§ (Relations between Military and Naval Forces Acting Together.)
§ 184a. (1) Where an officer or petty officer in the Navy is a member of a body of His Majesty's naval forces acting with or is attached to any body of His Majesty's military forces under such conditions as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Admiralty and Army Council, then, for the purposes of command and discipline and for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to superior officers, he shall, in relation to such body of His Majesty's military forces as aforesaid, be treated and have all such powers (other than powers of punishment) as if he were a military officer or non-commissioned officer as the case may be.
§ (2) Where any officer or soldier is a member of a body of His Majesty's military forces acting with or is attached to any body of His Majesty's naval forces under such conditions as may be so prescribed as aforesaid, then, for the purposes of command and discipline and for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to superior officers, the officers and petty officers of such naval body shall, in relation to him, be treated 1114 and have all such powers (other than powers of punishment) as if they were military officers or non-commissioned officers.
§ (3) The relative rank of naval and military officers, petty officers, and non-commissioned officers shall, for the purposes of this Section, be such as is provided by the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions for the time being in force.
§ Proposed Clause brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE of WAR (Mr. Tennant)
The object of this Amendment is to provide for the mutual relations between naval and military forces acting together and to confer reciprocal powers of command upon military officers or non-commissioned officers and naval officers and petty officers over a naval force and military force respectively, when such forces are acting together. At present two such forces acting in the same place have no defined relation to one another, and a deadlock might ensue from the absence of any definite designation of any officer as the officer in command of all the forces. A military force is, of course, subject to the Army Act, and a naval force to the Naval Discipline Act, and at present a naval officer has no power of command or discipline over soldiers acting with or attached to a naval force, and similarly a military officer has no power of command or discipline over naval ratings acting with or attached to a military force.
The Amendment is devised to meet this difficulty, and a corresponding Amendment to the Naval Discipline Act is being made by the Admiralty in a Naval Discipline Bill which has recently been introduced. As regards carrying out discipline the intention is to confer only the power of arrest, the military or naval offenders being dealt with under the Army Act or Naval Discipline Act respectively, for trial and punishment. The relative rank, for purposes of precedence of naval and military officers, petty officers, and non-commissioned officers is provided in the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instruction. The effect of the provision is therefore to bring about temporarily and within definite limits a coalescence of the two forces. The provision only applies to joint operations on land, and must be 1115 brought into force by a Joint Order specially made by the Admiralty and Army Council for the purpose. The relations between two Forces (military and naval) when the military are embarked on board ship is already provided for under Section 88 of the Naval Discipline Act and an Order in Council made thereunder.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause read a second time, and added to the Bill.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.