§ THE EARL OF HARDWICKE
said, that the noble Duke at the head of the Admiralty had been kind enough to allow him to put a Question in reference to Warrant Officers of which he had given notice. The noble Duke had made a great many alterations in the service, and the consequence was that a great number of new ranks had been created, which had caused a constant anxiety for change of rank. They also caused greater difficulty in governing the navy and maintaining its discipline. Among other ranks the Government had created that of warrant officers in chief; and no sooner had the rank been created than dissatisfaction arose. There were 1,200 warrant officers in the service, and from these the Admiralty had selected fourteen carpenters, fourteen gunners, and twenty-seven boatswains, and created them warrant officers in chief. Now the gunners and carpenters did not understand this disparity and were dissatisfied that there were not twenty-seven from each class promoted, that number of men having been selected from the boatswains. They also thought that instead of the men intended for promotion being selected from 981 the whole number, they ought to rise by seniority, the same as the officers rose upon the flag list. The question he wished to ask was, Whether the Admiralty intended to equalize the number of gunners and of carpenters to that of boatswains who had been raised to the chief rank—namely, twenty-seven of them; and also, whether it was intended that the harbour duty officers should participate in this promotion, and if not upon what principle they were passed over?
§ THE DUKE OF SOMERSET
said, that in the first instance twelve gunners, twelve boatswains, and twelve carpenters had been promoted from the sea service list of warrant officers. Simultaneously with these promotions, but quite separate from them, promotion was given to certain warrant officers employed in the dockyards. Boatswains were employed in the dockyards as superintendents, and it was thought desirable that men in their position should have the rank of chief boatswain, but without the increase of pay which the same class of warrant officers on sea service were to receive with their promotions. It was not intended to confer this rank on warrant officers employed in harbour service.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before Seven o'clock, till Monday next, Eleven o'clock.