs—the Earl of Derby—that it was not desirable, in view of the fact that England assumed a position of neutrality in that war, that the Turkish Fleet should be commanded by a British officer, and accordingly he advised our Ambassador at Constantinople that as war had broken out between Russia and Turkey it was impossible for Hobart Pasha to continue to hold his position as a British officer, and at the same time command the Turkish Navy, and His Excellency was instructed to intimate that to Hobart Pasha. On his electing to remain in the service of Turkey Hobart Pasha was again struck off the list of officers of the British Navy. At the conclusion of the war Hobart Pasha applied to be reinstated, and he was informed that the matter would be considered. Nothing whatever was done till this year. In May last Hobart Pasha again applied to the late Government for his re-instatement, and his application was again as previously referred to the Foreign Secretary for his opinion. The gallant officer was informed that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, after careful consideration, had come to the conclusion that there were now even a stronger reasons of Imperial policy for his re-instatement than there were before. The House would not expect him (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) to go fully into those reasons. He thought it would be obvious to anyone that at a time when they were making preparations for a possible outbreak of war it was not unimportant that the Government should he in a position to command information which Hobart Pasha had on very important matters. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laughed; but at all events Hobart Pasha had information with regard to where possible operations of war might he carried on greater than any other person; and it was considered that it was important that the Government should be in a position to ask Hobart Pasha for that information, and that they could hardly do if he was no longer a British officer. For those reasons, then, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs advised the First Lord of the Admiralty that it would be right to reinstate Hobart Pasha again in the British Navy, and accordingly Hobart Pasha was again re-instated, and his position was exactly the same as when he was originally re-instated by the previous Administration in the year 1874— he at once became again a retired Admiral, with the pay of a retired Admiral. He had no other pay, and could not receive any more. This year the question of his original offence was not raised, because that offence had been condoned in 1874. In 1877 his removal from the list of British officers was not due to any offence on his part, but merely to a desire on the part of the British Government to maintain neutrality in the war then taking place between Russia and Turkey. It had no reference whatever to the original offence—if it were an offence—which Hobart Pasha committed in entering the Turkish Service. This year the only question which arose was whether, looking to the whole circumstances of the case, and taking into account the view which the Foreign Secretary held, that, for Imperial reasons, it was important that Hobart Pasha should be a British officer, he should be re-instated again as in 1874. Those, shortly, were the reasons which actuated Earl Granville and the First Lord of the Admiralty in the matter. The First Lord of the Admiralty had, in fact, pursued the policy which Mr. Ward Hunt pursued in 1874, and for the same reasons—namely, that the Foreign Secretary had advised him that for Imperial reasons it was desirable that Hobart Pasha should be re-instated in the British Navy. He (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) had only further to add that there had been several previous occasions on which officers who had entered the service of some Foreign Power without the previous consent of the Admiralty had had their names removed from the Navy List, hut had them subsequently reinstated. There was the case of Admiral Sir George Sartorius, who was removed from the Navy in 1832 and reinstated in 1837; of Sir Charles Napier, who was removed from the Service in 1833 and re-instated in 1836; of Lieutenant South, who was removed from the Navy in 1825 for entering foreign service without the consent of the Admiralty, and re-instated in 1827. Therefore, there were many precedents for the action of the First Lord of the Admiralty. The only other question in the case of Hobart Pasha was that of his retired pay. On that point the Law Officers appeared to have been consulted in 1874; and it was held by them that on re-instatement to the British Navy he was entitled, as a matter of right, to retired pay, although he was in the service of a Foreign Power. Several cases of the kind had occurred, and in all those cases it had been held that officers of the British Navy, but in the service of a Foreign Power, were entitled to draw retired pay in this country, unless a condition was made to the contrary. No such condition was made in the case of Hobart Pasha, and therefore, on his re-instatement as a retired Admiral, he was entitled, as a matter of right, to retired pay. He (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) was not friendly to the views Hobart Pasha had laid before the public, and had at times somewhat resented the attitude the gallant officer had assumed towards the Liberal Administration; yet, in view of the whole case, he thought Hobart Pasha's re-instatement could be justified on the ground of precedent, on the ground of the arrangement made in 1874, and also on the ground of Imperial policy, to which he had shortly alluded.


said, he thought the House had seldom heard a more inadequate defence of an Executive act than that just made by the right hon. Gentleman. The Opposition were bound to express their opinion, because if the re-instatement of Hobart Pasha had been the act of right hon. Gentlemen opposite, no one could doubt that a great clamour would have been raised by Liberal Members, and perhaps by Liberal ex-Ministers, in denouncing the conduct of a Government which condoned and rewarded conduct such as that of Hobart Pasha, and which overlooked flagrant breaches of its own law. The House ought to bear in mind that the late Liberal Government did what the previous Tory Government refused to do; because, if he rightly followed the right hon. Gentleman the late Postmaster General, the Government of Lord Beaconsfield refused to re-instate Hobart Pasha, but the late Government did not. The right hon. Gentleman had not brought before the House what was really the most important part of the case. He had stated that Hobart Pasha was removed from the British Navy in 1868 and re-instated in 1874; he had stated that Hobart Pasha was again expelled or required to leave Her Majesty's Service in 1877; but he had not told the House the full ground on which the act of 1877 was done. It was done because Hobart Pasha, by taking service under the Turkish Government at a time when it was at war with an Ally of Her Majesty, committed a breach of the Neutrality Laws. The fact was, that Hobart Pasha, having committed, in 1868, an offence against naval discipline and the Rules of the Admiralty, having been pardoned for that offence after a humble apology, in which he said he could not resist the tempting pecuniary offer made to him by the Turks, committed a much grosser offence in 1877, because he broke a law which was incumbent upon every private subject of Her Majesty, and which was doubly incumbent upon an officer. The Act of 1870–33 & 34 Vict. c. 90—provided that every British subject who accepts, or agrees to accept, any commission in the Military or Naval Service of any Foreign State at war with any Foreign State at peace with Her Majesty shall he guilty of an offence against this Act, and shall he punishable with fine and imprisonment, or either of such punishments at the discretion of the Court before which the offender is convicted. Such imprisonment, by another section, was not to exceed two years— and imprisonment, if awarded, may be either with or without hard labour, and the Royal Proclamation issued when war broke out between Russia and the Turks recited this Act, commanding that no person should do anything con- trary to the same. Now, this Act Hobart broke when he served under the Turks in the war against Russia. It might be said that he could not well then leave the Turkish Service. Be that as it might, he then made his choice, and could not now come, after such transgressions of English law, asking to be reinstated in the Service of the British Crown. A breach of the Neutrality Laws was no slight matter, because it was one which might easily involve them in serious difficulty with a Foreign Power. They knew that serious difficulty might have arisen if France had gone to war with China, on account of British subjects serving in the Chinese Fleet. There were no laws which ought to be more strictly guarded by them or more respected by the Executive authority of the country than the Foreign Enlistment Act. It seemed to him that Hobart Pasha had, so to speak, played hide-and-seek with the Government. When the opportunity had arisen, he had gone into foreign service in the confidence that whenever he chose to ask for re-admission to the British Navy he would be re-instated. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) talked about precedent. Could the right hon. Gentleman produce any case in which an officer who had twice committed an offence of this kind had been restored? He challenged the right hon. Gentleman to mention any single case in which a second offence had been condoned, and that offence one so grave as a breach of the Neutrality Laws. Hobart Pasha ought to think himself very fortunate that he was not undergoing the penalty of two years' imprisonment with hard labour instead of being re-instated in the British Navy, and receiving from the taxpayers of the country £36.3 a-year for the rest of his life. He (Mr. Bryce) confessed he could not find that any ground had been put forward yet which was sufficient to justify the re-instatement. It seemed to him that the conduct of the late Government indicated a great contempt both for naval discipline and the law of the country; and if he asked himself what their grounds of action were, ho could only suggest two. It was not a case of forgiving faults in respect of eminent services rendered, for he could not find that Hobart Pasha had rendered any particular service; in fact. his most remarkable performances had been that at one time he held a place in Her Majesty's Yacht, and. at another time he was an active blockade runner in the American War of Secession. The late Government either thought that a breach of the Neutrality Laws was so trivial a matter that they might overlook it and re-instate the guilty person in the Navy, or else they regarded a service done to the Turks as a service done to ourselves, which was hardly to have been expected of a Government whose leading Members had spoken pretty freely about the Turks in 1876 and 1877. He could not help hoping that the House would mark its sense of an act of this kind, which he did not think the reasons of so-called policy that had been alleged at all justified, by refusing the retired pay which it was proposed should be paid by the Admiralty to Hobart Pasha,. In that way, too, the House would express its respect for the Statute solemnly enacted in 1870, and its disapproval of those who had treated that Statute with contempt.


said, that he differed wholly from the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Bryce) in his view of this case, and that even the ex-Postmaster General, while making a perfectly sufficient technical answer, had left unstated one of the strongest grounds in favour of Admiral Hobart's re-instatement. He (Mr. M'Coan) happened to be at Constantinople when Hobart Pasha first entered the Turkish Service, and well recollected the circumstances under which Hobart Pasha was appointed; and he could testify that during that gallant officer's residence in Constantinople, and his service in the Turkish Navy, he rendered not only good service to the Turks, but excellent service to this country as well. [Laughter.] Gentlemen who did not know the facts might laugh, but he spoke of what he knew; and therefore he assured the House with confidence that ever since the decadence of the influence of our Embassy at Constantinople the chief factor in maintaining in Turkey a friendly feeling towards this country was Hobart Pasha. He maintained, therefore, that the influence which Hobart Pasha had for many years exercised for good between the two countries amply justified his restoration to rank in Her Majesty's Service. If objection were taken to the re-instatement because of the salary it entailed he need hardly remind the House that Admiral Slade, whose case was one of those referred to, drew pay as a retired officer in Her Majesty's Navy during the whole time he was in the Turkish Service. But he (Mr. M'Coan) felt strongly that the chief ground on which this re-instatement could be justified was the service Admiral Hobart had rendered to this country as a quasi-Diplomatic Agent. He had kept up in Turkey a kindly feeling towards England which, but for him, would long ago have died out. He was, in fact, the one link which kept alive the old friendship between the two countries, and that fact alone was sufficient to justify the action of the late Government.


said, no one could feel a stronger detestation of the Turks than he did. He should like to see them cleared out of Europe. No one felt more strongly than be did that there were far too many Admirals on half-pay; but, still, be thought the House must look at the question as one of pure justice. On the grounds of justice, he really believed Hobart Pasha ought to be re-instated. His hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Bryce) said the Liberals would have made a great noise if this reinstatement had taken place under a Tory Government. Well, but Hobart Pasha was re-instated in 1874 under a Tory Government; and he (Mr. Labou-chere) was not aware that the Liberals made any noise on the subject. ["It was a different case."] It was a precisely similar case. He did not think his hon. Friend (Mr. Bryce) and hon. Gentlemen who sat near him quite understood the case. They seemed to think that Hobart Pasha hopped into the Turkish Service whenever war was to take place, and hopped back again whenever war was over. That was not the case. Hobart Pasha was a Commander in the English Navy, and he took service with the Turks. Turkey was not then at war; but Hobart Pasha was superseded because he had not asked the permission of Her Majesty's Government to do what he did. A few years afterwards—in 1874—he did ask permission of Her Majesty's Government, and ho was re-instated in the English Service. War broke out in 1877 between Russia and Turkey. Hobart Pasha, with the consent of Her Majesty's Government, was then in command of the Turkish Fleet. What could ho do? Could he, as an honourable man, say—"I have accepted your pay; with the permission of the English Government I have accepted service with you during the time of peace, and now when you are going to war I will retire and not fight?" He could not honourably do that, but was bound to stand to his guns. He remained in command of the Turkish Fleet, and naturally he was again superseded because the Foreign Enlistment Act existed. That Act had not always been put into operation. A great many officers, at divers times, had taken service with Foreign Governments without let or hindrance from Her Majesty's Government. Hobart Pasha was, however, superseded. War came to a close; but, as he understood, Hobart Pasha did not come to this country until a few months ago. The right hon. Gentleman the late Postmaster General (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) said there were political reasons why Hobart Pasha should be re-instated—that he would be very useful to us. He (Mr. Labouchere) declined to go into the political considerations, because he regarded the reinstatement as a mere act of justice to Hobart Pasha himself. He thought that as Hobart Pasha had accepted service with the Turks with the consent of Her Majesty's Government; that as he was in the Turkish Service when the war took place with Russia and he was obliged as an honourable man to remain in the Service; that as he had only been superseded on account of that war, it was only reasonable he should be reinstated in Her Majesty's Service when the war came to an end. Some hon. Members seemed astonished that Hobart Pasha was entitled to half-pay. They seemed to forgot that a Commander in the Navy had a right to go on the Retired List, and that if he exercised his right he received half-pay; that when he came to the top of the list of Commanders ho became a retired Captain; and that when he became to the top of the list of Captains he became a retired Admiral. A retired Admiral's services were never called upon. Hobart Pasha would never be called upon by Her Majesty's Government; his services could not be asked. [A laugh.] His hon. Friend (Mr. Bryce) laughed; but, nevertheless, he (Mr. Labouchere) maintained that it was impossible to call upon the services of a retired Admiral, because when a naval officer went on half-pay he gave up all right and possibility of being employed in the Navy. The system might be a bad one, but there it was. They would be acting with exceptional stringency towards Hobart Pasha if they refused to do to him what had been done to other Naval Commanders. One Admiral more was one Admiral too many; but it was the system itself which was at fault, and they had no right to make a scapegoat of Hobart Pasha.


said, he thought his hon. Friends had raised a false issue in this matter, because it was really not a question whether Hobart Pasha had been serviceable to this country as a quasi-diplomatist, or whether it was a question of justice to Hobart Pasha because he had been serving in Turkey. The question at issue was one of principle, and, as regarded the precedents of the case, there could not be a shadow of a doubt that the late Postmaster General (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) was entirely wrong in all of the four cases which he had laid before the House, in order to induce it to support this Vote to the Turkish Pasha, Hobart Pasha. The right hon. Gentleman quoted the case of Slade, of Napier, of Walker, and of Sartorius. Now, when Walker and Slade commanded in Turkey they did so with the consent of the British Government, and when they withdrew from the Turkish Service they, of course, were restored to the position that they held before. But the cases of Sartorius and Napier were very remarkable, and had no similarity to that of Hobart Pasha. Sartorius took the command of the Portuguese Fleet, his name was taken off the British Navy List, and it remained off that List for several years. Napier was in command of a vessel cruising off the coast of Portugal, and Don Pedro requested him take the command of the Portuguese Fleet. Napier left his command in the British Navy and took the command oft he Portuguese Fleet. He defeated the adversaries of Don Pedro, and Don Pedro made him an Admiral. The British Government dismissed him from the Navy, and his name was erased from the list of officers. When Napier found he could not get on with the Portuguese Government and gave up the command, be came back on the British Navy List, not, however, as Admiral, but as Commander. He served afterwards with great distinction on the Coast of Syria under Admiral Stop-ford. He (Sir Robert Peel) agreed with the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Bryce) that there never was a lamer case than that made out by the late Postmaster General (Mr. Shaw Lefevre). The right hon. Gentleman told them that Hobart Pasha had been re-instated on grounds of Imperial policy. Why, the debate was adjourned the other night in order that the House might be informed what the Imperial policy was which would justify such an exception being made as had been made in the case of Hobart Pasha. He (Sir Robert Peel) maintained that there was no proceeding in the history of the British Navy to compare with the reinstatement of Admiral Hobart Pasha; and the other night the First Lord of the Admiralty (Lord George Hamilton) justified the re-instatement by a statement which he was sure everyone in the House must have heard with surprise. The First Lord of the Admiralty said the other night — Hobart Pasha, having left the Turkish Service, has, therefore, been restored by the influence of Earl Granville and of the Earl of Northbrook. Well, now, had Hobart Pasha left the Turkish Service? If he had not left the Turkish Service, the contention of the noble Lord (Lord George Hamilton) clearly fell to the ground. Hobart Pasha knew perfectly well that the receipts he got from the Turkish Government were infinitely greater than those he would get as a retired Admiral of the British Navy. He (Sir Robert Peel) feared that the position of the First Lord, that Hobart had been restored to the Navy List because ho had ceased to be in the Service of the Turkish Government, was wholly untenable. Now, after all, what were the services of Hobart Pasha? He did not wish to depreciate that gallant officer's services to the Turkish Empire; but in this country, as he (Sir Robert Peel) informed the House the other night, Hobart Pasha never rose to a higher position than that of Commander. He was a Commander 22 years ago, as had been stated by an hon. Gentleman opposite. He held the command for two years of the Foxhound; that was the only service that this Admiral, who was now put on the Navy List, could look back to; that was what had been called by several hon. Gentlemen his very distinguished service. He (Sir Robert Peel) maintained that if Hobart Pasha was to be put on the Retired List, there was a Regulation in the Navy which must be altered. A gallant Admiral, a man of no politics, had pointed out to him that it was impossible for the Government to put back Hobart Pasha unless they altered one of the Regulations of the Service. Now, according to the Table of Regulations published in the Navy List this month, all officers of Her Majesty's Navy claiming half-pay and retired pay were required to make this declaration— I do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am entitled to half-pay at the rate of so and so, and that I have not accepted any employment under any other Government except under the authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. He therefore maintained that they must alter the fundamental arrangements of their Navy List, if they were to give a pension to Hobart Pasha in the manner suggested. He had no feeling, God knew, against Hobart Pasha on this point. He merely raised the question as a matter of principle. He contended that they could not give to this Turkish Admiral, Hobart Pasha, a position on their Navy List, which there was no precedent whatever to justify. The four cases which had been quoted by the late Postmaster General—namely, those of Admiral Slade, Admiral Sartorius, Admiral Napier, and Admiral Walker, bore in no way upon the case in point; and he (Sir Robert Peel) earnestly hoped the House would not make this grant of money, which could not be justified either as a matter of policy, but which was certainly contrary to the Regulations of Her Majesty's Service.


said, he was rather surprised to hear so remarkable a speech from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) as the one he had just delivered. His hon. Friend did not usually disport himself as an advocate of pensions at the expense of the community, and therefore it was a little astonishing he should do so on the present occasion. He (Mr. Rylands) considered that the charge on the Naval Vote for retired pay was a charge which all must deplore. It was increasing from year to year, and on many occasions hon. Gentlemen had pointed out that its extent was becoming a positive danger to the State. He felt very strongly that if any officer was tempted by the offer of very large remuneration to go into some foreign service the public should be relieved, by that very fact, from a charge for pension in respect of that officer. But if that could not he accepted as a rule, it was clear that if a man went into foreign service contrary to the Law of Neutrality and contrary to the directions of the Admiralty, he forfeited any right to pension. It was said that Hobart Pasha was no longer in the Turkish Service. He would like his hon. Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) to go to his constituents and see what they would say when he told them the story; that here was a man who was formerly a Commander in the British Navy; that he went into a Foreign Service tempted by a large salary, but contrary to the Regulations of the Navy, and without the permission of the Admiralty; that he was struck off the Navy List; that after some years during which he had enjoyed high rank and pay, he was by some means or other allowed to come again on the Navy List of this country; that again he entered the Service of a Foreign Power and was struck off the Navy List; that he remained in that Foreign Service up to the present time, receiving, no doubt, very considerable remuneration, and that the late Government—the Government of economy —put this Hobart Pasha as a permanent charge on the country to the extent of £365 a-year. His hon. Friend the Member for Northampton rose in his place and asserted that the re-instatement of Hobart Pasha was simply an act of justice. Justice to whom? Justice to the people of this country, who were to be taxed to the extent of this pension without any service having been rendered to justify it? The right hon. Gentleman the late Postmaster General (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) told the House a mysterious story about certain public interests which were involved, and certain great services which might he rendered by Hobart Pasha. What were those services? The right hon. Gentleman could not say. Was it to give them the information he had obtained while in the service of the Turks? Was he to be a spy at a salary of £365 a-year? What was Hobart Pasha to be? If the Government got rid of the pension, but came down to the House and said—"Here is this gentleman, Hobart Pasha, he can do great service to the country, and it is worth our while to pay him £365 a-year in return for that service," the House would be quite prepared to consider such a proposition. Bight hon. Gentlemen ought not to come to the House, and, in order to justify a pension which this gallant officer had no right to, to trump up a story about certain duties of a public character they expected him to perform, but which duties were such that they could not be explained. He looked upon this transaction with the greatest possible dislike and disgust, and he should be glad to have the opportunity of recording his vote against it.


said, he thought that the point last touched upon by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Burnley (Mr. Rylands) deserved more emphasis than the hon. Gentleman had given it. The other points had been put before the House with clearness and effect. The case presented by the late Government rested entirely upon the one point that Hobart Pasha, owing to his official connection with the Turkish Navy and Government, might, tinder certain contingencies, have been serviceable to this country. That was a most sinister suggestion to put before the House of Commons. Anything more mean or contemptible he could scarcely imagine. The hon. Member for Wick-low (Mr. M'Coan) pleaded the case of this Admiral, because there had been for years strained relations between Turkey and this country, and Hobart Pasha was really the only medium by which the two countries were kept away from each other's throats. They were not told by the late Postmaster General that on his merits Hobart Pasha would have been entitled to a pension. The right hon. Gentleman did not venture to suggest that Hobart Pasha, on account of having been a British Commander, was entitled to come back to his former position and enjoy a pension; but the matter was put entirely on the special ground that they were approaching a period of difficulty with a great Power, and it was possible that Hobart Pasta, supposing that they had a pecuniary hold upon him, might render some service to this country. What service could he have rendered to his country, because the right hon. Gentleman did make a reference to the time when they maintained their neutrality? When Turkey was going to war with Russia they were obliged to detach Hobart Pasha lest they should have been implicated in their official relationship with the belligerents. But although Hobart Pasha was re-instated in the British Navy he remained in the Turkish Service. Surely Turkey was concerned in her neutrality, and for us to put her in the position that her neutrality was in danger was anything but worthy of us. From first to last it appeared to him that this proceeding savoured very much of chicanery. He felt more strongly on this matter, because this unjustifiable act had been done by men with whom he had apolitical connection. He could only wish the matter remained where it first stood, or that the responsibility rested elsewhere than on the shoulders of the late Government. He should have great pleasure in voting against the grant.


said, he intended to vote for this pension, and would like to give his reasons. It appeared to him that the whole question turned upon the importance to this country of there being a British officer concerned in the Navy of Turkey. He must confess he did not see the slightest meanness in keeping up a connection with the Empire of the Porte. It was of the greatest importance from a political point of view, and also from a naval point of view, that they should have, he would not say the control, but certainly something to do, at any rate, with the Navy of Turkey. It was well they should have an officer whom they could trust well acquainted with all the details of the Turkish Navy; and on that ground alone he intended to support the reinstatement of Hobart Pasha upon the Navy List of this country. With respect to the pecuniary part of the question, he thought he would be supported by the hon. Members who had been and were connected with the Admiralty, when he said that Hobart Pasha's claim to retired pay could not be for a moment questioned. When Hobart Pasha was re-instated he was without doubt entitled to the pay of his retired rank. He (Mr. A. Egerton) thought the First Lord of the Admiralty (Lord George Hamilton) and the Government would do wisely to support the decision which had been come to after grave consideration by the late Government.


asked if Hobart Pasha signed the declaration which the right hon. Baronet (Sir Robert Peel) mentioned as being required in such cases?


inquired if it was true that Hobart Pasha was still drawing his pay from the Turkish Government? It seemed to him rather too much that a Turkish Admiral should expect to be at the same time an English Admiral, so that if Turkey became bankrupt and was unable to provide him with half-pay he could fall back on the revenue of the English Navy.


said, he had exhausted his right to speak; but perhaps the House would allow him to answer a question which had been put to him. Hobart Pasha was re-instated in 1874, and he (Lord George Hamilton) understood that the Admiralty then consented to the gallant officer serving in the Turkish Navy. He regretted that when speaking on this subject the other day he stated that he was under the impression that Hobart Pasha had loft the Turkish Service. He was in error. Hobart Pasha was still in the Turkish Service.


Did he sign the declaration?


No, it is not necessary.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 107; Noes 55: Majority 52.—(Div. List, No. 222.)


said, before the next Question was put from the Chair, he wished to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it was not correct, as he had stated, that the declaration he had read to the House was required from an officer before receiving half-pay? With all respect to Mr. Speaker he submitted that he was entitled to ask that question.


The Question is, "That this House do agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."


Before you put that Question I submit that I am entitled to ask the Government whether the following declaration is not required to be made by a naval officer before receiving half-pay— I…do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am entitled to half-pay at the rate of…and that I have not accepted any employment under any other Government except under the authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.


I thought I had answered that question already; but if my right hon. Friend is not satisfied, and will place a Notice on the Paper, I will answer it again. In 1874 Hobart Pasha was in the service of the Turkish Government, and he was afterwards re-instated. 1 presume that the Lords of the Admiralty would not have re-instated him if they had not approved of his being in the service of the Turkish Government.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the House do agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."


said, as the right Gentleman the Member for Huntingdon (Sir Robert Peel) had been requested to put a Notice of his Question on the Paper it might be desirable to adjourn the debate.


asked whether the hon. Member for Colchester had not exhausted his right to speak on this question?


said, he would give hon. Members an opportunity of expressing their views on that subject by moving the adjournment of the debate.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."— (Mr. Causton.)


said, he thought the hon. Member for Colchester had made his Motion for the adjournment of the debate under a misconception. His noble Friend had answered the question of the right hon. Baronet most distinctly.


said, it seemed to him that as since 1877 Hobart Pasha had been acting in breach of the Foreign Enlistment Act, it was impossible that the Government should not know it.


Sir, I hope the hon. Member for Colchester will not press his Motion for the adjournment of the debate. The House has already expressed an opinion on the subject-matter of the question; and I am sure my noble Friend will do his best to satisfy the right hon. Baronet to-morrow after further inquiry.


said, he should be happy to withdraw his Motion. At the same time, he asked what other opportunity there would be of protesting against the Vote?


said, he should like to hear some explanation of the statement that Hobart Pasha had played the part of a blockade runner.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.