HC Deb 19 February 1918 vol 103 cc621-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if there is any Government publication containing the punishments authorised to be inflicted upon men serving in the Navy; what are the powers of a commander of a warship in regard to the infliction of summary punishment; what is the nature of the punishments that a commander can inflict; whether a sailor has any right to demand a naval court-martial; and whether sailors or petty officers are entitled to sit upon naval courts-martial?


The authorised punishments in the Navy are Specified in Section 52 of the Naval Discipline Act and 757 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions. The commanding officer can, under Section 56, Sub-section (2), deal with any offence not capital which is triable under the Act and not committed by an officer. He has full power to award certain minor punishments. Certain other more serious punishments awarded by him have in certain cases to receive the prior approval of the nearest flag officer, or the prior approval of the Commander-in-Chief of the station or senior officer, or the prior approval of the Admiralty. No rating has any right to demand a naval court-martial, except chief petty officers, petty officers, and non-commissioned officers of the Royal Marines, who are charged with offences which, if proved, would justify their being disrated. Naval ratings are not entitled to sit on naval courts-martial.