§ Mr. BYLES
asked whether the officers and men of His Majesty's ship "Irresistible," 750 in all, have recently undergone 1680 a month's punishment for an undiscovered offence; what was the nature of the punishment; whether one man of the signalling department is still being closely shadowed day and night; what redress will be made to this man should he prove to be innocent; and whether this is the usual method of punishment adopted in similar cases?
§ Mr. McKENNA
On 13th March parts of twelve-pounder guns were stolen, with the effect of disabling the guns. Restrictions were placed on the granting of leave to the ship's company not as a punishment, but as a precautionary measure against a repetition of the offence, which impaired the ship's fighting efficiency, and to facilitate the inquiry which followed. One man to whom suspicion attaches is still being closely watched with a view to preventing a recurrence of the same offence. The contingency referred to has not arisen, and the question of redress need not therefore be considered. The precaution is considered a proper one in the circumstances. As already stated, the measures taken in this instance cannot be regarded as punitive.