HC Deb 12 December 1912 vol 45 cc772-3

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty a question, of which I have given him private notice: Whether he can now add anything to the information which he gave the House yesterday on the subject of the resignation of the First Sea Lord?


The duties which at all times fall upon the First Sea Lord vitally affect the safety of the State. During the last few months I had come to realise, from constant personal intercourse with Sir Francis Bridgeman on official business, in which he always maintained the highest standard of capacity and zeal, that his health and strength were becoming no longer sufficient to enable him without undue strain to sustain the responsibilities of his great office. His life this year at the Admiralty has been a continual struggle against ill-health. He himself was deeply concerned upon the subject and had on several occasions contemplated laying down his office from this cause. Having reached a definite conclusion, I was bound, with the concurrence of the Prime Minister, to impart it to Sir Francis Bridgeman, which I did by letter on 28th November, during his absence from London through illness. In consequence of this, Sir Francis Bridgeman, with great propriety, resigned his post. No difference of view or policy has at any time existed between us or could have led him to tender his resignation, and on personal grounds I have the greatest regret that our official association should come to an end.