HC Deb 29 April 1898 vol 56 cc1533-4

On behalf of the honourable Member for Cork (Mr. J. F. X. O'BRIEN) I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, before the Channel Squadron left Gibraltar for a fortnight's cruise some weeks ago, Admiral Stephenson allowed the Protestant and Dissenting sailors to go ashore on Sunday for divine service, but did not allow the same privilege to the Catholics, about 1,000: and whether there is a Catholic chaplain attached to the Channel Squadron?


In consequence of men landed for divine service at Gibraltar not returning in time for their dinners, a very unpopular result, the Roman Catholic bishop, the Wesleyan and Presbyterian ministers were communicated with by the Vice Admiral Commanding the Channel Squadron, and were requested to arrange services at a more convenient time. The Wesleyan and Presbyterian ministers at once complied, and on the next occasion the men of these denominations were landed for service, but owing to the representation having been addressed to the Roman Catholic bishop instead of to the Roman Catholic chaplain to the Forces direct, the request did not reach the latter in time; accordingly, on the one Sunday—namely, 13th March—the Roman Catholic men were not landed. The whole matter has since been satisfactorily arranged. There is no Roman Catholic chaplain attached to the Channel Squadron, but the Roman Catholic chaplain to the forces at Gibraltar has spiritual charge of the Roman Catholics of the Fleet when at that port.