HL Deb 24 June 1915 vol 19 cc142-3

LORD LATYMER had the following Question on the Paper—

To ask His Majesty's Government whether officers of the Royal Marines are now competent to sit on Courts-Martial on their own men when held on board ship.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have been requested by the noble Duke who represents the Admiralty in this House not to put my Question. He thinks that it would not be in the public interest that it should be pressed at the present time, and, of course, in such days as these one can only acquiesce in whatever one is asked in that way. But I wish to make a remark or two on the subject without asking the Question. I know that the noble Duke has taken a kindly interest in the Royal Marines, and I hope that he will bear in mind that the Admiralty have always what I would call shirked and burked questions of this kind with regard to the Royal Marines. I do not for one moment mean to draw a likeness between the present and past occasions of the same sort, but I trust that the noble Duke as time goes on will cause inquiry to be made into the many grievances under which the Royal Marines suffer. I would also draw attention to the fact that there is no representative of the Royal Marines on the Board of Admiralty, and therefore they have no voice in the internal arrangements of their Force. No doubt public interest is a very important matter, but there is one other matter which is of quite as great importance—that is that justice should be done to all sections of His Majesty's Forces.


I am much obliged to my noble friend for allowing his Question to be postponed. I can assure him that there is no antipathy whatever to the Royal Marines, and that any references which he makes concerning them will be sympathetically received.