HC Deb 18 July 1923 vol 166 c2282
10. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what was the value of ammunition expended on gun salutes by the Royal Navy last year and what is the estimated expenditure this year; and whether, in the interests of economy and tranquillity, he will consider abolishing all gun salutes except those carried out when visiting a foreign saluting port, returning salutes by foreign warships, and saluting foreign admirals, sovereigns, and other potentates afloat?


The cost of saluting ammunition is estimated at £2,400 per annum. Apart from the salute to foreign flags, salutes are fired to British, Dominion, Colonial, Diplomatic and Consular officers, and to Indian potentates and officials. The Admiralty are not prepared to consider the abolition of these salutes. There are also the salutes to British flag officers, to Members of the Royal Family and on fixed anniversaries, such as Empire Day, King's Birthday, etc. I cannot say what fraction of the sum of £2,400 is expended on salutes of this latter class, but it cannot be the greater proportion, and I do not think it is worth while abolishing an old established custom, which is followed by all other Navies, for the sake of the small sum involved.


Would the expression "other potentates" cover retired naval commanders?


I am afraid not.