HC Deb 06 October 1931 vol 257 cc976-8
22 and 23. Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty (1) if he will snake a statement as to the recent unrest in His Majesty's Navy, and what is the present position;

(2) whether it is his intention to set up a committee of inquiry into the recent events in His Majesty's Navy with a view to the avoidance of similar outbreaks in future, the redress of grievances, if any, and the restoration of public confidence?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Sir Austen Chamberlain)

It is not the intention to set up any further committee of inquiry. The representations made with regard to pay and pensions at the inquiries at the Home Ports and the representations made by the Commander-in-Chief at foreign stations have been the subject of careful consideration, and the Fleet Orders announcing the decisions arrived at as a result of those representations were published on Saturday last, and have no doubt been read by my hon. and gallant Friend. The ships of the Atlantic Fleet which have remained at the Home Ports in order to facilitate the holding of these inquiries will reassemble at an early date and continue their exercises. As I stated in this House on the 30th September (OFFICIAL REPORT, Column 340), the Board of Admiralty are carefully considering whether any, and if so what, changes are necessary in the methods at present open to men of the Royal Navy for making representations as to their service conditions.

Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

Is there any evidence of outside subversive influences in regard to these outbreaks, and does my right hon. Friend realise that the great majority of the Navy remained loyal, and that unless discipline is enforced and mutiny and weakness is punished, you only discourage that loyalty?


The House debated this question the other day.


Is that not a gross reflection on men who were defending their wives and children?

Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

On a point of Order. Did I understand you to say, Mr. Speaker, that my question in regard to outside subversive influences was not in order?


All that I said was that we had debated all this the other day, and I did not think we needed another one to-day.

Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

It was only a question, not a Debate, Sir.