HC Deb 17 March 1893 vol 10 cc436-7

2. "That a sum, not exceeding £62,088 10s. 8d., be granted to Her Majesty to make good the Excess of Net Expenditure beyond the ordinary Navy Grants, for the year ended on the 31st day of March 1892."


I desire to make a brief personal explanation with reference to the extraordinary attack made upon me last night by the Secretary to the Admiralty (Sir U. Kay-Shuttleworth), an attack which he prevented me replying to, by having the Closure moved when I rose to answer him. He accused me of ignorance, disingenuousness, and incivility; and the reason why I appeared to have fallen under his displeasure was, that I charged the Admiralty with taking the bread out of the mouths of the seamen and the fishermen, and with destroying the trade of those who work in the estuary of the Thames and the North Sea. I ventured to say that the Admiralty have done that, and I moved the reduction of the Vote. Well, Sir, I am here to stand up for these poor men who are not able to speak for themselves, and I intend to do so unless you, Sir, silence me, whoever happens to be Secretary to the Admiralty. I am sorry to have occupied the time of the House with a personal matter, but I think it is a duty I owe to those men to explain to the House the situation in which they stand. I think it is very hard that a man, when he endeavours to serve his constituents in the best way he can, should be dragooned into silence by the Minister who happens to be in charge of the Vote in a manner that would be regarded as brusque, if applied by Providence to a black-beetle.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman has given an inaccurate version of what occurred yesterday. For instance, he omitted to state that he rose after the Closure had been moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and not before. Therefore, the Closure was not moved for the purpose of preventing him from making any statement he desired to make. It was moved for a totally different reason. I certainly did point out that the hon. and gallant Gentleman had done scant justice to the First Lord of the Admiralty in accusing him of having done nothing, after a certain point had been brought before him by the hon. and gallant Member, when the hon. and gallant Member knew perfectly well that immediate action had been taken by my noble Friend. It was for this injustice of the hon. and gallant Member to my noble Friend that I ventured to take him to task.

MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)

remarked that an order was issued in October last at the Royal Naval Barracks at Plymouth stating that in future the uniform stick would be the one sold at the canteens for 8d., and that this stick was to be in possession of all ranks. He wished to know whether the authorities had power to issue orders of this description without first of all appealing to the Admiralty, and whether it was fair that a charge of 8d. should be made for a stick which would be very dear at 2d? He should also like to know whether the men ought to be called upon to give up practically a day's pay in order to provide themselves with an article of luxury of which they already had a specimen in their possession?


The question my hon. Friend has raised is a new one to me, but it shall be taken into consideration.

Resolutions agreed to.