§ MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether it is the established practice of the Navy to hold a public court-martial on every officer who loses or surrenders his ship; and, if so, whether he can state why this rule has not been enforced in the case of H.M.S. "Ariel," lost on Malta breakwater on 19th April.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
The practice is usual, but not invariable. Where all the facts have been brought out by a Court of Inquiry—as in this case—the Admiralty has power to deal with it directly without further trial. The officer in question was censured.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
asked whether the procedure differed from that which was followed five years ago in the case of the hon. Member who put this somewhat ungenerous Question.
§ MR. BELLAIRS
asked whether it was ungenerous to ask such a Question when, where a court-martial was held, the sword of an officer was returned to him with honour where there was no fault on his part. That was the reason why he put the Question.