HC Deb 07 May 1891 vol 353 c270
COLONEL HILL (Bristol, S.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will lay upon the Table the Report of the Naval Committee respecting the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers; whether he will state the number of the corps; if it be a fact that, ever since the formation of the Force, the Admiralty have received favourable Reports of their efficiency from the Naval Officers who have inspected them from time to time; and whether he will take these circumstances into consideration before taking any steps that would tend to deprive Her Majesty's Service of so fine a body of men?


I will certainly publish the Report upon the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers. There are 12 corps numbering 1,947 members in all. The Reports from Inspecting Officers have been satisfactory so far as related to the efficiency of the men at gun and rifle drill. It is not proposed to deprive Her Majesty's Service of this fine body of men, but to gradually convert them into Marine Artillery. The main reason for this change is the impossibility, as proved by past experience, of converting lands men into seamen by drill in shore batteries. The Admiralty appreciate the energy and patriotism with which the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers have endeavoured to qualify themselves for sea work afloat, and feel confident that the changes proposed will enable them, by concentrating their attention on duties which they can master, to be of greater use than heretofore.