§ The House in a Committee of Supply on the Navy Estimates. Several votes were agreed to.
§ On a vote being proposed of 359,827l. for naval stores.
§ Mr. George F. Young
declared, that he could not suffer this vote to be taken without expressing his objection to the present system by which the Government obtained their English oak for ship-building. It ought to be supplied by open competition and public contract.
§ Mr. George F. Young
was glad to hear that such was the case, and therefore he would not repeat his objection to the present system, but he must express his objections to the system of suffering ships to rot in ordinary, while new ships were being built by way of experiment. He had seen with his own eyes, within the last fortnight, a 74-gun ship, which cost 60,000l. or 70,000l. building, which had been sold within the last few months for 6,000l., although she was in a state of as perfect soundness as any ship could be that was just launched. The ship to which he referred, was the Scarborough. He was informed, that she had been sold out of the service, in consequence of her not possessing some particular qualities which it was conceived his Majesty's ships ought to possess; yet ships were building still. Since the present surveyor of the Navy (Sir W. Symonds) had filled that office, upwards of half a million of money had been spent in constructing ships upon his plan, and we were suffering ships built by former surveyors to rot in ordinary in the meantime, while other naval constructors, Captain Hayes and Admiral Elliott, were also building ships on their individual plans, in order that it might be decided whose plan was the best. Now, the Government ought, by this time, to have determined either that Sir W. Sy- 908 monds's plan was the best, or that it was not. If it was, why should they go on trying experiments? He trusted that he had shown that a primâ facie case for investigation existed, and when an opportunity arose, he should certainly move for a Committee of Inquiry, which he hoped would be granted. He could not allow this vote to pass without entering his protest against the lavish expenditure of the public money in building new ships when old ships were rotting in ordinary.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
said, that if when the hon. Member brought forward his motion, he would give him the particulars of the information he required, he would be prepared to assent to the returns, or to show such reasons for refusing them as he had no doubt would be satisfactory to the House. The first point to which the hon. Member had referred, was the expense incurred in building ships on the plan of Sir W. Symonds. The hon. Member had brought a charge against Sir W. Symonds on that ground.
§ Mr. George F. Young
I brought no charge at all against Sir W. Symonds on the score of his plan causing greater expense than that of others.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
would turn, then, to the next point which the hon. Member had made the object of his assault. He had said, that ships had been sold and broken up which were in a sound and seaworthy state. Now, he held in his hand, a report of a survey of the Scarborough, and from that it appeared that it was not possible that she could be sent to sea without undergoing repairs which would cost more than building a new ship. He might further state, with reference to the charge of building more ships than were wanted, that no ships were now building, nor had been built for the last two years, except small vessels or steamers. All the alterations referred to by the hon. Gentleman had been made before Sir W. Symonds was surveyor of the Navy.
§ Mr. George F. Young
remarked, that the hon. Gentleman was perfectly incorrect in his statements. He had himself seen the Boscawen in the state in which she was originally built, and knew that she had undergone great alterations since Sir W. Symonds held his present office. With regard to the Scarborough, he took on himself to state, in spite of surveys, that she was as sound as a vessel could be. He asserted, that within the last 909 fortnight he had seen her, from stem to Stern, cut down in such a manner that every timber was to be seen. A surveyor of the navy ought to be practically acquainted with his profession—and ought to have been brought up as a shipwright. But when a naval officer was appointed to such an office, he must perforce see, not with his own eyes, but through the eyes of others.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
reiterated his former statement respecting the repairs of the Boscawen, and confirmed it by reading the return of the repairs and the alterations made in that ship from 1810 to 1819. The report on the state of the Scarborough was made to the Admiralty through the surveyor by a scientific shipwright, who had seen the vessel, as the hon. Member said it should be seen, with his own eyes.
§ Admiral Adam
said, that though the upper part of the Scarborough might be in a sound state, he had no doubt that it would be found upon further examination that her bottom was quite unsound. He was quite convinced, from examination, of the general correctness of the reports sent in by the surveyor of the navy.
§ Captain Pechell
also contended, that in this case the surveyor bad done his duty, and that the ship was wholly unfit to remain in his Majesty's service. Whilst on his legs, he would take the liberty of asking the Secretary for the Admiralty whether a statement which had recently appeared in the public papers respecting the capabilities of the Vernon, and which purported to be signed by a number of her officers, was an official statement? It was an unusual course for the officers of one of his Majesty's ships of war to express an opinion publicly respecting the merits of the ship in which they sailed. But if that course were correct, and if officers were to be permitted to express opinions favourable to their ship, he trusted that they would also be permitted to express opinions, when they felt them, unfavourable to their ship. The gallant Officer read an advertisement stating the excellent sailing qualities of the Vernon. signed by a number of her lieutenants and six midshipmen. Now, was that statement official or not? If it were official, and it were held correct for his Majesty's naval officers to make such a statement, then in case he were again put in command of such a frigate as he had once commanded, he should feel himself at 910 liberty to express, and allow his officers to express, their disapprobation of donkey or jackass frigates.
§ Mr. Charles Wood
said, that he had just as much knowledge of the statement to which the hon. and gallant Officer referred, as the hon. and gallant Officer had himself, and no more.
§ Mr. George F. Young
had no doubt that the officers of the Barham would. have given the same favourable opinion of that ship that the officers of the Vernon had given of theirs, had they not been a little more discreet than the officers of their rival vessel.
§ Mr. Hume
considered the House entitled to have a fuller account than it had at present, of the number of ships in ordinary and in building, before the present vote was agreed to. He would take that opportunity of observing, that the right hon. Member for Cumberland had taken an unwise step in putting down, as he had done, the School of Naval Architecture, which had existed for more than twenty-eight years. Those who came after the present generation, would have cause to regret the mischief done to the naval service by the suppression of that school.
§ Sir James Graham
remarked, that he had on a former occasion, when he was in office, shown, from official documents, that from the time of William 3rd down to the time when he was speaking, there was never a smaller number of ships in ordinary in time of peace than now. With respect to the suppression of the School of Naval Architecture, he begged to console the hon. Member for Middlesex by assuring him, that if any mischief arose from that measure, it must be very distant, as there were many gentlemen who had been educated in that school, now in the dockyards, who were capable, if they were elevated to the situation, of fulfilling the duty of surveyor of the navy. He would now avail himself of the opportunity to ask the Secretary of the Admiralty a question respecting the suppression of the Naval College. He thought that the decision to which the Admiralty had come on that subject, was, upon the whole, a wise one. It was necessary, however, to consider how the naval youth were in future to be educated, to whom the honour of the British flag and the lives of British seamen were to be confided. He had himself unquestionably contemplated the 911 suppression of the Naval College; but. contemplating that measure, he had always felt the importance of framing some scheme of naval education to be adopted in its stead. He was of opinion that that scheme ought to blend both the theory and the practice of managing ships, and being of that opinion, he also thought that the cock-pit of a man of war would be the best school for carrying that scheme into execution. It appeared to him to be expedient, that in every man of war, except they were small craft indeed, there should be a schoolmaster appointed, after a stringent examination into his qualifications for the situation, and that he should be paid liberally in order to ensure the services of persons properly qualified. He thought that by the instrumentality of such schoolmasters, an uniform system of education might be introduced into the navy. He would now ask whether that subject had been taken into consideration by his Majesty's Government. He had no doubt that it had, and he therefore expected to receive a satisfactory reply from the Secretary to the Admiralty.
§ Mr. C. Wood
observed, that two questions had been asked. The first question related to the number of ships which were at that time building in the dockyards. To that question he should reply by stating, that there were at present seven line-of-battle-ships building, the same number of frigates of the first class, nine of smaller dimensions, together with three armed steam-vessels. The second question related to the system of naval education, and to that question he should reply by stating, that the Government had considered a plan for the future education of the navy. The Admiralty were of opinion, that a better education would be given to our naval youth by blending their scientific education with that general system of education which it was desirable that every gentleman who entered the navy should possess. They had, therefore, decided, that to every ship of war there should be attached a competent schoolmaster, with an adequate salary, and that he should be well qualified for his duties, by being taken either from an English or a Scotch university. They had in consequence obtained an order of Council, raising the pay of all schoolmasters in the naval service to the amount given at present to a schoolmaster in a first-rate. The Admiralty likewise proposed, that as each 912 youngster now paid a certain sum to the schoolmaster, and as all who had been at the Naval College paid certain fees for the instruction which they received there, the schoolmaster on board of our ships of war should, in future, receive 5l. a-year from all persons who received his instruction. This regulation would enable them to pay the schoolmasters salaries varying from 160l. to 300l. a-year. Another regulation, which it was intended to make, was, that there should not be a greater number of schoolmasters appointed than we had ships in commission. The Admiralty were at present considering the best mode of examining into the qualifications of the future naval schoolmasters. Though he could not state, at that moment, the precise nature of the qualifications which the naval schoolmasters would be required to possess, or of the examination to which they would be subjected as a test of those qualifications, he hoped that he should, in a very short time, be able to make a statement on both points which would be satisfactory to the House and to the public.
§ Sir James Graham
observed, that what had just fallen from the hon. Secretary of the Admiralty, appeared to him to be in the main, most satisfactory. He thought that there should be one definite and uniform system of naval education, which the qualified schoolmasters should all be bound to teach. In a matter of such importance to our naval service, there should be no stickling about such paltry economy as the saving of 50l. or 60l. in the salaries of the schoolmaster.
§ Admiral Adam
had only one observation to make to those which had fallen from his hon. Friend, the Secretary for the Admiralty. It was intended that the schoolmaster should have a separate cabin, and should mess with the other officers.
§ Sir E. Codrington
said, that he had himself been a midshipman eight or nine years, and during that time he had never been asked either to read or write, and had never received any instruction from any officer. He was happy to state, that that system of keeping young men in almost brutal ignorance no longer prevailed in our naval service. In all the ships which he had had the honour to command, he had always managed that there should be a competent schoolmaster. He had himself promised the schoolmaster a certain sum, and by making those young men, whose parents could 913 afford it, contribute to the education of those whose parents could not, he had always realised for the schoolmaster a decent income. Now that Government had taken up the plan of naval education, it would not do to starve the schoolmaster. The Admiralty must get men duly qualified for the office, and must pay them in such a manner as would cause them to be respected, not only by the young men under their tuition, but also by the officers generally.
§ Mr. George F. Young
recommended the Admiralty to turn more of its attention to the building and equipment of armed steam-vessels. The steam-vessels belonging to our naval service were much inferior to those built by private enterprise. It was also to be lamented that our naval architects were in general so inferior to those of other countries. Sir William Symonds had printed a book upon the subject, of which he was now, in all probability, ashamed, as the merest tyro in hydrodynamics must see that he violated in it every principle of that science.
§ Sir E. Codrington
said, that if steamboats were built, and had to carry coals sufficient for steam, they could not at the same time carry men, and their necessary provisions; so that, in fact, a navy of steam-vessels would, for the purposes of war, be no navy at all. No Ministry would dare leave the country trusting to such a navy.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ On the question that a sum not exceeding 810,771l. be granted for the charge of half-pay to officers in the navy.
§ Sir E. Codrington
spoke as follows*:—Sir, In the discussion on the Navy Estimates some days ago, I had proposed to call the attention of the Committee to the subject of the pay and half-pay of the different ranks of naval officers. I postponed then doing so at the request of the Secretary to the Admiralty, upon condition that I should have an opportunity, on a future stage of the proceedings. I consider this to be the proper occasion; and, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, and the thinness of the House, I am now* From a corrected Report.914 ready to proceed, or move that you report progress, according to the wish of the House. Sir, I will first call the attention of the House to the pay of the admirals. The pay of an admiral, commanding in chief, is 1,825l. exclusive of table-money.
Sir, an admiral going to the Mediterranean, for example, and having a house appointed for his residence at Malta, is in a situation to receive the visits of foreigners of all nations, and of the highest distinction, quite upon the footing of an ambassador; and fully to represent the country in that character, must necessarily keep a sort of open house. Now, I ask hon. Members, whether the sum allotted to him is not very inadequate to the purpose, and whether he ought not to have an income more in proportion to other public functionaries so situated. Well, but it will be said, he has an additional allowance of 3l. a-day as table-money; but let us see how far that is equivalent to his expenses on that account. Even if it is equal to that for which it is rigidly calculated of keeping his table when at sea, I beg the House to understand, that it is not given to him until he arrive within the precincts of his command, although he must necessarily keep his table from the time of his hoisting his flag; whilst it is withheld from him at the period of his return from the moment of his passing that boundary line. I may instance what happened to myself. The ship which bore my flag, when returning from the Mediterranean, having passed Cape St. Vincent, my table-money ceased; and yet, from contrary winds, we were driven back within the line again for about a week, and this shows the injustice of such a regulation. But now, it is to be observed, that no other admiral, not being a commander-in-chief, is allowed table-money at all, although he is equally bound with his chief, by custom and propriety, to invite to his table, daily, a considerable proportion of his officers.
The pay of vice-admirals is 1,460l., and the pay of rear-admirals is 1,095l., and the half pay of the three ranks severally is, admirals 766l. 10s.;—vice-admirals 593l. 2s. 6d.; rear-admirals 456l. 5s.
Now, Sir, I have before asserted in this House, and I now repeat it, and call upon hon. Members themselves to verify the facts by a reference to the Returns before the House, that persons in other departments of very inferior rank, and of very 915 inferior services comparatively, are permitted to retire after less than half the time of servitude, and with more than double the amount of retirement, whether as pension or superannuation, than is given as half pay to the most distinguished officers in the naval service.
Now, Sir, I come to the captains, whose full pay varies according to the size of their ships, from 799l. 19s. 2d. to 350l. 0s. 2d. It may be very true, that those to whom the larger sum is allotted, can afford to serve upon it, but it will not enable them to lay by any thing for their families; and as to the others, I am sure hon. Members will see how entirely inadequate it is to their support; in fact, some of our most rising officers who have not private fortunes, have declined service in time of peace on that account; for, be it observed, no captain is ever allowed table-money, although he is equally called upon with his superiors to keep a table for his officers when at sea.—With respect, Sir, to the commanders, I will only at present add, that what I have said of the inferiority of the pay and half pay of the captains, is equally applicable to them.
I now come to the lieutenants, a class which requires the benevolent consideration of the country. The half pay allotted to them when not on service is 5s. a-day, and the temptation held out to them for going to sea is 1s. 6d., and in some cases 2s.; and I ask hon. Members whether they consider that a sufficient sum to induce them voluntarily to quit their families, to be at a great expense for their outfit, besides paying from 24l. to 30l. a-year towards their mess. But there is one hardship which seems to me peculiar to this class, and to which I beg to call the attention of the House. By an Order in Council, or some other such regulation, 300 of those at the top of the list are allotted a half pay of 7s. a day, then the 700 next in seniority have 6s. a day, the remainder having 5s. a day. Some time ago a certain number of those receiving 7s. were removed to the list of commanders, and yet they are so far considered still as lieutenants, that none of the latter have been removed upwards to supply their place. Now, if the wording of this authority, whatever it may be, points out that 300 lieutenants at the head of the list shall receive 7s. a day, it appears to me, the Admiraly have no choice but to grant the boon; and if the hon. Secretary below me 916 disputes the ground upon which I make this claim, I hope he will enable hon. Members to judge for themselves, by producing the documents referred to.
A short time ago, when the subject of the marines was brought before the House by the noble Lord, the Member for Sussex, there was an unanimous feeling in the House in favour of ameliorating their condition. In that desire no one joins more cordially than myself; therefore, it is not with a view of pointing out any thing to their disadvantage, that I call the attention of hon. Members to the comparative injustice done to naval lieutenants by the fact, that whilst the captain of marines being the inferior officer, and having much less to do on board, and no night watches to keep, receives 10s. a day, the lieutenant, being his superior officer, is limited to 6s. 6d. or 7s. a-day.
The next class I come to is the masters, a class in which promotion is much more limited than in any other, although one of the most valuable in the service. Their pay varies according to the size of the ship, as will be seen by the estimates, from 9s. 3d. a day to 5s. 5d., which is by no means equivalent to the services they perform. As an instance of the unfair treatment they meet with, I may inform the House, that I myself was at the head of a Committee which, on account of many of our warrant officers being unable to keep their own accounts correctly, recommended the stores under their care being placed under the more direct charge of the master. On this account the masters were allotted a small addition to their pay; and will the House believe that this sum has since been taken from them. I hear it said by an hon. Member, that the charge is taken away also; but I appeal to the gallant Officers below me, when I say, that the master is not less in charge of the stores than he was then; that he is responsible for the proper expenditure of every thing, and that he cannot get a farthing of his pay, unless upon minute examination, every such expenditure is justified and approved of.
But, Sir, I will refer to the situation of the junior officers of this class, to show how illiberally they are treated. The half pay of masters of sloops of war is 5s. a day; and what will the House believe is the sum added to it as full pay when he is sent upon service. The addition to his half pay on this occasion is five pence a day. Sir, the House will hardly believe it possi- 917 ble that this is the fact; and I therefore beg to refer them to the estimates, where they will find a proof of it. But I beg leave further to inform them, that upon being so sent upon service, he is called upon to furnish himself with books and instruments for the performance of his duty, which will cost him about 40l. and that being obliged to provide himself with uniforms expensively ornamented with gold lace, epaulettes, &c, in addition to linen and so forth, his outfit for a three years' foreign station, cannot cost him less than from 120l. to 130l., and for this sum of somewhere about 170l., the Admiralty advance him one quarter's salary of 23l. as a loan. Under these circumstances, he is obliged to borrow the greater part of this sum of his agent, or perhaps his tailor, giving him his power of attorney over all his future means of subsistence. Well, Sir, and if the vessel in which he is embarked should unfortunately be wrecked before her return home, he is not allowed any thing whatever for his losses; and to finish his misfortunes, in the event of his taking up his half pay on his return, to save himself, and perhaps his family from starving, he is subject, by the representation of his agent, to be scratched off the list, and deprived of his half pay altogether.
The next class I come to is the surgeons. I have, on a former occasion, adverted to the little encouragement given to this important class of the naval service; and, therefore, merely referring hon. Members to the amount of their pay as stated in the estimates before them, I will call their attention to a simple statement of the injustice done to this class as compared with the same class in the army.
Assistant surgeons of the army have more half pay after twenty-five years' service than surgeons of the navy after twenty-nine years and eleven months.
Since 1815, a hundred medical officers of the army have been promoted to ranks higher than regimental surgeons, entitling them to higher half pay, while only one surgeon of the navy has, in that long time, been promoted to any higher rank giving him any increased half pay.
All the time of assistant surgeons in the army is permitted to be reckoned, while only three years is allowed to be reckoned by assistant surgeons of the navy, however long they may serve; and though the army assistant gets 7s. a day after twenty-five 918 year's service, the navy assistant, if he serve fifty years, can only have 3s. a day.
As an instance of the severity to which naval surgeons are further subject, I must take leave to repeat a case which I have before mentioned to this House, and which did not then seem to attract the notice to which I think it entitled. In 1818, Mr. Beverley was appointed assistant surgeon to the Isabella, commanded by Captain Ross, and went in her on the polar expedition. On their return, he was appointed to the Griper, Lieutenant Lidden, and went the Melville Island voyage with Captain Parry, acting as surgeon. On their return he was confirmed as surgeon. He declined the proposal of going a third time on account of his being married, and set up in business by Mr. Abernethie. He was then (consequently) ordered to the coast of Africa, and, upon his refusal, he was scratched off the list, and deprived of his half pay. Upon being offered to be reinstated, as a condition, he went for the third time on the Spitzbergen voyage with Captain Parry. On his return, and being reinstated, he was again ordered to the coast of Africa; and upon his declining, on account of health, being at the time afflicted with ophthalmia, a disease likely to be increased by that climate, he was again scratched off the list of surgeons, and deprived of his hard-earned stipend. Now, compare this with the irregular promotion of the surgeon who lately accompanied Captain Ross on one such polar expedition, without having ever served in the navy.
On the condition of the pursers I have troubled the House before on more than one occasion, but I find it impossible to pass it over this time without again adverting to it. An hon. Member below me observes, that they have lately had an addition to their half-pay. Yes, Sir, so they have; but it is out of their own pockets. The fact is, that contemplating the miserable situation to which the greater portion of them are reduced, those more fortunate ones who might be in the way of acquiring the emoluments accruing to them from employment in the service, agreed to devote a portion of those emoluments to the support of their less fortunate brethren; and, unwilling as I am to detain the House at this late hour, I will not go into the particulars of the hardships they are exposed to, and which I have so fully detailed on a former 919 occasion; but I cannot quit this subject without adverting to the condition of that portion of them who have been admiral's secretaries. Sir, the secretary of an admiral commanding in chief is necessarily intrusted with those confidential and important documents which are transmitted to him through the Secretary of the Admiralty; and let hon. Gentlemen compare the different rewards bestowed on them for their services. Even the present Under-Secretary of the admiralty, who has enjoyed a salary of 1,500l. a-year for a considerable number of years, is to retire with a pension of 1,000l. a-year whenever he may think proper so to do. Sir, I mention these circumstances to show the comparative injustice done to the officers of the navy in all instances as compared with the civil department of the Government, and I cannot help repeating a request I have before made, that hon. Gentlemen will refer to the returns before the House, of pensions, retirements, and superannuations, to verify the assertion which I now again make, that they will there find persons of secondary or inferior rank allotted sums for less than half their period of servitude, and more than double in amount to that given to the most distinguished officers in the navy, theirs too being admitted to be a vested right, whilst ours has in this House been called a mere retaining fee. Moreover, if an officer in the navy, after a period of thirty or forty years' servitude should enter the civil department, he only then begins to entitle himself to a pension; excluding from all consideration all his previous services in the profession, however arduous and distinguished they may have been. Now, I ask the House, Sir, is this fair, is it just, is it reasonable?
I have, on a former occasion, when alluding to this subject, given the instances of several distinguished officers of the profession. I will now merely advert to that of Mr. Jackson, the late master attendant at Devonport, who, originally pressed into the service, a d having risen by his merits to the highest departments in the line of master and master attendant, has been limited to a superannuation of 433l. a-year on account of his civil servitude; to the exclusion of his more brilliant services in the difficult and dangerous part of his naval duties.
Another case is that of rear-admiral Sir Robert Barlow, who having risen 920 entirely by his merits, and having distinguished himself by long, eminent, and important services, took the situation of a Commissioner of the Navy, even in time of war, in order to make some provision for a numerous family. The result is, Sir, that by so doing he has obtained a retirement of 105l. 15s. a-year more than he would have had if he had continued to serve at sea in the arduous duties of the profession, and separated perhaps from his family for years together.
When claims are made for justice to the navy, the requisite attention to economy is appealed to as a ground of refusal. Now, I will give one instance to show how far this system is observed when any political object interferes with it. The present admiral Sir C. Boyle, unable to continue his distinguished services at sea, had long held the office of Commissioner of the Navy, where he executed his duties with great zeal and ability, and with an intimate knowledge of that department of the service. Well, Sir, he was forced to retire against his wish, upon a reduction taking place, preference being given to his junior colleague Mr. Dundas. I do not mean to doubt that Mr. Dundas may be fully as efficient as Sir C. Boyle, but I mention this case as an instance of a distinguished naval officer having been forced to retire against his will, to make way for a gentleman whose services were confined to a less period, and solely in the civil department of the Navy; and this was done at an expense to the country of 955l. a-year.
Now, Sir, in charities the same thing prevails; always injustice to the navy. I have before mentioned the case of Miss Hawkey; but as little notice was then taken of it, I will take the liberty of repeating it on the present occasion. Miss Charlotte Hawkey, the sister of five brothers deceased, one of which a captain in the navy, left three orphan children to her care, did not receive one farthing from Government until her case became known to his present Majesty as Lord High Admiral, when he granted her 50l. a year. The first of her brothers died exploring the river Congo under Captain Tuckey. He had been taken prisoner in the Minerva frigate, when serving with Sir J. Brenton, and he was confined eleven years as a prisoner; a most active and intelligent officer. The second, whilst in a command, was killed in successful battle; 921 the third died from severe wounds on arduous boat service; the fourth, after having distinguished himself in a gun boat at Walcheren, and in capturing a fort in the Island of Borneo, fell a victim to the climate, leaving the three orphans I have before mentioned. The fifth brother saved the Astell East Indiaman which he commanded in battle with a superior French force, although severely wounded; he died shortly afterwards.
Now, let hon. Gentlemen compare the claims of this family and the rewards given to those claims with others on the Pension List.
But, Sir, I have a later case which I will detail to the House. Lieutenant Church was lost, with the whole crew, in his Majesty's packet Thais, with two sons. His widow was at first allotted 60l. a-year pension for herself and eight remaining children. But in March last she received a letter from the Admiralty, stating, that as her pension exceeded the amount of her late husband's pay, the Board found it necessary to exclude two of her children's names, and to diminish her pension by 36l. 10s.; more than half of the sum first allotted to her.
I do not address myself to the gallant Officers and hon. Secretary, members of the Board of Admiralty, for I am sure, as far as their power goes, I should have their hearty co-operation;—but I address myself to the Members of this House (and I hope through them to the country in general,) and I trust, that by voting a larger sum to be devoted to these charities, they will enable more justice to be done to this unfortunate class of persons. Only let hon. Gentlemen consider the cruelty of depriving this unfortunate widow and her eight remaining children of 36l. 10s. out of a pittance of 60l. granted to her in alleviation of the severe misfortune of losing her husband and two sons in the execution of their arduous duty, for want of a sufficient sum to devote to so laudable a purpose without injury to the claims of others upon the limited fund granted for such purposes.
I cannot conclude the address which I am now making to the benevolent consideration of the hon. Members who have done me the kindness to listen to me with so much patient attention, without requesting that they will compare the condition and remuneration of officers of the naval service with the emoluments and retire- 922 ments of other branches of the public service. Without going extensively into this subject at this late hour, I may refer to a gentleman, who, for having been thirty-three years a Commissioner of the Navy at a salary of 1,000l. a-year, and a house to reside in with his family, with other advantages, retires with a pension of 750l. a-year, whilst officers of the navy, having attained the rank of full Admiral, after a servitude of from fifty-five to sixty-five years, have no more than 766l. 1010s. The hon. Secretary below me, if he should remain five years in his present situation, will be entitled to a retirement of 1,500l. a-year; and even the Under-Secretary, as I have before mentioned, will be entitled to 1,000l. a-year upon his retirement. However, I will not pursue that part of the subject now further than to repeat, that, by a reference to the returns now before the House, hon. Members will find that there is no branch of the civil department of the public service from which persons, inferior in rank, are not allowed to retire with less than half the period of servitude, and more than double the amount of stipend than is given to the most distinguished officers of his Majesty's service.
§ The vote agreed to.