§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, If any order has been or is about to be issued by the Admiralty, which will compel the parents or friends of midshipmen to make them an allowance of £50 per annum instead of £40 as heretofore; and, if so, on what ground this increase has been made, and what will occur in the case of those midshipmen whose friends and parents are unable to pay the additional sum now demanded?
§ MR. BAXTER
said, in reply, that the regulations increasing the annual allowance to be granted by parents to midshipmen were framed by the First Lord and First Naval Lord after most mature deliberation and in consultation with many naval officers. It was found that £40 a year was inadequate for a midshipman to pay his mess bill and other expenses, and the consequence was that a practice of drawing bills sprang up. To check this an increased allowance of £10 was fixed upon, and, in the opinion of the commanding officers generally, it has been attended with beneficial results. The case supposed by the noble Lord in the latter part of his Question had been met by a clause in a circular issued on the 4th of October, 1870, which says that—Should any midshipman or cadet desire to draw less than £50 per annum he is at liberty to do so, provided he obtained the approval of his commanding officer, and can show that alt his debts are paid.