§ 15. Admiral of the Fleet Sir H. MEUX
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there was an Order in Council some time in 1914 before the War altering the regulations governing the promotion of Admirals to Admirals of the Fleet; and, if so, why was this Order in Council kept secret and withheld from the knowledge of the admirals it affected?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The King's Regulations prior to August, 1914, contained the following provision:Admirals of the Fleet will be selected by His Majesty from the Admirals on the Active List who have served as Commander-in-Chief or who have commanded at sea as Flag Officer for two years.This was changed so as to read—Admirals of the Fleet will be selected by His Majesty from the Admirals on the Active List who have served with distinction as Flag Officer, without regard to seniority.At the same time the Board decided that in selecting officers for promotion the following qualifications should be required:To have served as First Sea Lord for upwards of twelve months,orTo have commanded the principal Fleet, for a period of twelve months,orTo have performed special war or other conspicuous service since the attainment of captain's rank.No specific Order in Council was necessary and none was obtained.
The change in the King's Regulations was promulgated to the Fleet by Admiralty Monthly Order of 1st August, 1914, and as all the admirals affected were then serving they had access to the Order in question.
§ Sir H. MEUX
Does the right hon. Gentleman not see that one of the conditions that he has to serve at least one year as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty makes the First Sea Lord during that period absolutely at the mercy of the First Lord?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA