HC Deb 22 February 1912 vol 34 cc724-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will give the exact title of the post at the Admiralty to which he has appointed Sir Francis Hopwood, and what are the scope and extent of its duties; whether these duties conflict with or in any way duplicate the function of the present Civil Lord; and whether he has considered, is considering, or will consider the possibility of abolishing the latter post, and thus saving the salary to the nation?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)

The Civil Lord is primarily responsible for Vote 10, which covers the whole of the important field of naval works, and comprises many of the most difficult and complicated questions of Admiralty administration. Except at certain occasional points, the functions of the Additional Civil Lord, as Sir Francis Hopwood has, according to precedent, been styled, will not touch the duties which have been most carefully discharged during the last six years by my hon. Friend the Civil Lord. The general scope and character of the duties assigned to the Additional Civil Lord, as was explained by the Minute which was published at the time of the appointment, are the supervision of the work of the various Departments connected with contracts and purchasing, and the conduct of the business and commercial transactions of the Admiralty with the great contracting firms. The arrangements now in force, although in some respects tentative, are working well, and are of great assistance to the Board of Admiralty; but it may be some months before I shall be able to issue, as I intend to do, the revised table of distribution of business, which will show in precise detail the functions of the various officers.


Was there any competitive examination prior to the appointment?