HL Deb 10 July 1874 vol 220 cc1470-2

in calling attention to the case of Admiral P. E. Wilmot removed from his command in the Mediterranean three years ago by the late Board of Admiralty said, he complained of the exceptional severity with which Admiral Wilmot had been treated compared with Admiral Wellesley and the other officers concerned. It was true that both the Admirals were susperseded in consequence of their vessels running on the rock; but there was nothing in the case of Admiral Wilmot—to whose excellence as an officer he could bear personal testimony—which should call for the exceptional severity displayed towards him. The punishment inflicted on Admiral Wilmot would have the effect of depriving him of the rant to which he would be entitled by his 46 year's service. He trusted Her Majesty's Government would reconsider the case, and would afford Admiral Wilmot an opportunity of obtaining that rank to which he would otherwise be entitled. In seeking to obtain an assurance to that effect from the Government, he might add that he had not been instigated by Admiral Wilmot or by his friends.


said, he was not astonished that the noble Lord should have brought this subject forward, having heard him say that he had served under Admiral Wilmot. No doubt every word which the noble Lord had stated in regard to the Admiral's high professional character was deserved, but their Lordships must all feel that, however much a man deserved eulogium, public men had duties to perform which, though painful to them, must be gone through. The late Government had thought fit to supersede Admiral Wilmot and another officer—Admiral Wellesley—for what occurred off Gibraltar. He regretted that in advocating the cause of Admiral Wilmot the noble Lord should have drawn any comparison between the sentence awarded against him and that against his brother officer. Both officers were concerned in the misfortune, and perhaps if they went into particulars some difference in conduct might be found. At the same time, Admiral Wilmot's loss would not be so great as some understood, because in a few weeks he would be placed on the Retired List of Admirals; and it would have been a most unusual thing to give an officer a broken command for a few weeks in order that he might obtain a boon. His right hon. Friend at the head of the Admiralty had considered that the Admiral could not be again employed. The case of Admiral Wilmot had been considered with very great care by the Board of Admiralty, and it was not thought possible to give him that command which it was his object and wish to obtain.


said, that in bringing the subject before their Lordships he was actuated only by a desire to remove the stigma which might be supposed to rest on the reputation of the gallant Admiral concerned.