MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, whether he is aware that the owners of certain private pleasure yachts belonging to yacht clubs, to whose members the Admiralty grant warrants to wear the white ensign of Her Majesty's Navy (instead of the proper national colours of the red ensign), dress their crew in a dress having the appearance of the uniform of the Navy; and whether any such persons have received Her Majesty's permission to wear such a dress; if not, whether the Admiralty have taken or will take any steps to enforce the penalty of £5 imposed by the Military Uniforms 149 Act, 1894, upon every person wearing such a dress, or otherwise to secure the observance of the law; and whether it is proposed to continue, without modification, the present practice of allowing certain yacht clubs to claim and receive Admiralty warrants to wear the white or blue ensign (in lieu of the proper national colours) for private persons so long as those persons continue members of these clubs?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. W. E. MACARTNEY,) Antrim, S.
The Admiralty have no official information on the subject of the first question. The penalty imposed by the Military Uniform Act, 1894, can only be enforced in the case of a person wearing the uniform in such manner as to bring contempt upon it. The discretionary power belonging to the Admiralty to authorise the use of her Majesty's colours in ships and boats other than those of Her Majesty is given by Statute (Section 73 Merchant Shipping Act, 1894). There is no intention of making an alteration in the practice of issuing warrants to fly special flags.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
With reference to the statement of the hon. Gentleman that this penalty can be imposed only in cases in which the uniform is brought into contempt, is he aware that there is one penalty of £5 for wearing uniform, and another of £10 for bringing a uniform into contempt.