§ 94. Mr. HOLT
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in pursuance of the rule that the Admiralty's secret instructions are not given to persons whose parents were not British subjects at the time of their birth, Captain George William Goldman was compelled to give up the command of the steamship "Huntsman," belonging to Messrs. T. and J. Harrison, of Liverpool; whether he is aware that Captain Goldman was born in Liverpool in 1861; that his father was a Russian Pole naturalised in 1870, and his mother by birth an English woman, the daughter of an officer in the British Army; that Captain Goldman was educated in Liverpool, and went to sea in 1873 in a ship belonging to Messrs. T. and J. Brockle-bank, with whom he served until he joined Messrs. T. and J. Harrison's service in 1882, in which he has been for thirty five years; whether there is any charge against Captain Goldman; and, if not, whether, seeing that a change of captain did not prevent the "Huntsman" from being immediately sunk by the enemy, he will reconsider a rule which imposes hardship upon many of His Majesty's loyal subjects?
97. Sir WALTER RUNCIMAN
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in pursuance of the rule that the secret instructions will only be given to those masters of ships who were British subjects at the time of their birth, Captain Charles E. Topp has been forced to give up the command of the steamship "Calliope"; whether he is aware that Captain Topp's father was a Dane, who entered the British mercantile marine at fourteen years of age, in which he rose to the position of master, becoming a British subject in 1898, and that Captain Topp's mother was an English woman, born at Blyth, in Northumberland, where Captain Topp also was born in 1874; whether Captain Topp served his apprenticeship in a Liverpool sailing vessel and has since been in the British mercantile marine, serving as master for the last fourteen years with Messrs. Gladstone and Company, of Middlesbrough; whether there is any ground of complaint against Captain Topp's conduct; and, if not, whether, having regard to the scarcity of 913 qualified officers for the mercantile marine, he will enable Captain Topp to resume the practice of his profession?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
There is no wish to dispute the statements as to Captain Goldman or Captain Topp, beyond saying that the evidence as to whether Captain Goldman's father was born in Prussia or comes of Russian Polish stock is not very definite. Captain Goldman and Captain Topp are not eligible for employment in command, because their fathers were not British subjects when they were born. Applications for reconsideration of this rule in their cases are at the present moment engaging attention.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I nave already said that he is not eligible under the rule, but I also went on to say that applications for reconsideration of these cases are at the present time engaging attention, although I give no assurance as to the result.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Will the Admiralty consider applications on the part of captains in the position of these persons, who have a special case to make to the Admiralty?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Yes, Sir. Though I give no assurance as to the result, I see no reason why these captains should not send applications in.