§ Mr. COCKS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty (1) if he is aware that the 24 naval ratings recently dismissed were not informed of the charges made against them or given any opportunity of defending themselves against such charges; and whether, this being so, he will institute a public inquiry into the matter;852W
(2) if he will indicate the nature of the conduct subversive of discipline indulged in since their return from Invergordon by the 24 naval ratings recently dismissed from the Navy?
Sir B. EYRES MONSELL
I am not prepared to meet either request. I would ask the hon. Member and the House to accept my assurance that it would not be in the public interest nor in the interests of the individuals concerned to give any further publicity beyond what has already been given to the circumstances in which the Board of Admiralty have acted in these particular cases. The Naval Enlistment Acts reserve entire discretion to the Board of Admiralty to discharge or authorise the discharge of any seaman or other person whatsoever from His Majesty's Naval Service, and the Board have exercised their lawful discretion on the present occasion with the fullest sense of their responsibility for the discipline and well-being of the Navy.