§ DR. R. M'DONALD (Ross & Cromarty)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the Chief Officer in charge of the Naval Reserve men in Stornoway employs these men in rowing visitors to Stornoway Castle round the harbour there, preparing and decorating their drill shed for over a week for a friend's marriage, and using rockets the property of the Admiralty to celebrate the same, and, generally speaking, often requisitions the labours of the Reserve men for his own private purposes in his house and elsewhere; and whether the employment by an officer of Naval Reserve men for private purposes is in accordance with the regulations of the Admiralty?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Lord G. HAMILTON, Middlesex, Ealing)
I have called for a Report on the allegations made by the hon. Gentleman from which it appears that the Chief Officer in charge of Naval Reserve men at Stornoway is not in the habit, as suggested, of employing these men to row visitors to Stornoway Castle round the harbour. It is true that one lady who was staying at the Castle was on 692 several occasions rowed by Coastguard men at a time when they had no duty to perform. As regards the drill shed, it was lent for one evening for a private entertainment, and a few flags and evergreens were put up by the Coastguard during the evening. Steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence of this irregularity. The rockets used on the occasion in question were private property. There is no foundation for the suggestion that the Chief Officer employs the Naval Reserve men for private purposes.