§ MR. ANDERSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it be the fact that the Royal Marine Corps Order in Council of the 15th January, 1878, was founded mainly on the Report of a Departmental Committee; if it be the fact that none of the officers of the corps were examined by that Committee except the Assistant Adjutant General; if he is aware that the result has given dissatisfaction to the other officers of the corps, particularly in the extent to which selection has been substituted for seniority, 662 in a seniority service; if he is aware that there are cases of peculiar hardship, if not illegality, in the way in which senior officers have been passed over for commands; and, if he will appoint an impartial Committee to ascertain from the officers themselves the grievances of which they complain?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
Sir, it is the fact that the Royal Marine Corps Order in Council of January 15, 1878, was founded on the Report of a Committee. The Committee did not take evidence, but numerous Memorials from Marine officers were referred to and considered by them. The Deputy Adjutant General of the Marine Corps was a Member of the Committee, and he received assistance also from the Assistant Adjutant General. So far from the result having given dissatisfaction, the reverse is the case, the majority of Marino officers preferring selection for commands of divisions as a substitute for seniority. No doubt, the officers who have not been selected for command view their own individual eases as of peculiar hardship; but there can be no question of legality, the Admiralty having had, previously to the re-organization, full powers to exercise their discretion. I need hardly say that it is not an agreeable duty to have to select officers, and that it is done with the most careful and anxious consideration. There is no intention to appoint another Committee.