MR. BKLLAIRS (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the proposed Order in Council, of which notice has been given by the Privy Council Office with reference to naval officers' half-pay and retired pay being liable to abatement to meet mess debts or other similar debts or liabilities, is intended to cover any civil debts; and whether the Order in Council will clearly define the nature of the debts which the Admiralty are seeking power to pay out of the pensions or pay earned by naval officers.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. EDMUND ROBERTSON, ) Dundee
The Order in Council is sought in order to obtain power to recover debts of a semi-public nature, incurred under Service arrangements of which the Admiralty take official cognisance, and not ordinary civil debts. The Admiralty are advised that the terms used cannot be construed to bear a wider significance, and no necessity is therefore seen for a stricter definition than that contained in the memorial. The powers which it is sought to obtain are similar to those already possessed by the War Office in respect of regimental debts.