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Full text of "The Times documentary history of the war"



Ctmes 

DOCUMENTARY HISTORY 
OF THE WAR 



VOL. VII 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY 
OF THE WAR 



VOLUME VII 



NAVAL PART 3 




LONDON 
PRINTING HOUSE SQUARE 

1918 



T5" 

v.y 



AUTHORITIES QUOTED 



For convenience of reference an explanatory list of the abbreviations 
used in the margin of this volume, to indicate sources of information, is here 
appended : 



C.O. 



U.S.D.C. 



D.N.S.B. 



K.D. 



Communiques Officiels. These are extracted and trans- 
lated by permission from a French publication 
entitled ' Nos Marins et la Guerre/ belonging to the 
well-known series of ' Pages d'Histoire ' (Paris and 
Nancy, Librairie Militaire Berger-Levrault), and 
containing, amongst other matter of a less offi- 
cial character, the official communications of the 
French Ministry of Marine. 

United States Diplomatic Correspondence, a series of 
publications issued by the American Department 
of State, and containing ' Diplomatic Correspond- 
ence with Belligerent Governments relating to 
Neutral Rights and Commerce.' 

Dutch North Sea Book, an official publication of the 
Netherlands Government, entitled ' Diplomatieke 
Bescheiden betreffende de Vaart in de Noordzee 
en het Kanaal in Verband met den Oorlogstoestand' 
(s' Gravenhage-Algemeene Landsdrukkerij 1915). 
The correspondence extracted from this publica- 
tion and cited in the present volume is given, in 
the original, in English as regards the English 
despatches, and in French as regards the Dutch. 
The latter have been translated. 

Kriegs-Depeschen, a German serial publication entitled 
' Kriegs-Depeschen, nach den amtlichen Berichten 
des W.T.B. [i.e., the Wolff Telegraphic Bureau] zu- 
sammengestellt ' (Boll u. Pickardt, Verlagsbuch- 
handlung, Berlin). This serial is largely, but not 
entirely, identical with that next to be described, 
and most of the extracts common to both have 
been taken from the latter. In all cases they 
have been translated. 



vi DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

K. V. . . Kriegsverlauf, another German serial, entitled ' Der 
Kriegsverlauf, Sammlung der amtlichen Nach- 
richten von den Kriegsschauplatzen, Depeschen 
des Deutscfien Grossen Hauptquartiers, des Oster- 
reichischen Generalstabes, des Turkischen Haupt- 
quartiers, Meldungen von W.T.B., Urkunden und 
Berichte ' (Carl Heymanns Verlag in Berlin W. 8, 
Mauerstrasse, 43, 44). It is more copious than 
K.D., and has, therefore, commonly been used 
in preference. 

L.G. ., f t \\ The London Gazette. 



CONTENTS 

JANUARY 1915 A i 

FEBRUARY 1915, . . . X 6 3 

INDEX 479 



vii 



JANUARY 1915 

LOSS OF H.M.S. FORMIDABLE 

Admiralty, January i. 

The battleship Formidable was sunk this morning in the Times, 
Channel, whether by mine or submarine is not yet certain. Jan. 2, 

Seventy-one survivors have been picked up by a British I 9 I 5- 
light cruiser, and it is possible that others may have been 
rescued by other vessels. 

LIST OF SURVIVORS 

Officers 

Lieutenant Henry D. Simonds. 
Lieutenant Bernard W. Greathed. 
Lieutenant James C. J. Soutter. 
Engineer Commander Charles J. M. Wallace. 1 
Assistant Paymaster Sidney W. Saxton. 
Assistant Paymaster, R.N.R., Francis H. Wakeford. 
Carpenter Sydney McClounan. 
Artificer Engineer John Stobart. 
Midshipman Eustace J. Guinness. 
Midshipman Norman F. Hurd-Wood. 
Midshipman Denis E. Pelly. 
Midshipman W. Derek Stephens. 
Midshipman Walter L. Agnew. 
Midshipman Trethowan T. Wynne. 

(Also the names of sixty-six other survivors, petty officers 
and seamen.) 

1 Suffering from slight injuries. 



A trawler arrived in port last night, and landed about ibid. 
sixty-eight men and two officers of the Formidable, who had 
been picked up early in the day in the Channel. 
NAVAL 3 A i 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

It is understood that these survivors are in addition to 
those picked up by a light cruiser, and referred to in the 
Admiralty statement. 

January 3. 

FURTHER LIST OF SURVIVORS 

Times, Mr. Daniel Horrigan, gunner; Mr. George Taylor, boat- 

Jan. 4, swain ; and 117 more petty officers and seamen. 



Berlin, January 3. 

K.V., On January ist at three in the morning one of our sub- 

Jan. 3, marines, as it reports by wireless, torpedoed and sank the 
I915 * English battleship Formidable in the English Channel not 

far from Plymouth. The submarine was pursued by de- 
stroyers, but not injured. 

BEHNCKE, 

Acting Chief of the Admiral Staff. 



Times, There appears to be little doubt now that of the officers 

Jan. 4, an( j crew of the battleship Formidable, which was sunk in 
the Channel on the morning of New Year's Day, only 201 
have been saved. 

The ship went down between 3 and 3.30. There were 
from 700 to 800 men on board at the time. Of the four boats 
launched, one, a barge, capsized, and several men were thrown 
out ; the second, also a barge, got away with about 70 men, 
who were picked up by a light cruiser ; the third, a pinnace, 
also with some 60 men, got ashore at Lyme Regis, and the 
fourth, a launch, with 70 men, after being in a rough sea for 
about ii hours, was rescued about 15 miles off Berry Head 
by the trawler Provident, and brought into Brixham. 

Survivors have given graphic accounts of the foundering 
of the battleship and of their terrible experiences, some of 
which we give below. 



Lyme Regis, January 3. 

ibid. From the stories told by the seamen who, after fighting 

death upon a furious sea for four-and- twenty hours, are now in 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

safety, it is possible to reconstruct the circumstances in which 
the Formidable is believed to have foundered. The battle- 
ship was steering westward in the Channel. At 2 o'clock 
on Friday morning there was a gale blowing and the sea 
was running high. The first explosion shook the ship with 
tremendous violence, and there was not a soul on board who 
did not know she was doomed. Every man, even in the 
face of this calamity, remained what he had been up to 
that moment a British seaman. The officers' orders were 
obeyed as if the Formidable was at manoeuvres. The water- 
tight doors were shut and orders given to clear away the 
boats. This was done with the utmost difficulty. 

The Formidable, already listing, began rapidly to settle 
down, and foundered 45 minutes after a second explosion. 
Captain Loxley and Commander Ballard were last seen on the 
bridge of the vessel. 

Many of the men who perished faced death with surpassing 
fortitude. They chatted together and smoked ; some, it 
is said, even sang. The boats, with their cargoes of half- 
dead, half-frozen seamen, attempted to stand by to pick 
up any men who might have been able to keep afloat. Even 
after the Formidable had gone down, there remained the 
faintest of faint hopes that some one more might yet be 
saved. It was as much as the boats could do to keep afloat 
themselves. 

Lyme Regis, a town of some 4000 inhabitants, is one of 
the most popular of the smaller resorts on this coast. It is 
built around the curve of a small bay, and its houses almost 
line the water's edge, being separated from it only by a few 
yards of shingle. They form a sort of barrier between the 
ocean and the inner part of the town. In this barrier there 
is a narrow break where a small promenade begins, and 
immediately behind this division in the houses there is a 
public lamp, which between the walls sends out a pale ray 
of light to the English Channel. It was this gleam that 
caught the despairing eyes of some of the Formidable survivors 
on Friday night as their boat fought the last stage of a battle 
with the tempest. Under the guiding light shone the white 
foam of breakers, and presently the boat's keel grated on 
the shingle. The men aboard raised a faint shout. It was 
heard and answered ashore. A policeman hurried into the 

3 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

surf, and caught a rope flung from the boat. Help came 
at once from all quarters, and the boat was pulled ashore. 
There were 57 men in her, nine of them dead already. One 
by one the half-frozen sailors were carried ashore and up 
into private houses, where fires were lighted, and hot drinks 
and soup made ready. All night the townspeople kept 
awake seeing to the comfort of the survivors. On Friday 
night three more of the seamen died. They will be buried 
in Lyme Cemetery on Monday at 2 P.M. The Mayor and 
Corporation will be present at the funeral, and a firing party 
will come from Devonport. 

The service of intercession at the parish church to-night 
was attended by all the Formidable s survivors who were 
landed here and were well enough to be present, special pews 
being reserved for them. 



January 2. 

After being in their open cutter for nearly twelve hours, 
two officers and sixty-eight men from H.M.S. Formidable 
were rescued by the Brixham fishing smack Provident (owner 
and skipper, William Pillar), some fifteen miles from Berry 
Head. They were bearing W.N.W. when seen. 

At the time the Provident was running before the gale for 
shelter to Brixham, but when off the Start had to heave to 
owing to the force of the wind. She had just previously been 
struck by heavy seas. 

The Provident was on the starboard tack, when Jack 
Clarke, the third hand, noticed an open boat under the smack's 
lee. He shouted to the captain and the mate (F. Carter) to 
jump up, saying, ' Here 's a sight under our lee/ They were 
amazed to see a small open boat drifting amid the mountainous 
seas, with one oar hoisted as a staff, from which was flying 
the sailor's scarf. The little cutter was hidden from view 
for minutes together in troughs of the waves. 

Captain Pillar swung the Provident clear, and the crew, 
with almost superhuman efforts, took another reef in the 
mainsail and set the storm jib. Until that had been done, it 
would have been disastrous to have attempted a rescue. 
Meanwhile the cutter drifted towards them, although at times 
they lost sight of her. Clarke climbed the rigging, and 
4 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

presently discovered the cutter making heavy weather of it 
just to leeward. 

The captain decided to gybe, a perilous manoeuvre in such 
weather, since the mast was liable to give way. Four times 
did the gallant smacksmen seek to get a rope to the cutter. 
Each effort was more difficult than the last ; but in the end 
the Provident obtained a good berth on the port tack, and a 
small warp was thrown and caught by the naval men. When 
made fast, the warp was coiled around the Provident 's steam 
capstan, and with great skill the cutter was hauled to a good 
berth astern. Then the warp was passed around to the lee 
side, and the cutter was drawn up under the lee quarter, and 
her company began to jump on board. This was three hours 
after the Provident had entered upon her mission. But even 
now there was a danger of losing life as the seas were rising 
some 30 ft. high at times, and the smacksmen could see the 
keel of the cutter continuously. The actual work of rescue 
took thirty minutes to accomplish. 

A lad of eighteen had suffered from exposure, and imme- 
diate treatment was necessary in order to save his life. 

The officer in charge of the cutter, Torpedo Gunner 
Horrigan, was the last to leave, and he found himself clutching 
the mizen rigging to get aboard the Provident. The rope of 
the cutter was then chopped. She was well filled with water, 
having a hole in her hull which had been stuffed with a pair of 
pants, of which one of the crew divested himself. 

One of the men had his fingers jammed between the boat 
and the smack. 

Several of the Formidable s survivors were only partly 
dressed, and some had no trousers. For these accommoda- 
tion was found in the engine-room, and the others were placed 
in the cabin and the fish hold. 

All were rescued at one o'clock, and a course was then 
shaped for Brixham. 

The needs of the men were attended to on board. All 
the Provident' s stock of food was fairly divided, and all the 
cigarettes and tobacco the men possessed were used. Hot 
coffee was continuously made. On nearing Brixham "the 
Provident fell in with the Dencade, which towed her in, and she 
was berthed at the pier. 

Brixham residents brought blankets, clothing, and boots 

3 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JAN 

to the survivors, for a great number had little wearing apparel 
and no footwear of any sort. 

The survivors were soon housed in comfortable quarters. 
Their plight was simply indescribable. For hours they had 
been fighting the storm, hoping against hope until the brown- 
tanned sails of the smack came in sight. 

During the height of the storm the seas threatened to 
engulf them continuously ; only men of great stamina and 
robust constitution could have survived so terrible an ordeal. 

The officer in charge commended the gallant seamanship 
of the Brixham fishermen, extolling it as beyond all praise. 

' It blew as hard this morning as it has ever blown/ re- 
marked a weather-beaten fisherman, to which one bluejacket 
(who had no covering for his feet, and wore a safety belt 
around his neck) replied, as he shivered in his drenched 
clothes : ' Here we are again ! Undress uniform ! Swimming 
costume ! ' 

The Provident 's trawl net was lying strewn about the deck 
with the fish still within its folds. Her four men Wm. 
Pillar, F. Carter, J. Clarke, and the cook, Taylor are proud 
that they were the means of snatching seventy gallant sailors 
from a watery grave. 

[For the text of this extract we are indebted to the Editor of the 
Western Daily Mercury.] 



Brixham, January 2. 

Times, The feat of seamanship accomplished by William Pillar, 

Jan. 4, the skipper and owner of the 5o-ton smack Provident, and 
his crew of three William Carter, John Clarke, and Dan 
Taylor, the little apprentice boy, who acts as cook in 
rescuing 70 men of the battleship Formidable, after three 
hours' strenuous and dangerous work, will take a prominent 
place among the deeds of heroism at sea. On Saturday 
Skipper Pillar, young in years, was naturally greeted every- 
where as a hero, and it was evident that he had been greatly 
moved by his thrilling experience, but was by no means 
inclined to magnify his exploit, but to regard it as a- mere 
duty which must be done when it comes in the way of a Brix- 
ham fisherman, however great the risks. 
6 



: 5 ] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

One of the survivors has given the following account of 
his experiences : 

I was in my bunk when the explosion took place, and, 
in my opinion, if it had not been such a stormy night all 
would have been saved. When the 42 ft. cutter was lowered 
on the starboard side all the oars but six were unfortunately 
smashed. The greatest possible difficulty was experienced 
in keeping clear of the ship, and the oars were used to keep 
the boat's head to wind. For nearly nine hours the men 
were rowing incessantly, and they were so exhausted and 
suffering so much from exposure that they did not care 
whether they were rescued or not. In moderate weather the 
cutter would carry 120 men, but with only 70 in her we were 
fortunate in keeping her afloat, as at times the seas were 
mountainous, running 30 ft. or more in height. The first 
explosion did not appear to me to be very severe. The 
Formidable was struck abaft the starboard magazine, but 
luckily it did not cause the magazine to explode. There 
being no steam available for the purpose, none of the steam 
pinnaces could be got afloat in fact, we were remarkably 
lucky to get any boats launched at all. The crew did magni- 
ficent work in getting the second boat away. The men even 
rigged out a boat spar. The men in this boat noticed a 
steamer, but she was evidently too far away to see the distress 
signals. After the second explosion many of the men jumped 
overboard, and the battleship listed slowly to the starboard 
and sank. Captain Loxley and the signaller stuck manfully 
to their posts to the last, and signals were flashed from the 
ship as she took the plunge below the waves. 

Another member of the crew of the Formidable states : 

After coming off watch I turned in and was awakened 
by an explosion. I turned out at once and heard the bugler 
sounding ' Off action/ After putting on my ' serge ' I 
went up to the quarterdeck, where I found nearly everybody 
smoking. The captain was a real Briton. He gave his orders 
as calmly and coolly as if the ship had been in harbour with 
the anchors down and as if nothing whatever was amiss. 
The last words I heard him say were ' Steady, men ; it 's 
all right. No panic, men. Keep cool and be British. There 's 
tons of life left in the old ship yet/ You cannot say too 
much in praise of him and Lieutenant Simonds, who worked 

7 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JAN 

splendidly in getting out the boats. The captain's old 
terrier Bruce was standing on duty at his side on the fore- 
bridge to the last. 

Another seaman said the discipline was splendid, and 
added : The last I saw of the captain was that he was on the 
bridge coolly smoking a cigarette. Lieutenant Simonds 
superintended the getting out of the boats, and as he got 
the last away I heard the captain say to him, ' You have 
done very well, Simonds/ 

One of the men at the hospital at Brixham, a gun-layer, said : 

I was on duty by the side of my gun with everything ready 
in case of attack, when, about 2.10 A.M., I Jieard a crash on 
the starboard side of the ship abreast of No. i stokehold. I 
was on the port side, and I rushed around the deck trying to 
find out what had taken place. I met Commander Ballard, 
who asked me to tell everybody on board to keep cool and 
that the first thing to do was to have out all the boats. I 
assisted in getting out the launch and pinnace, which was 
done only after a great struggle, owing to the ship having 
such a big list to starboard. We loaded the boats up, and 
there must have been about 90 in the pinnace and between 
60 and 70 in the launch. The Commander further said he 
wanted the big target and all the target gear put overboard 
and all the woodwork as much as possible for the men to 
save themselves with. Some of the hands were employed in 
getting the mess tables over the side. I assisted in getting 
the big target out, but we had not enough hands to lift it, 
and I went down to the quarterdeck and got as many hands 
as possible from there to get the target overboard. This was 
on the starboard side, and I was going over to the other side 
of the deck when a second explosion occurred. The shock 
fetched me over the side of the ship into the water. I 
floated for some time until I was picked up by the launch, 
which at this time was well away from the ship, but standing 
by to get in more men from her. The sea was very rough, 
and we had to get out of the way of the light cruiser, which 
was coming to the assistance of the ship, standing by her 
until she went down. 

Lance-Corporal Hurst, R.M.L.I., said he was asleep below 
at the first alarm, and rushed on deck. The battleship was 
then heeling over, and after the boats were launched he went 
8 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

over to the port side to await the order ' Every man for 
himself/ or anything else that might happen. He continued : 
The ship seemed to sink down, and I was shot into the air. 
I dropped into the water, and as I came up saw something 
black which evidently was the boat. I clutched it, but had 
my left hand jammed and went below the waves. I was 
saved by the piece of string attached to the rudder, which 
I grasped and was pulled into the boat. We had to pass 
through such an ordeal in the boat that we had almost given 
up all hope of being rescued. At last we pulled the oars 
inboard, rigged up a sea anchor to keep the boat head to sea, 
sat in the bottom of her and shouted and sang ' It 's a long 
way to Tipperary ' to keep our spirits up. We had a narrow 
shave, for directly after the trawler had brought us all safely 
aboard the cutter sank beneath the waves. 

An able seaman, in the course of his story, said : 
After the first explosion all hands were at their posts 
quickly. It seemed to those who were asleep that it was but 
a short time since some practical joker had rattled tin cans 
down the ladder to let us know the New Year had come and 
since 16 bells had struck to herald 1915, but we all realised 
very soon that something serious was the matter, for the 
captain, who was as cool as a cucumber, and the officers 
ordered the boats to be launched, and every man did his duty 
nobly. The ship took a terrible list to starboard, and only 
the boats on that side could be launched, and that with 
considerable difficulty. Practically the only people saved 
were those who were in the boats and those who were picked 
up from the water by them. Among the crew were about 
100 youths and boys, as well as over a score of " middies." 
The boat that I got into was the last over the starboard side, 
and I had to swim for her. When we got around to the port 
side there was another explosion. We pulled into our boat 
as many as we possibly could, but the high seas which 
threatened every moment to engulf us prevented us doing 
any more than we did. One young chap who was thrown 
out of the boat swam to the second, but failed to reach it, 
and was in the water for half an hour before we picked him 
up. It is a miracle that any of us are alive to tell the 
tale, for we had continually to be baling to avoid being 
swamped. 

9 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

One of the survivors at Brixham, in the course of a state- 
ment, said : 

When we began getting the boats out, the starboard cutter 
capsized and sank, there being four or five men in her. The 
launch and pinnace were got out by the derrick, and we had 
great difficulty in getting them out owing to the heavy list. 
The launch had four or five holes in her through banging 
about whilst getting her out. She was taken round to the 
other side of the ship to get in more men, and just as she 
got alongside the second explosion occurred. Then nearly 
everybody remaining on the ship jumped overboard, and 
many were picked up by the boats of a light cruiser. There 
were no other ships in sight except a liner, but I don't think 
it was possible for her to have saved any lives. We who 
were in the launch pulled away from the ship, and the sea 
began to get rough. The captain and signalman remained 
on board, where signals were being flashed until she went 
down, after turning over slowly on the starboard side. This 
was the first occasion on which the strict Admiralty orders 
were carried out that, if a disaster happened to one ship, the 
remaining ships must not stop on the scene to run the risk 
of also being torpedoed. We pulled away from the ship as 
far as we could. We had not many oars in the boat at the 
time, and the weather came on very bad. We put all the 
oars on one side to keep the boat head to the wind. We could 
see some lights in the distance, but we had no idea where we 
were. The sea began to rise to a tremendous height. There 
was one large hole in the boat, and a man sat on it from the 
time we started to the time we were rescued. It rained and 
hailed and blew. We had six oars, but no sails. 

We carried on pulling on one side of the boat until day- 
light and we stopped pulling soon afterwards, about 7 o'clock. 
Before stopping we rigged a sea anchor to ride by. It con- 
sisted of barricoes (barrels) and a heavy piece of timber, and 
attached to this we had a boat's anchor and cables. We 
threw these overboard and so rode out the sea. We had to 
be continually baling out water, the men using for this purpose 
sea boots and caps. Barrels were also broken in halves and 
used as balers. The men kept in wonderfully good spirits, 
despite the poor hopes of being rescued. We were eventually 
picked up by the trawler about 1.30 P.M., eleven hours 

10 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

after we had started. Every man in the boat was soaked 
to the skin. 



The King received at Buckingham Palace on Saturday Times, 
eleven men who liad shown gallantry in saving life at sea, Feb. 8, 
and presented them with Board of Trade medals. I 9 I 5- 

They included the skipper and crew of the trawler Pro- 
vident of Brixham, who rescued 71 survivors of the battleship 
Formidable, sunk in the English Channel on January ist. 
His Majesty pinned the silver medal for gallantry on each 
man's breast, and handed to each a voucher for the monetary 
award which the Admiralty has bestowed. Captain Pillar 
received 250 ; William Carter and John Clarke, second and 
third hands, 100 each ; and Daniel Taylor, apprentice, 
50. The King addressed the skipper and his men as follows : 
' I congratulate you most heartily upon your gallant 
and heroic conduct. It is indeed a great feat to have 
saved 71 lives. I realise how difficult your task must 
have been, because I know myself how arduous it is to 
gybe a vessel in a heavy gale/ 



House of Commons, February 4, 1915. 

MR. JoYNSON-HiCKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty Hansard. 
whether the fleet of which the Formidable was one was 
cruising without attendant destroyers, and, if so, why ; and 
whether this was the first occasion on which they had so 
cruised under a new Admiral ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : I cannot undertake to discuss the 
conduct of naval operations during the progress of the war. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether, having regard to the fact that merchant 
vessels of slow speed have been destroyed by submarines, 
the Admiralty will provide naval defence for convoys in 
order to minimise the danger ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : Sir, all these matters receive careful 
attention in the proper quarters. 



ii 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

House of Commons, February 8, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. JoYNSON-HiCKS asked the First Lord of the Admir- 

alty how many of the cadets who were at Dartmouth at the 
outbreak of the war were lost on the Monmouth and the 
Formidable ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY 
(DR. MACNAMARA) : The answer, I regret to say, is ten and 
six respectively. 

MR. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the First Lord of the Admir- 
alty what was the number of Dartmouth cadets sent on 
board at the commencement of the war and what number 
has since been lost ; and whether the proportion is much 
greater than in any other class of naval officers ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : As stated in my right hon. friend's 
reply to the hon. member on November i6th, the number 
of Dartmouth cadets embarked at the commencement of 
the war was 434. Of this number I am sorry to say that 
forty-one have lost their lives. No statistics have been 
worked out as to the percentage of officers lost in the various 
classes, but it is, I am afraid, a fact that the percentage of 
the cadets embarked from Dartmouth who have lost their 
lives is greater than in any other class of officer. 

MR. JOYNSON-HICKS : Will the right hon. gentleman 
carefully reconsider the question whether the Admiralty will 
send any more young officers on to the ships ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : It is impossible to discuss that now. 
The hon. gentleman can realise why that is so. 



ibid. 



below, 
p. 62.] 



SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE asked the First Lord of the Admir- 
alty whether he can give the House any further information 
concerning the sinking of His Majesty's Ship Formidable than 
was contained in the announcement made public at the time 
of the event, when it was stated, on the authority of the 
Admiralty, that it was not certain whether the vessel was 
struck by a torpedo from a submarine or a mine ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : As stated by my noble friend Lord 
Crewe in another place, 1 the definite opinion of the Admiralty 
is that His Majesty's Ship Formidable was sunk by two tor- 
12 



[5] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

pedoes fired from a submarine. I do not think there is any 
advantage to be gained by the discussion of this matter at 
the present time. It is not proposed to hold any formal 
inquiry nor to bring any person before a court-martial. The 
Board of Admiralty have considered attentively all the 
circumstances, and I have no statement to make. 



NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. i of the year 1915) 

CAUTION WHEN APPROACHING BRITISH PORTS 

PART I 
CLOSING OF PORTS 

Former Notice (No. 1805 f I 9 I 4) hereby cancelled. 

(1) My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having 
taken into consideration the fact that it may be necessary to 
forbid all entrance to certain ports of the Empire, this is to 
give Notice that on approaching the shores of the United 
Kingdom, or any of the ports of localities of the British 
Empire, referred to in Part III. of this Notice, a sharp look-out 
should be kept for the signals described in the following 
paragraph, and for the vessels mentioned in paragraph (5), 
Part II., of this Notice, and the distinguishing and other 
signals made by them. In the event of such signals being 
displayed, the port or locality should be approached with 
great caution, as it may be apprehended that obstructions 
may exist. 

(2) If entrance to a port is prohibited, three red vertical 
lights by night, or three red vertical balls by day, will be 
exhibited in some conspicuous position, in or near to its 
approach, which signals will also be shown by the vessels 
indicated in paragraph (5), Part II., of this Notice. 

If these signals are displayed, vessels must either proceed 
to the position marked ' Examination Anchorage ' on the 
Admiralty charts and anchor there, or keep the sea. 

(3) At all the ports or localities at home or abroad referred 

13 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JAN. 

to in Part III. of this Notice, searchlights are occasionally 
exhibited for exercise. 

Instructions have been given to avoid directing movable 
searchlights during practice on to vessels under way, but 
mariners are warned that great care should be taken to keep 
a sharp look-out for the signals indicated in paragraph (2) 
above, when searchlights are observed to be working. 



PART II 
EXAMINATION SERVICE 

(4) In certain circumstances it is also necessary to take 
special measures to examine vessels desiring to enter the ports 
or localities at home or abroad, referred to in Part III. of this 
Notice. 

(5) In such case, vessels carrying the distinguishing flags 
or lights mentioned in paragraph (7) will be charged with the 
duty of examining ships which desire to enter the ports and 
of allotting positions in which they shall anchor. If Govern- 
ment vessels, or vessels belonging to the local port authority, 
are found patrolling in the offing, merchant vessels are advised 
to communicate with such vessels with a view to obtaining 
information as to the course on which they should approach 
the Examination Anchorage. Such communication will not 
be necessary in cases where the pilot on board has already 
received this information from the local authorities. 

(6) As the institution of the Examination Service at any 
port will never be publicly advertised, especial care should be 
taken in approaching the ports, by day or night, to keep a 
sharp look-out for any vessel carrying the flags or lights 
mentioned in paragraph (7), and to be ready to ' bring to ' at 
once when hailed by her or warned by the firing of a gun or 
sound rocket. 

In entering by night any of the ports mentioned in Part III., 
serious delay and risk will be avoided if four efficient all 
round lamps, two red and two white, are kept available for 
use. 

(7) By day the distinguishing flags of the Examination 
Steamer will be a special flag (white and red horizontal 
surrounded by a blue border) and a blue ensign. 

14 



I9 i 5 ] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Also, three red vertical balls if the port is closed. 




ne CAULS 



By night the steamer will carry : 

(a) Three red vertical lights if the port is closed. 

(b) Three white vertical lights if the port is open. 

The above lights will be carried in addition to the ordinary 
navigation lights, and will show an unbroken light around the 
horizon. 

(8) Masters are warned that, before attempting to enter 
any of these ports when the Examination Service is in force, 
they must in their own interests strictly obey all instructions 
given to them by the Examination Steamer. In the absence 
of any instructions from the Examination Steamer they must 
proceed to the position marked 'Examination Anchorage ' 
on the Admiralty Charts and anchor there, or keep the 
sea. 

Whilst at anchor in the Examination Anchorage, Masters 
are warned that they must not lower any boats (except to 
avoid accident), communicate with the shore, work cables, 
move the ship, or allow any one to leave the ship, without 
permission from the Examination Steamer. 

(9) In the case of fog, Masters are enjoined to use the 
utmost care, and the Examination Anchorage itself should be 
approached with caution. 

(10) Merchant vessels when approaching ports are specially 
cautioned against making use of private signals of any descrip- 
tion, either by day or night : the use of them will render a 
vessel liable to be fired on. 

(n) The pilots attached to the ports will be acquainted 
with the regulations to be followed, 

15 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



[JAN. 



PART III 
PORTS OR LOCALITIES REFERRED TO 



Alderney 

Barrow 

Barry 

Belfast 

Berehaven 

Clyde 

Cromarty 

Dover 

Falmouth 

Firth of Forth 



United Kingdom 

Guernsey 

Harwich 

Jersey 

Lough Swilly 

Milford Haven 

Newhaven 

Plymouth 

Portland 

Portsmouth 

Queenstown 



River Humber 
Mersey 
Tay 
Tees 
Thames 
Tyne 

Scapa Flow 

Sheerness 



Esquimalt 



Canada 
Halifax Quebec 

Mediterranean 
Gibraltar Malta 



Aden 

Bombay 

Calcutta 



Indian Ocean 

Colombo 

Karachi 

Madras 



Mauritius 
Rangoon 



China Sea 
Hong Kong Singapore 



Durban 
Sierra Leone 



Africa 



Simons Bay 
Table Bay 



Adelaide 
Brisbane 
Fremantle 



Australia 
Melbourne 
Newcastle 

Tasmania 
Hobart 



Sydney 
Thursday Island 



16 



New Zealand 

Auckland Port Lyttelton 

Otago Wellington 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

West Indies 
Bermuda Port Royal, Jamaica 

PART IV 
SWEEPING OPERATIONS 

H.M. vessels are constantly engaged in sweeping operations 
off ports in the United Kingdom. 

Whilst so engaged, they work in pairs, connected by a wire 
hawser, and are consequently hampered to a very considerable 
extent in their manoeuvring powers. 

With a view to indicating the nature of the work on which 
these vessels are engaged, they will show the following signals : 

A black ball at the foremast head and a similar ball at the 
yardarm, or where it can best be seen, on that side on which it 
is dangerous for vessels to pass. 

For the public safety, all other vessels, whether steamers 
or sailing craft, must keep out of the way of vessels flying this 
signal, and should especially remember that it is dangerous to 
pass between the vessels of a pair. 

(Notice No. i of 1915.) 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, j.st January 1915. 

[The following is the ' Former Notice ' which is cancelled by the 
foregoing. It was accidentally omitted from its proper place in 
Naval 2, and is here inserted for convenience of reference : 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 1805 of the year 1914) 
CAUTION WHEN APPROACHING BRITISH PORTS 

PART I 
CLOSING OF PORTS 

(i) My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having taken into 
consideration the fact that local or other circumstances may arise in 
which it may be necessary, on account of periodical exercises, 

NAVAL 3 B 17 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

manoeuvres, or otherwise, to forbid all entrance to certain ports of the 
Empire, this is to give Notice that on approaching the shores of the 
United Kingdom, or any of the ports or localities of the British Empire 
referred to in Part III. of this Notice, a sharp look-out should be kept 
for the signals described in the following paragraph, and for the 
vessels mentioned in paragraph (5), Part II., of this Notice, and the 
distinguishing and other signals made by them. In the event of such 
signals being displayed, the port or locality should be approached 
with great caution, as it may be apprehended that obstructions may 
exist. 

(2) If entrance to a port is prohibited, three red vertical lights by 
night, or three red vertical balls by day, will be exhibited in some 
conspicuous position, in or near to its approach, which signals will also 
be shown by the vessels indicated in paragraph (5), Part II., of this 
Notice. 

If these signals are displayed, vessels must either proceed to the 
position marked ' Examination Anchorage ' on the Admiralty charts 
and anchor there, or keep the sea. 

(3) At all the ports or localities at home or abroad referred to in 
Part III. of this Notice, searchlights are occasionally exhibited for 
exercise. 

Instructions have been given to avoid directing movable search- 
lights during practice on to vessels under way, but mariners are warned 
that great care should be taken to keep a sharp look-out for the signals 
indicated in paragraph (2) above, where searchlights are observed to 
be working. 

PART II 
EXAMINATION SERVICE 

(4) Under certain circumstances it may become necessary to take 
special measures to examine vessels desiring to enter the ports or 
localities at home or abroad, referred to in Part III. of this Notice. 

(5) In such case, vessels carrying the distinguishing flags or lights 
mentioned in paragraph (7) will be charged with the duty of examining 
ships which desire to enter the ports and of allotting positions in which 
they shall anchor. If Government vessels, or vessels belonging to the 
local port authority, are found patrolling in the offing, merchant vessels 
are advised to communicate with such vessels with a view to obtaining 
information as to the course on which they should approach the 
Examination Anchorage. Such communication will not be necessary 
in cases where the pilot on board has already received this information 
from the local authorities. 

(6) As the institution of the Examination Service at any port will 
never be publicly advertised, especial care should be taken in approach- 
18 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ing the ports, by day or night, to keep a sharp look-out for any vessel 
carrying the flags or lights mentioned in paragraph (7), and to be 
ready to ' bring to ' at once when hailed by her or warned by the 
firing of a gun or sound rocket. 

In entering by night any of the ports mentioned in Part III., 
serious delay and risk will be avoided if four efficient all round lamps, 
two red and two white, are kept available for use. 

(7) By day the distinguishing flags of the Examination Steamer 
will be a special flag (white and red horizontal surrounded by a blue 
border) and a blue ensign. 

Also, three red vertical balls if the port is closed. 



THREE RED BALLS 




By night the steamer will carry : 

(a) Three red vertical lights if the port is closed. 

(b) Three white vertical lights if the port is open. 

The above lights will be carried in addition to the ordinary navi- 
gation light, and will show an unbroken light around the horizon. 

(8) Masters are warned that, before attempting to enter any of 
these ports when the Examination Service is in force, they must in 
their own interests strictly obey all instructions given to them by the 
Examination Steamer. In the absence of any instructions from the 
Examination Steamer they must proceed to the position marked 
' Examination Anchorage ' on the Admiralty charts and anchor there, 
or keep the sea. 

Whilst at anchor in the Examination Anchorage, Masters are 
warned that they must not lower any boats (except to avoid accident), 
communicate with the shore, work cables, move the ship, or allow 
any one to leave the ship, without permission from the Examination 
Steamer. 

(9) In case of fog, Masters of vessels are enjoined to use the utmost 
care, and the Examination Anchorage should be approached with 
caution. 

(10) Merchant vessels when approaching ports are specially 
cautioned against making use of private signals of any description, 
either by day or night : the use of them will render a vessel liable to 
be fired on. 

19 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



[JAN 



(n) The pilots attached to the ports will be acquainted with the 
regulations to be followed. 



PART III 
PORTS OR LOCALITIES REFERRED TO 



United Kingdom 



Alderney 
Barrow 
Barry 
Belfast 
Berehaven 
Cardiff 
Clyde 
Cromarty 
Dover 
Falmouth 


Firth of Forth 
Guernsey 
Harwich 
Jersey 
Lough Swilly 
Milford Haven 
Newhaven 
Plymouth 
Portland 
Portsmouth 


Queenstown 
River Humber 
Mersey 
Tay 
Tees 
Thames 
Tyne 
Scapa Flow 
Sheerness 



Aden 

Bombay 

Calcutta 



Adelaide 
Brisbane 
Fremantle 



Canada 



Esquimalt Halifax 



Quebec 



Mediterranean 
Gibraltar Malta 

Indian Ocean 

Colombo Mauritius 

Karachi Rangoon 

Madras 

China Sea 
Hong Kong . Singapore 

Africa 



Durban 
Sierra Leone 

Australia 

Melbourne 
Newcastle 

Tasmania 
Hobart 



Table Bay 
Simons Bay 



Sydney 
Thursday Island 



20 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

New Zealand 

Auckland Port Lyttelton 

Otago Wellington 

West Indies 
Bermuda Port Royal, Jamaica 

PART IV 
SWEEPING OPERATIONS 

H.M. vessels are constantly engaged in sweeping operations off 
ports in the United Kingdom. 

Whilst so engaged, they work in pairs, connected by a wire hawser, 
and are consequently hampered to a very considerable extent in their 
manoeuvring powers. 

With a view to indicating the nature of the work on which these 
vessels are engaged, they will show the following signals : 

A black ball at the foremast head and a similar ball at the yardarm, 
or where it can best be seen, on that side on which it is dangerous for 
vessels to pass. 

For the public safety, all other vessels, whether steamers or sailing 
craft, must keep out of the way of vessels flying this signal, and should 
especially remember that it is dangerous to pass between the vessels 
of a pair. 

By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, $th December 1914.] 

OCCUPATION OF BOUGAINVILLE BY AUSTRALIA 

Melbourne. 

Renter's Agency announces that the Australians have K.V., 

occupied Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands, J an - 2 

and hoisted the British flag there. I 9 I 5 

THE ASKOLD AT JAFFA 

Constantinople. 

Headquarters reports that the Russian cruiser Askold K.V., 
attempted a landing at Jaffa the day before yesterday. Our Jan. 3, 
coastguards forthwith opened fire on the enemy vessel, which I 9 I 5 
withdrew with the loss of several killed. 

21 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Times, 
Jan. 9, 



Times, 
Jan. n, 



K.D. 



K.D. 



C.O. 



OPERATIONS IN THE BLACK SEA 



Paris, January 8. 

It is officially stated that a large Turkish transport was 
sunk on January 2nd by a mine at the entrance to the Bos- 
phorus. Another transport, convoyed by the Turkish cruiser 
Medjidieh, was sunk on January 5th in the Black Sea between 
Sinope and Trebizond. The protected Russian cruiser Pant- 
yat Markuria and the Russian destroyer Gnyevnyi attacked 
the Medjidieh, which, though struck by several shells, suc- 
ceeded in escaping. Renter. 



Petrograd, January 8. 

On January 3rd in the Black Sea our cruisers and tor- 
pedo boats observed in approaching Sinope a Turkish cruiser 
of the Medjidieh type, followed by a transport. Seeing that 
they were pursued, the Turkish vessels turned westward in 
an attempt to escape, but we overtook the transport and 
sank it. The cruiser got away. 



Constantinople, January 5. 

The Turkish General Staff reports as follows : Yesterday 
there was an encounter in the Black Sea off Sinope between 
two Turkish cruisers and a Russian squadron composed of 
seventeen units. Details are lacking. At all events the 
enemy, in spite of his numerical superiority, was unable to 
cause any damage to our ships. 



Constantinople, January 8. 

The General Staff reports as follows : Contrary to inter- 
national law, the Russian Fleet to-day bombarded the open 
town of Sinope, slightly damaging two houses. There was 
no loss of life. Four barges were sunk. Turkish ships suc- 
cessfully bombarded Russian troops in and north of Makriali, 
on the Russian coast. 



Paris, January 16. 

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has encountered the Turkish 
cruisers Breslau and Hamidieh and opened fire upon them 
22 






DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



inflicting some damage. The Russian squadron subsequently 
examined the bays of Sinope, Trebizond, and Platana ; it 
burnt or destroyed a large number of enemy merchant vessels 
and bombarded the port of Khopa, 



DUTCH DIPLOMATIC REPORTS CONCERNING NAVI- 
GATION IN THE NORTH SEA AND THE ENGLISH 
CHANNEL, IN CONNECTION WITH THE WAR 
SITUATION 

FISHING IN THE NORTH SEA OFF THE GERMAN COAST 

Communication received from the German Ambassador 
on January 4, 1915 

German naval forces have established the fact that D.N.S.B. 
British fishing vessels in the North Sea are flying neutral / 
colours, and particularly the Dutch flag, whilst ostensibly 
following their avocation of fishing, but obviously in order 
to be able to supply the British Fleet clandestinely with 
observations and intelligence. The rewards which have been 
offered at the same time by the British Government for such 
services are undoubtedly a special incentive in this respect. 
Suspicious craft of this nature have repeatedly been en- 
countered, even in the German Bight [Bight of Heligoland]. 

This state of affairs compels the Imperial Government, 
in the legitimate defence of the urgent interests of the conduct 
of naval warfare, to have recourse to suitable measures of a 
military nature against all fishing vessels of suspicious appear- 
ance encountered within the German Bight and the adjacent 
waters. 

The Imperial Government also points out that naviga- 
tion in the above zone is exposed to great danger, excepting 
on the waterways defined for the approach to the German 
estuaries (see Notices to Mariners, No. 2770/14 and 3093/14), 
in spite of the vigilance exercised by the German naval forces. 
Fishing craft are therefore strongly urged to avoid the above- 
mentioned danger zones. 

The Imperial Government, being anxious to see that Dutch 
interests should not be injured, considers it of high import- 

23 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ance to communicate the above information to the Royal 
Dutch Government, thus giving it an opportunity of warning 
local fishing circles accordingly. 



Communication from the German Minister on February 9, 1915 

D.N.S.B. According to a notice issued by the Naval Admiral Staff, 

fishing and coasting vessels of foreign nationality are pro- 
hibited from proceeding to the navigable waters of the west 
coast of Schles wig-Hols tein, the Elbe, the Weser, the channels 
of the East Frisian Islands and the eastern Ems, until further 
notice. 



BRITISH ATTACK NEAR MERSINA 

K.D., The Turkish General Staff reports as follows : On Jan- 

Jan. 8, uar y ijth an English cruiser attempted to land to the west 
19151 of Mersina. The fire of our coastguards compelled the 

enemy to withdraw. He left four dead behind. 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 
(No. 16 of the year 1915) 
UNITED KINGDOM 

Pilotage Stations established at certain Ports on account 
of defensive minefields 

Former Notice (No. 1781 of 1914) hereby cancelled* 

1 [See With reference to the extension of the system of mine 

Naval 2, defence, notice is hereby given that Pilotage is now compulsory 
p. 309 ] a t the following ports for all vessels (including fishing vessels) 
.G., which have a draught of over eight feet, and that it is highly 

dangerous for any vessel to enter or leave such ports without 
a pilot. Fishing and other small vessels having a draught of 
over eight feet are to assemble at the Pilotage stations, and 
will be conducted into and out of port in groups. 

(i) FIRTH OF FORTH. All incoming vessels must call for 
a pilot at a station established on the Isle of May. 
24 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots at the same 
station. 

It is dangerous for any vessel to be under way to the 
westward of the Isle of May without a pilot. 

(2) MORAY FIRTH. All vessels bound to Cromarty or 
Inverness must call for a pilot at Wick or Burghead. 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots at one or the 
other of these places. 

It is dangerous for any vessel to be under way to the south- 
westward of a line joining Findhorn and Tarbat Ness without 
a pilot. 

(3) SCAPA FLOW. All entrances are dangerous. 

Examination services have been established in the en- 
trances to Hoxa and Hoy Sounds ; vessels wishing to enter 
must communicate with the Examination Vessel and follow 
the instructions received from her very carefully. 

The only vessels permitted to enter Hoy Sound from the 
westward are those bound for Stromness : vessels cannot 
enter Scapa Flow from Stromness. 

Note. RIVER HUMBER. The Pilot station formerly estab- 
lished seven miles E.S.E. (Mag.), from Spurn Point, has now 
been withdrawn. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

F. J. PARRY, Hydrographer. 
Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, $th January 1915. 

[The ' Former Notice/ No. 1781 of 1914, cancelled by the above, 
itself cancelled an earlier Notice, No. 1752 of 1914. As this earlier 
Notice was accidentally omitted from its proper place in Naval 2, it is 
here inserted for convenience of reference : 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 1752 of the year 1914) 
UNITED KINGDOM 

New Pilotage Stations to be established at certain Ports on 
account of defensive Minefields 

In view of the extension of the system of Mine defence, notice is L.G., 
hereby given that on and after the 27th instant, Pilotage will be Nov - 2O > 

25 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL JA 

compulsory at the following ports, and that it will be highly dangerous 
for any vessel to enter or leave such ports without a pilot. 

(1) RIVER HUMBER. All incoming vessels must call for a pilot 
at a station to be established in Lat. 53 36' N., long. o 30' E. 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots at the same station. 

(2) RIVER TYNE. All incoming vessels from the northward must 
call for a pilot off Blyth, and those from the southward off the River 
Wear. 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots off one or the other 
of these places. 

(3) FIRTH OF FORTH. All incoming vessels must call for a pilot 
at a station to be established on the Isle of May. 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots at the same station. 
It will be dangerous for any vessel to be under way to the west- 
ward of the Isle of May without a pilot. 

(4) MORAY FIRTH. All vessels bound to Cromarty or Inverness 
must call for a pilot at Wick or Burghead. 

Outgoing vessels are to discharge their pilots at one or the other 
of these places. 

It will be dangerous for any vessel to be under way to the south- 
westward of a line joining Findhorn and Tarbat Ness without a pilot. 

(5) SCAPA FLOW. All entrances are dangerous. 

Examination services have been established in the entrances to 
Hoxa and Hoy Sounds ; vessels wishing to enter must communicate 
with the Examination Vessel and follow the instructions received from 
her very carefully, 

The only vessels permitted to enter Hoy Sound from the westward 
are those bound for Stromness : vessels cannot enter Scapa Flow from 
Stromness. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 
Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, i6th November 1914.] 



THE UNITED STATES AND CONTRABAND- 
THE DA CIA 

Washington, January 5. 

Times, The Government has followed up its warnings to shippers 

iM* 6 ' to ^ e care frd about smuggling and mixing contraband and 

non-contraband goods by an arrangement whereby ship- 

26 






c 9 i 5 ] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

owners can, if they like, get certificates as to the nature of 
the cargo carried in their vessels after inspection by the 
United States Customs authorities. The arrangement is 
not, of course, a perfect one. Even if, as expected, all ports 
adopt the scheme, it will be voluntary instead of obligatory, 
and there may be considerable difficulty in making it obli- 
gatory. It is, however, regarded as a long step in the right 
direction, inasmuch as it will give innocent exporters an 
opportunity of reducing to a minimum the danger of deten- 
tion of shipments on the ground that they are suspected of 
being accompanied by hidden contraband. 

It is intimated in connection with the action of the Trea- 
sury Department authorising Customs officials to give certi- 
ficates to vessels that the concession must not be taken to 
indicate agreement with the British view that there has 
actually been much smuggling. There seems to be a ten- 
dency to believe that British suspicion is exaggerated. Re- 
garding the possibility of making certificates obligatory, it 
is pointed out that it may at any rate be possible to increase 
the present inadequate penalties for false manifests. 

The improvement in the contraband situation is unfor- 
tunately accompanied by indications that there are other 
commercial difficulties. The question of the purchase by 
America of interned German vessels is again to the fore. 
Possibly with a view to bringing forward a test case as to the 
right of private Americans to acquire such ships, the Govern- 
ment has authorised American citizens to buy a small vessel 
of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. The vessel, which is called 
the Dacia, is interned at Port Arthur, Texas. The intention 
of its new owner is reported to be to carry cotton to 
Bremen. 

Great interest is felt here as to whether we shall pro- 
test. It is recognised that our general position is that 
we must have absolute proof of the absolute neutrality of 
the transfer, and that there must be no suspicion that it 
has been made to escape the consequences of belligerent 
ownership. 

It is noted that the new owner, though once a member 
of Congress, rejoices in the name of Breitung, and it is recalled 
that the last purchase by an American of a German ship 
the Sacramento of San Francisco did not turn out satis- 

27 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [j 

factorily, inasmuch as the Sacramento was convicted of 
carrying supplies to Admiral von Spee's squadron. 

The question of the Government purchase of German 
ships is also acute. By a Parliamentary coup, and in the 
teeth of the bitter opposition of such members as Mr. Root and 
Mr. Lodge, the President's friends have succeeded in calling 
up in the Senate the Bill providing for such purchase. The 
conservatives of both parties are dismayed. It is felt that 
the Bill is pregnant with diplomatic and economic dangers. 
It is believed that Great Britain will protest vigorously were 
it to pass. 

Nor is it only a question of the legitimacy of purchase 
that is felt to be concerned. The Bill, said Mr. Root, ' proposes 
to put the Government of the United States into foreign 
trade at a time when that trade necessarily involves frequent 
and almost constant questions of critical importance and 
great delicacy and difficulty arising under the law of nations 
regarding neutral and belligerent rights. It proposes to put 
the Government of the United States in a position where 
her good faith will be questioned and where her violation of 
the law of nations will be asserted if any situations arise such 
as have been detailed to us within the last few days (by 
enemies of the British contraband policy). It proposes to 
create a condition which . . . may raise the question of the 
United States violating its neutrality and taking sides with 
one belligerent or another.' 



Washington, January 15. 

Times, The case of the Dacia continues to be prominently, but 

Jan. 16, rather confusedly, discussed. The facts at present are as 
follows : The State Department wishes to treat the business 
as exceptional. It is argued that it would be unfair to the 
cotton exporters who put their cargoes in the Dacia in ignorance 
of the situation should the Dacia not be allowed to sail. It is 
suggested that it might be possible to let the Dacia sail this 
once for Rotterdam without prejudice to her subsequent 
status or to the broad question of the transfer of flag. The 
cause of the suggestion is the formal intimation, which has 
already been reported, that Great Britain cannot, as things 
stand, undertake to recognise the right of the Dacia to fly the 
28 



] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

American flag while trading with Germany, either direct or 
through Rotterdam. 

There is no question of the validity of the transfer of the 
Dacia to her new owner as far as the payment of money and 
other details are concerned. At least, her papers are in 
perfect order. The question is whether, apart from municipal 
law, Great Britain can acquiesce in steps which would relieve a 
belligerent country of the consequences of belligerent opera- 
tions, and, if so, how far she is willing to allow such steps to 
go. While it is believed that it is possible, and even probable, 
that we would allow the purchase of German vessels for 
neutral, and especially for Latin -American, trade, grave 
doubts are entertained, in view of what we have said, whether 
it will be possible to prevail upon us to allow a ship like the 
Dacia. to trade with Rotterdam, which is, geographically, 
virtually a German port. 

The reply to the American suggestion, which it is under- 
stood will be forwarded to London, is awaited with the utmost 
interest. Should it indicate the possibility of purchasing and 
employing usefully German vessels, the arrangements which 
it is reported are on foot in New York for the transfer of some 
other vessels will be pushed, not that any such convenient 
answer is deemed likely in impartial quarters. It is expected 
that Berlin will reserve the right to act if she sees fit in each 
individual case. 

The affair has, of course, considerable political importance, 
in view of the urgent necessity in the South to export cotton, 
and the desire to enter the German market as freely as possible, 
and of the persistent Teutonic efforts to arouse feeling against 
our maritime policy. In this connection it is hoped that, as 
the Dacia controversy concerns the ship and not the cargo, 
some way may be found, should the Dacia be seized, of forward- 
ing the cotton to its destination, or, at any rate, that it should 
be immediately bought by Great Britain. 



Washington, January 21. 

The Dacia is still in port. That her sailing is contemplated, Times, 
however, is proved by the efforts of the owner to get the J an - 22 > 
Government to insure her cargo. Whether the Government 
will comply with the request and whether, if it did so, the 

29 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

insurance would be full or conditional is now being discussed 
by the appropriate officials. 



Washington, January 21. 

After a conference with Mr. McAdoo, Secretary of the 
Treasury, Mr. Delanoy, of the Federal War Risk Bureau, has 
decided to issue war insurance for the Dacias cotton. He 
indicated that no policy would be written covering the ship, 
although the owners are stated to have sought it. It is under- 
stood that the State Department has not advised the Dacia's 
owners to make the voyage, but has simply communicated to 
them a statement of Great Britain's attitude, leaving it to the 
owners to take the responsibility. Renter. 



Washington, January 22. 

Times, That the Dacia will sail is indicated by an announcement 

Jan. 25, that the Treasury Department has now decided to insure its 
I 9 I 5- cargo. That it will be seized was reiterated last night by the 

British Ambassador in the following statement to the Press : 

In connection with the transfer of the Dacia from the 
German to the American flag, the British Government, while 
anxious to avoid causing loss to the shippers of the cargo, 
have found it impossible to agree that the transfer in the 
circumstances in which it has been effected is valid in accord- 
ance with accepted principles of international law. If, 
therefore, the Dacia should proceed to sea and be captured, 
the British Government will find themselves obliged to bring 
the ship, apart from her cargo, before a Prize Court. 

It is stated that the cargo of the Dacia is to consist solely 
of cotton owned by American citizens. If it is so, and if the 
vessel should be captured, the British Government will 
guarantee the purchase of the cargo at the price which would 
have been realised by the shippers if the cargo had reached 
its foreign destination, or, if preferred, they will undertake 
to forward the cotton to Rotterdam without further expense 
to the shippers. 

Washington, February I, 1915. 

Times, The Dacia cleared yesterday from Galveston for Norfolk, 

Feb. 2, where she will coal for Transatlantic voyage. Her seizure is 

taken for granted here. All Dacias cargo of cotton amounts 

30 






DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



to 11,000 bales, and is valued by the owners at 176,000 on the 
basis of the prices ruling at Bremen. 



Washington, February n, 1915. 

The Dacia is advertised to clear from Norfolk for Times, 
Rotterdam to-day. The captain said that he had been pro- Fdx 12, 
mised a bonus if he makes the voyage. 



New York, February 25, 1915. 

The Dacia is reported by wireless 400 miles west of Land's Times, 
End. Exchange Telegraph Company. Feb. 26, 

19*5- 

Paris, February 27. 

The Ministry of Marine announces that the Dacia has Times, 
been stopped by a French cruiser in the Channel and is being Mar - J > 

brought to Brest. I 9 I 5- 

Paris, March 23. 

The official inquiry into the seizure of the Dacia has been Times, 
concluded. Mar. 24, 

The Commission finds that the seizure is valid, and will I 9 I 5- 
shortly submit its report to the Minister of Marine, who will 
at once communicate it to the Prize Court. The latter will 
be allowed a period of two months in which to give its 
decision . Renter . 



ALIEN ENEMIES 

House of Lords, January 6, 1915. 

The EARL OF CRAWFORD : My Lords, I rise to ask His Hansard. 
Majesty's Government what was the approximate number of 
alien enemies resident in this country on December i last 
other than prisoners of war and persons interned in con- 
centration camps, and what was the approximate number 
of aliens then residing in prohibited areas. 

LORD ST. DAVIDS : My Lords, before the noble Marquess 
answers the question of the noble Earl opposite, perhaps he 
will allow me to put my question which stands next, as it 
also refers to alien enemies. I ask whether the Government 
can now see their way to announce that they are ready to 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

repatriate at the cost of this country all alien enemies not of 
military age and all women and children of alien enemies who 
may be willing to return to their own countries. 

I have been emboldened lo put this question on the paper 
by the fact that at one of the last sittings of the House in the 
1 [See autumn a question of mine 1 in practically similar terms was 
Naval 2, received rather kindly by the noble Marquess, who thought 
that there was a little to be said for it, and promised that the 
Government would consider it. I should like now to ask 
what the decision of the Government has been on the subject. 
I might remind the House of the advantages of our offering 
to pay the expenses of all alien enemies, other than men of 
military age, who would be willing to go back to their own 
countries. If all of them accepted the offer it would be an 
untold benefit ; and if only a certain number of them went, it 
would be an advantage well worth the money, because to 
that extent, whatever the extent might be, it would lessen 
the number of very suspicious people that the police and 
special constables and others are at present obliged to watch 
all over the country. Even supposing none went, would it 
not be a good thing that the Government should have made 
this offer publicly ? In the German papers there are state- 
ments that we in this country have been treating alien enemies 
with harshness and unkindness. Well, as an answer to those 
German newspapers, and in order to impress the minds of 
people in neutral countries, surely there is nothing better 
than that we should say that, far from wanting to be harsh to 
any one, we are prepared not only to let them go without any 
conditions, but also to pay the expenses back to their own 
land. Personally, I cannot see any single disadvantage in 
the Government adopting this course, and I should like to 
ask what their decision is now that they have considered the 
matter. 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : My Lords, I hope my noble friend, 
Lord St. Davids, will excuse me if I say that I do not quite 
see how this question, though a very interesting one no doubt, 
arises on the question of the noble Earl, Lord Crawford. I 
propose to answer Lord Crawford's question, and my noble 
friend who leads the House will deal with the one put by my 
noble friend Lord St. Davids. The noble Earl opposite asks 
for a statement of the figures as at December i last, but per- 
32 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

haps he will allow me to give him the latest available figures 
and thus bring the matter more up to date. 

The EARL OF PORTSMOUTH : Up to what date are the 
figures ? The first of January ? 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : I cannot say exactly the date, 
but I believe it is up to the first of January at least it is as 
near that as possible. The number of male Germans, Austrians, 
and Hungarians at large in this country is about 27,000 ; and 
the number interned or imprisoned about 15,000. The num- 
ber interned would be greater but for the policy of the War 
Office, which has resulted in the release of upwards of 2000 
in the last few weeks. The number of females is about 
18,000. 

EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON : At large or interned ? 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : At large. Since the notice of 
Lord Crawford's question has been handed in a report has 
been obtained so far as concerns the areas on the East and 
South Coasts, and that report gives the total number of male 
alien enemies in prohibited areas as 695. This figure is worked 
out as follows : In the prohibited areas from the North of 
Scotland to Berwick, 59 ; from Northumberland to the Wash, 
437 ; from the Wash to the Thames, 38 ; from the Thames 
to Cornwall, 161. The figures with regard to females are 
From the North of Scotland to Berwick, 315 ; Northumberland 
to the Wash, 982 ; from the Wash to the Thames, 214 ; and 
from the Thames to Cornwall, 791. This makes a total of 
2302 females. 

The EARL OF PORTSMOUTH : The noble Viscount is quot- 
ing the figures of aliens in prohibited areas ? 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : Yes, this last batch which I am 
giving. 

The EARL OF PORTSMOUTH : Why are they allowed to be 
there at all ? 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : The chief constables on the spot 
have, after full inquiry and consultation with the military 
authorities, discretion to say who shall be allowed to remain. 
The military authorities have power over .and above that, 
under the Defence of the Realm Act, to order the removal 
of suspicious persons and those whose presence is considered 
undesirable. I understand that the persons who have been 
allowed to remain are those who, after very careful inquiry 
NAVAL 3 c 33 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

by the authorities, are considered to be quite harmless. They 
have been allowed to remain with the consent of the military 
authorities. 

The EARL OF CRAWFORD : Is it quite certain that the 
military authorities do not mind these people being there ? 
Certainly there are military authorities in Scotland, at any 
rate, who are moving heaven and earth to get rid of aliens, as 
such ; yet all down the coast of Scotland there are still aliens. 
1 [See l asked this question six or eight weeks ago, 1 and I find that in 
Naval 2, the interval of time the number of alien males within pro- 
hibited areas has shown very small decrease indeed, and 
to-day there are actually 3500 alien enemies living within 
prohibited areas. Again, the prohibited areas which the 
noble Viscount specified by no means exhaust all the pro- 
hibited areas in the country ; so that the figure which he has 
given us is quite incomplete. No mention was made by 
him of the several prohibited areas in Ireland and on the West 
Coast. 

To-day, after five months of war, there are 3500 aliens 
living within prohibited areas ! I consider that women alien 
enemies, of whom there are 2302, are every bit as dangerous 
as male alien enemies. The idea that you should leave the 
women in a prohibited area and exclude the men is farcical. 
I have heard these figures from the noble Viscount with great 
disappointment. I had hoped that after an interval of six 
weeks there would havB been some improvement, but there 
has been a perfectly insignificant change. However, I hope 
that since the raid on the East Coast the number of aliens in 
that particular area at any rate has been materially reduced. 

The EARL OF PORTSMOUTH : It seems to me that the 
matter is in extreme confusion. Here you have an Act for 
the Defence of the Realm which confers certain powers on 
certain authorities under certain conditions to deal summarily 
with persons who are suspected of treasonable designs.. At 
the same time you prohibit certain areas, but I have just 
heard from the noble Viscount opposite that in these pro- 
hibited areas there are still a very large number of aliens. 
Why should you have any alien enemies in a prohibited area 
at all ? What is the object jof having a prohibited area if 
alien enemies are not all cleared out ? 

The EARL OF MEATH : My Lords, it appears to me that 
34 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Parliament has expressed an opinion in one direction, and the 
officials have altered it in another. Of course, His Majesty's 
Government have, so long as Parliament permits it, the power 
to do as they like, but it certainly does appear to me and 
I am sure to many of your Lordships a most extraordinary 
thing that we should legislate in one direction, and that the 
legislation should be undone, as it were, in another direction. 
If we prohibit areas, why are aliens to be permitted to remain 
there because certain chief constables think those people are 
harmless ? Are we to be governed by the chief constables 
or by Parliament ? Parliament has expressed a wish in one 
direction ; the officials, apparently supported by the Govern- 
ment, think the other way. As a humble member of this 
House, I protest against alien enemies being allowed to remain 
in areas which have been prohibited by Parliament. 

LORD ST. DAVIDS : There was one point in the answer of 
the noble Viscount on the front bench which I did not quite 
understand. I should like to ask whether the figures which 
he gave of alien enemies in this country and of alien enemies 
still living in the prohibited areas include naturalised aliens 
or not. 

VISCOUNT ALLENDALE : No, they do not. With regard 
to what has been said by noble Lords opposite, I can only 
repeat that my information is that these people have been 
allowed to remain in certain areas only after very careful 
consultation between the military authorities and the police 
and after exhaustive inquiries have been made in regard to 
them. 

LORD MONCREIFF : May I ask how exhaustive these in- 
quiries are, and when they are made ? After the raid on the 
East Coast, 1 very curiously, forty aliens were within the next 1 [See 
day expelled from Hartlepool. It seems to me that it took Naval 2, 
a very long time to find out that they were not desirable PP- 420-5-] 
people to have there. 

LORD NUNBURNHOLME : My Lords, I should like to ask 
the noble Marquess who leads the House to put into force 
stronger orders under the Defence of the Realm Act. Exactly 
twenty-four hours before the bombardment of Scarborough a 
German lady whom the police had placed under observation 
left the town. That looks rather curious, and as if she knew 
all about it. I might add that she has never been seen since. 

35 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

There are on the East Coast of Yorkshire in the prohibited 
areas a good many naturalised Englishmen and aliens, and 
many of the people in my county, in the towns on the coast, 
think that the time has come to clear out all these people en 
masse. We do not see why we should take any risks consider- 
ing the state of war we are in. Many of these aliens and 
naturalised Englishmen may have resided in this country for 
many years, and may be perfectly respectable people, but the 
general view is that no risks should be taken, and that they 
should be either deported or interned. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I think the conduct 
of the Government in this matter of spies is incomprehensible. 
Surely the whole point is that which has been made by the 
noble Lord who has just sat down Why should we take any 
risks at all ? It is not a question whether this or that natural- 
ised person or alien satisfies the police inquiry ; he or she may 
be a perfectly harmless individual, but we cannot afford to 
take any risks at all. That is why I say that the conduct of 
the Government in this matter is incomprehensible. Every 
time this subject is brought forward we are told that the naval 
and military authorities are satisfied, but if any of us speak to 
any of the naval or military authorities who have jurisdiction 
on the coast, they never by any possible chance express them- 
selves as satisfied. The criticism I would make is this. What 
we are suffering from is divided authority. Surely this matter 
of the spy ought to be put in the hands of one single man, and 
he should be responsible to the whole country for our safety 
in that respect. So long as the authority is divided partly 
civilian, partly naval, and partly military I do not believe 
you will ever be able to run home responsibility or make quite 
sure that the matter is being wisely dealt with. I am no 
advocate for hounding harmless aliens ; personally I would 
treat them with every consideration ; but I do say that on 
our coasts, and where the Government themselves have 
established prohibited areas, it is not a question of humanity 
between us and them, but a question of trusteeship, and we 
cannot afford to run any risk. That is why I ask the Govern- 
ment to look at this matter from a rather different point of 
view to look at it exclusively from the point of view of the 
safety of our seamen and our coastal defence, and to put 
the whole and sole responsibility, under the ample powers 
36 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which I believe they now possess, in the hands of one man 
selected by them and thoroughly trusted. 

VISCOUNT GALWAY had given notice to call attention to 
the recent bombardment of towns on the East Coast. The 
noble Viscount said : As the main point to which I wished 
to call the attention of your Lordships' House in my question 
with reference to the present state of the East Coast after 
the recent bombardment was this matter of aliens residing 
in prohibited areas, perhaps your Lordships will allow me to 
say that there is a general feeling of insecurity on the whole 
of the Yorkshire coast since the bombardment owing to aliens 
being still left there. It is a matter of common knowledge 
that signalling has been going on for some months, and also 
that intelligence has been given to the enemy somehow or 
other ; and there is a fear that His Majesty's Government 
do not quite realise how strong the feeling of insecurity is. 
I hold that it is the duty of the Government to see that all 
doubts about responsibility are removed. Also I must frankly 
say that a great many people up North have some doubt as 
to whether His Majesty's Government are really as determined 
as they might be to enforce their powers against alien enemies 
in this time of war. Perhaps the noble and learned Viscount 
on the Woolsack will not mind my saying that his well-known 
admiration for Teutonic kultur does not tend to reassure them, 
and they think that such strict steps are not taken against 
aliens as ought to be taken. 

This feeling of insecurity to which I have alluded comes 
from the different orders given by the Home Secretary, and, 
if I may say so, his vacillation. There is no doubt about it, 
that there must be some supreme power behind the military 
authority or the chief constable when people are arrested one 
day and released the next. And from what I gather in the 
newspapers to-day the removal of several aliens from the 
coast which was supposed to have been done within a week 
has now been suspended. That looks as if there is interference, 
either from the Home Office or somewhere else in London, 
with the local people. I fear the Government wish to have 
the power to make a scapegoat of some one, on the ground 
that authority had been given to intern these men, but that 
they had not been interned. The Government should see 
to it that no alien is allowed to reside in prohibited areas after 

37 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the notice of the prohibited areas had been given. If it is 
said that such a course would cause these ' poor aliens ' 
inconvenience, I myself hold that the life of one of our gallant 
sailors is worth more than any amount of inconvenience 
caused to any alien enemies who ever resided in this country. 
I hope that your Lordships' House will support the view I take 
that no question should be thrown on the local or the military 
authorities. Let an order go forth from the Home Office to 
say that no alien, whether naturalised or not, shall reside 
within a certain distance of the coast. ' It ought to be a general 
order for the whole of England, and not for particular portions. 
We should then know where we are, and it would do away 
with spying. If this were done it would give great satis- 
faction. As has been said before, these aliens, whether 
naturalised or not, boldly declare that they do not lose their 
individual nationality. Under those circumstances I trust 
that the Government will issue an Order that no further aliens 
should be allowed to reside on the coast. There were one or 
two other questions which I was going to put. One was with 
regard to the compensation to be paid to the people who 
suffered from the recent bombardment ; the other was with 
regard to the removal of the civil population in case of an 
invasion. 9 Those points are met by questions which have 
been put down in the names of Lord Southwark and the Duke 
of Rutland for to-morrow, and I do not propose to raise them 
now. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : My Lords, I think it would 
be convenient if I said something now upon what has fallen 
from my noble friend opposite, and with regard to the question 
of my noble friend behind me (Lord St. Davids), and the 
points raised by the noble Earls opposite, Lord Crawford 
and Lord Portsmouth. The noble Earl on the front bench 
opposite (Lord Selborne) asked that the whole matter should 
be placed on a different footing that instead, as is now the 
case, of the military and naval authorities having the responsi- 
bility under the Defence of the Realm Act and utilising for 
purposes of local inquiry, and where necessary for local action, 
the police force of the neighbourhood, the whole business 
should be placed under one man who would be, as I under- 
stand, supreme in the matter. But the noble Earl did not 
point out what the qualification or the nature of that one man 
38 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

should be. Presumably he would be an official in London. 
In that case, unless you go on the principle of interning all 
enemies of all ages and both sexes, which could be done with- 
out the appointment of any special official, your single official 
must act through some local source of information. It would 
be conceivable, of course, that the whole business should be 
undertaken by naval or military authorities under what is 
vaguely called Martial Law that is to say, that a file of 
soldiers, or some bluejackets, could march into any one's 
house and remove the alien therefrom without question. The 
other alternative, the one which we have adopted, is to use 
the local police in the different counties as possessing more 
intimate knowledge of the circumstances, though acting at 
the instance and under the authority of the military and naval 
authorities respectively. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I will tell the noble Marquess 
exactly what was in my mind. I mean a man like Major- 
General Baden-Powell that kind of man. I do not neces- 
sarily say him, but he happens to be unemployed at the 
moment ; therefore I mention him. Take such a man. You 
give him civil, military, and naval advisers on his staff and put 
the whole of the police, for this single purpose, under his 
authority, and he is free to move. I would not for a moment 
suggest that he should remain in London ; as a matter of 
fact, he ought to travel about a great deal. But you should 
have one single man responsible for this particular task, and 
all the authorities, civilian, naval, and military, should have 
instructions to act under him. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I confess I am not quite clear 
as to how a scheme of that kind would work ; nor do I feel 
certain that its results would be altogether more palatable 
to noble Lords opposite than those which obtain at present. 
If you are going to inquire into the merits of particular cases 
at all, if you are not going to make a generally clean sweep 
of all aliens I will come to the question of the particular 
prohibited areas in a moment some inquiry must be made into 
particular cases, and it is almost certain that the result would 
be that in some cases exceptions would be made. On a 
former occasion when this matter was under discussion here 
I pointed out a fact which I think has not been alluded to by 
any subsequent speaker and certainly has not received any 

39 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

contradiction, and it is rather a curious point. It is this, that 
even those who are most anxious to see drastic measures taken 
with regard, as they say, to all aliens, have two or three among 
their personal acquaintances it may be an elderly German 
governess, or an Austrian biologist who has lived all his life 
in this country 

VISCOUNT GALWAY : Or a Privy Councillor. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : Or it may be a person of any 
class or of any politics. You find that everybody knows a 
certain number of individuals that he himself would except ; 
and, as I pointed out when I was mentioning this matter 
before, in another place an hon. member who made a very 
strong speech on the subject mentioned that he knew half a 
dozen who certainly ought to be excepted because they were 
beyond any sort of suspicion. And, as I pointed out the other 
day, if you multiply that small number by the number of 
those who possess harmless friends, you soon reach the figure 
of hundreds or thousands on behalf of whom it is desired that 
an exception should be made. 

The noble Viscount who spoke last, Lord Galway, brought 
a charge against the Home Office that there had been some 
vacillation in their action, and that whereas it had first been 
ordained that all aliens should be removed from prohibited 
areas, that ordinance was afterwards withdrawn in obedience, 
as the noble Viscount thought, to instructions from London. 
I am given to understand that this is not quite an accurate 
account of what occurred. The particular Orders were issued, 
as all those Orders are, by the military authorities on the 
North-East Coast. They required that not only all aliens 
should be removed a certain distance from the coast, but also 
all persons of foreign origin, even though they were British 
subjects. The result was a vast deal of local complaint. It 
must not be supposed and I think this is a point worth 
noticing that the objections to summary action of this kind 
were appeals ad misericordiam from the people themselves. 
In most cases, I am given to understand, they were appeals 
from their employers, British subjects such as ourselves, who 
cannot do without the particular services rendered by these 
individuals, possibly skilled in certain branches of manufacture 
or of knowledge ; and among those employers you have to 
include the country, because there are certain processes of the 
40 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

utmost importance to us all at this moment connected with 
keeping up various supplies which as matters now stand can 
only be carried out to the full extent required by the exigencies 
of the situation by the utilisation of the knowledge of people, 
in some cases of foreign birth, naturalised in some cases before 
the war, perhaps for many years, and against whom as indi- 
viduals no suspicion is entertained by those best qualified to 
judge. 

The EARL OF CRAWFORD: I suppose that does not apply 
to foreign servants in Government Departments ? 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I should think that that 
applies to all persons employed in different processes of manu- 
facture the manufacture of goods for the use of the Govern- 
ment in a great many parts of England and in a great many 
different departments. In other matters we are always told 
that we ought to trust the knowledge and experience of the 
men on the spot, and, if you are not prepared to make an 
absolutely sweeping removal of everybody, the local police 
authorities are presumably better acquainted with the past, 
with the character, and with the probable actions of any one 
individual included in this category than anybody else can be. 

Then, as I was saying, the noble Viscount (Lord Galway) 
accuses the Government of vacillation. He particularly 
mentioned the Home Office ; but, as a matter of fact, both 
the promulgation of the general removal and its subsequent 
withdrawal were the work of the military authorities. The 
Home Office had no concern with it whatever ; and the step 
was taken on the ground, I fancy, of the sort of hardship that 
I have mentioned. It was also, I believe, alleged, but I do 
not know with what foundation, that an Order of that kind 
was in itself ultra vires. I lay no stress on that, because I am 
not sufficiently acquainted with the arguments that were used. 
But I can assure noble Lords opposite that, as the result of 
what they have stated, we shall give further consideration 
to the definite demand which they have made namely, that 
all prohibited areas should be swept clear of all people of alien 
birth, whatever their position, character, or usefulness. I am 
unable, however, to say that the result will be such as noble 
Lords hope, because a great number of considerations are in- 
volved. Although we entirely agree with what fell from the 
noble Viscount, that the safety of any of the defenders of the 

4* 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

country absolutely weighs down all considerations of the 
convenience of individuals or even of national profit I 
would put it as high as that yet at the same time noble 
Lords must see, I think, that there are two sides of the question 
when you come to so sweeping an action as that. 

I pass to the question of repatriation of aliens asked by my 
noble friend behind me (Lord St. Davids). So long ago as 
October last the various Governments concerned began to 
discuss the question of the repatriation of all male enemies not 
of military age and all women and children of aliens who were 
willing to return to their own country. The result was that 
when Germany and Austria agreed to extend reciprocal treat- 
ment to British subjects in those countries, we agreed to allow 
the return to Germany and Austria of all women and children 
and of all male persons either above or below the age of service. 
The arrangement with Austria was announced on October 10, 
and that with Germany early in November. Others were 
also included ministers of religion, doctors, and, in the case 
of Austria, invalid people even though of military age. The 
Germans made a reservation in the case of officers or retired 
officers; and everybody made a reservation in the case of 
persons suspected of any form of espionage or definitely sus- 
pected on any other grounds, but that includes a comparatively 
small number in all the countries concerned. What has 
happened is that a very large number have been unwilling to 
go ; and the House, I think, will see that in the absence of 
compulsion which has not been suggested by my noble 
friend, although from something he said I rather gathered he 
would not altogether object to it it is clear that just those of 
whom we should be most glad to be rid, the sinister class of 
persons mentioned by Lord Crawford, who are presumably 
well-to-do, are not in the least likely to go even though their 
ticket was offered them either to Germany or Austria. But, 
as a matter of fact, a large number have gone. The number 
of women and of children under 14 who have gone is between 
6000 and 7000, and the number of males over 14 is about 2300. 

My noble friend suggests that an offer should be made to 
pay the cost of repatriation. So far as indigent people are 
concerned, it appears to be scarcely necessary to make any 
offer of that kind, because the American Embassy has had 
placed at its disposal funds, both by the Austrian and German 
42 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Governments, for the repatriation of indigent subjects of those 
two countries ; and, similarly, we have placed a fund at the 
disposal of the American Ambassadors for the repatriation 
of British subjects from Austria and Germany who cannot 
afford to come home themselves. The American Embassy, 
between September i and the end of December, repatriated 
1137 destitute German subjects, and 328 applications for free 
tickets to Austria-Hungary have been granted that meaning 
a larger number than the number of tickets, because it includes 
tickets issued for whole families. I think my noble friend will 
perhaps be disposed to agree that in the circumstances a general 
offer to defray the expenses of those who wish to return would 
not have a very wide or a very useful effect. As I have tried 
to point out, it would not have the effect of getting rid of the 
sort of people mentioned by Lord Crawford, the people who 
desire to remain here for their own purposes ; and the number 
of those who are not indigent, but would be tempted by the 
mere cost of the railway ticket to go would, I think, be quite 
small. Therefore it is not proposed on behalf of the Govern- 
ment to make a general offer of that kind, although so far as 
the indigents are concerned, there is no reason to suppose that 
any one who desires to go is prevented by want of means from 
making the journey. 

EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON : My Lords, on the subject 
of resident aliens, it would be clearly undesirable at this hour 
to continue the debate, and I would only like to make two 
observations with regard to what has fallen from the noble 
Marquess the Leader of the House. - He spoke about trusting 
to the view and the authority of the men on the spot, and by 
the men on the spot he appeared to indicate in the main the 
police. But unfortunately in many areas there is not com- 
plete agreement in the view of the men on the spot. Take the 
case which was mentioned by the noble Viscount behind me. 
After the bombardment took place on the East Coast the 
other day, the police authorities of Sunderland removed a 
large number of resident aliens from the coastal area to the 
interior, but the action of the local police, who are the local 
men to be trusted, according to the noble Marquess, was over- 
ruled by the military authorities, and they were brought back. 
Therefore you do not get that absolute co-ordination of 
authority which he postulates. 

43 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE: The noble Earl understands 
that the police have to take their instructions from the 
military or naval authorities/ 

EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON : Yes. The noble Marquess 
concluded by saying that he and his colleagues would con- 
sider the matter before we meet again. It is perfectly cer- 
tain that this question will be raised again in this House of 
Parliament and also in the other. The noble Marquess made 
an ingenious speech, giving us the plausible reasons that are 
advanced by people for the particular treatment of their 
friends in particular places. No such considerations, it 
appears to us, ought to prevail in view of a great national 
emergency. I often think, when I hear Ministers make these 
defences, that they hardly realise the depth and the seriousness 
of the impression that exists about these matters in the country. 
You have only to look at what takes place in this House ; it 
is a reflection of that attitude. There are not more than 
thirty or forty noble Lords in the House at present, but from 
both sides the strongest possible appeals and protests have been 
made to His Majesty's Government. That common feeling 
between the two sides here is reflected outside. It exists 
everywhere in the country, and whatever may be the decision 
of His Majesty's Government the noble Marquess did not 
hold out to us a very favourable prospect he may be certain 
that when Parliament reassembles in February the matter will 
be raised again here, and it will certainly be raised again in 
the other House of Parliament ; and whether a total removal 
of aliens from the prohibited areas is possible or not, you may 
be certain that we shall not rest until we get the matter put 
upon a much safer and sounder footing than it is at the present 
time. 

The EARL OF CRAWFORD : I will not detain your Lord- 
ships many moments, but I should like to say how much I 
approve of the proposal made by Lord St. Davids. It seems 
to me a thoroughly sound, common-sense, business-like pro- 
posal. I do not think the Leader of the House quite met the 
noble Lord's point. The noble Marquess said the offer had 
been made to these people to be sent home, If it has been 
made, it has never been published. Individuals amongst the 
people may have told the individual alien, ' Now, if you want 
to be sent home, the Government will do it ' ; but that is a 
44 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

very different thing, and would convey a different impression 
to the mind of the alien, from a definite statement made in 
Parliament that the British Government is prepared, as I 
gather, to send any alien home. At the end of this speech, 
although at the beginning he said the offer had been made, the 
noble Marquess said that no general offer should be made. 
There I differ. The noble Marquess agreed the offer should 
be made in specific and particular cases, yet he objects to 
doing it in a collective and public manner. The advantage 
of doing it in a collective and public manner would be that 
every alien would know that the offer is open. I doubt 
whether fifty per cent, have heard yet of the offer. In the 
second place, an offer made by a great Minister of State would 
go all over the world. It would show that we had none of 
those feelings of acerbity, as illustrated by harsh treatment, 
alleged against us in Germany. Those who did not wish to 
avail themselves of the offer, as Lord St. Davids had said, 
would show that they did not object to remaining in this 
country. Those who did go, I am sure, would be a good rid- 
dance. As the noble Earl has said, we shall repeat this 
question ; and I hope that the Government, who appear to 
be sympathetic, will give the official status to their offer which 
attaches to a statement emanating from a Minister. I do 
not think there is reciprocity from Germany in this matter. 
I myself do not mind that. I would get rid of these people 
who want to go, whatever the measure of reciprocity might be. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I cannot tell the noble Earl 
what the number of English people is who have come from 
Austria and Germany, but a great number have come, and their 
expenses have been paid by the Government. 

The EARL OF CRAWFORD : A great many aliens who are 
here will not go back. The noble Marquess himself knows 
the great, powerful, alien enemy influence there is in this 
country, and even at the expense of Government funds those 
men will not go back. It is the ordinary German or Austrian 
citizens who, if guaranteed a through passage home, would 
many of them go. If you repatriated the whple of the aliens 
at large in this country, it would not cost more than one and 
a half hours of the present cost of the war. 



45 



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WAR RISKS AND STATE COMPENSATION 

House of Lords, January 7, 1915. 

Hansard. LORD SOUTHWARK : My Lords, I rise to call attention to 

the Prime Minister's reply to the letter l of Mr. Walter R. Rea, 
M.P., in relation to the loss of life and destruction of property 
caused by the bombardment of Scarborough, Hartlepool, and 
Whitby by the Germans ; and to ask for further information. 
In doing so, I should like to say that, as President of the 
London Chamber of Commerce, I had the honour two or three 
weeks ago that is to say, before the bombardment of 
introducing to my right hon. friend the President of the Board 
of Trade an influential deputation consisting of members of 
the London Chamber, of the Corporation of London, and others 
largely interested in the trade and prosperity of London. 
We urged upon Mr. Runciman that the State should assume 
entire liability for all losses sustained to property through 
either aircraft or bombardment. Mr. Runciman, who re- 
ceived us very kindly, said that he could not agree to this, but 
he invited us to prepare an outline of such scheme of insurance 
which he promised to consider carefully and sympathetically. 
Since then, as you all know, the bombardment has taken 
place with cruel and disastrous results as to the loss of life 
and damage to property in the towns I have named. This 
has been followed by a very kind and sympathetic letter from 
the Prime Minister to the Member for Scarborough, in which 
he states that ' The Government have resolved to provide 
relief from the Imperial funds in respect of damage to persons 
and property sustained in the recent bombardment.' My 
special object to-day is to ask His Majesty's Government 

[* The following is the letter above referred to : 

Times, Mr. W. R. Rea, M.P. for Scarborough, received yesterday the following 

Dec. 24, letter from the Prime Minister : 

1914. ' MY DEAR REA, In reply to your letter of yesterday I have to say that 

the Government have resolved to provide relief from the Imperial funds in 
respect of damages to persons and property sustained in the recent bom- 
bardment by the towns of Scarborough, Whitby, and the Hartlepools. 
The scope and measure of such relief and the machinery for ascertaining 
and administering it are matters which are receiving careful consideration. 
' I need not assure you of my deep personal sympathy with your con- 
stituents who have been made the victims of this barbarous outrage. 
Yours sincerely, H. H. ASQUITH.'] 
46 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

whether by that letter the country is to understand that His 
Majesty's Government intend that all future losses sustained 
through aircraft or bombardment will be fully borne by the 
State. The matter is one of a serious and important char- 
acter greatly affecting the commercial stability of the country, 
and it ought not to be left in even temporary doubt. 

As many of your Lordships are aware, the Fire Insurance 
Companies positively decline to take any further risks. To 
avoid making any inaccurate statements to the House I have 
taken steps to secure reliable information. After repeated 
deliberations the Fire Offices' Committee (which includes 
all the established tariff companies) decided that the insurance 
of property against damage from enemy aircraft was outside 
their province, and could not be covered by the Fire Companies. 
Insurances to a considerable extent have been effected at 
Lloyds, but facilities for covering large mercantile risks are 
non-existent at the present moment. The whole machinery 
by which commercial and personal property is guaranteed 
against a common danger has broken down in regard to the risk 
of loss arising from enemy aircraft or warships. Commerce and 
property must be protected against all such incidental risks, 
or trade will be hampered and the sense of security weakened. 

I would like to remind your Lordships that amongst other 
things we have to remember the liabilities of trustees and the 
questions that arise through mortgages on property. So far 
as I am concerned, I am dealing to-day only with the question 
of losses to property. As regards loss of life and damage to 
persons, that is a more complicated and difficult question and 
requires very careful consideration. Damage to property 
arising from war risks cannot be adequately covered. But 
loss of life and personal damage cases can be, and in the 
majority of cases are, covered by insurances with the leading 
life and accident companies and in other ways. It is an entirely 
different question, and ought not to be mixed up with the 
property question. I am not going to deal with that now. 
Personally I urge that there ought not to be any shadow of 
doubt upon the subject. This is not a personal, but a national 
question. We know not when or how the next disaster is 
going to take place. We cannot say whether the property 
attacked and damaged will be private, public, or mercantile. 
The other day I heard a large wharfinger say that he wanted 

47 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

to insure for 700,000. It is a terrible thing to think that such 
a loss could fall on a company or individual, and that it should 
be an individual loss. 

I look upon all these damages from aircraft or bombardment 
as a national loss, and we ought all to take our share in meeting 
the liability. I never felt that there was a question more clear 
or one that ought to be accepted immediately ; and I believe 
the Government would have the entire approval of the country 
if, in addition to doing the good work they have done in finance, 
they would say that they were going to take over this liability 
for the State. If this liability is taken over by the State it 
will, of course, cost the State nothing unless the disasters take 
place. If disasters take place and the State has undertaken 
to pay the liabilities, there will be no question of premiums, 
organisations, complications, or expenses of any sort beyond 
those incurred by the tribunal called upon to deal with the 
individual claims as they arise after each disaster. If the 
question of damage by aircraft and bombardment was dealt 
with by such a tribunal as the Railway Commission with 
expert assessors, or by the Admiralty Court which deals with 
compensation questions, I think in that way general satis- 
faction would be given, and it would be only fair and right. 

In speaking to various people I have heard only one or two 
objections. One was to this effect, ' Oh, I am insured ; let 
others do the same.' That is all very well, but one cannot 
now insure even if one wishes. Another objection was that 
what was being advocated would not be acceptable to those 
who live away from the coast, in the Midlands or elsewhere 
at a distance. I treat neither of these objections as serious. 
The man who lives away from the coast, in the Midlands or 
elsewhere, ought to be very thankful that he is not living in a 
neighbourhood which he considers dangerous, and I would 
remind any one who raises the objection that he is living away 
from the coast that aircraft travel a great distance, and might 
even be found in these localities which are thought to be safe. 
But, as I have said, I do not treat the objection seriously. I 
have a good opinion of my fellow-countrymen, and I cannot 
believe that any right-minded citizen would desire to shield 
himself under the excuse that as he is not in danger himself 
those who are living on the coast and thus in danger should 
take all the liability themselves. This is such a practical 
48 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

common sense question that I cannot conceive that His 
Majesty's Government requires much time to make up its 
mind upon it. The financial arrangements hitherto made by 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government in 
regard to the war have been carried out so satisfactorily that 
I feel I can appeal to His Majesty's Government to go one step 
further and adopt what I think would be a wise, fair, and 
reasonable policy, a policy which would relieve the public 
mind and do a great deal to maintain the commercial stability 
of the country. I hope that my noble friend Lord Beauchamp, 
who is going to reply for the Government, will be able to give 
a favourable answer to my question. 

The LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (EARL BEAUCHAMP): 
My Lords, I think that in the first place your Lordships would 
wish an expression of concurrence with the feelings of the 
country generally of deep sympathy for those afflicted towns 
which suffered so greatly from the senseless and wanton 
bombardment from the German ships, deep sympathy with 
them in the loss which they suffered both of civilian life and 
of civilian property. But I am afraid that beyond that I am 
not very likely to receive the approval of my noble friend 
behind me, because I am unable to tell him that His Majesty's 
Government have yet been able to publish the exact lines 
upon which they propose to proceed. The noble Lord him- 
self has studied the subject quite sufficiently to know that it is 
surrounded with difficulties and also with perplexities ; and 
in those circumstances I do not think it is unreasonable that 
His Majesty's Government should ask for further time before 
they make public the exact details of the relief they propose. 
But I think, in view of some of the expressions which fell from 
my noble friend behind me, that I should remind your Lord- 
ships of the terms of the letter to which he referred. My 
right hon. friend the Prime Minister said, ' The Government 
have resolved to provide relief from the Imperial funds in 
respect of damage to persons and property sustained in the 
recent bombardment.' I can assure your Lordships that 
without any undue delay His Majesty's Government will 
make public the exact details of their proposals. 

The EARL OF DURHAM : My Lords, arising out of the noble 
Earl's speech I should like to point out that the bombardment 
took place on December 16. From that date until January 4 
NAVAL 30 49 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

His Majesty's Government had not sent down any assessors 
to discover what damage had been done. This is causing 
very great inconvenience to -the poorer population who have 
suffered by the bombardment. They naturally do not like 
to repair their houses, which in some cases have been only 
slightly damaged, because they say ' The Government assessor 
will come down and find our house in proper repair, and will 
then say, ' ' We cannot recompense you ; we do not know 
what damage has been done." In the Hartlepools I know 
for a fact that employers of labour are very much perturbed 
at the fact that His Majesty's Government have not sent 
down any assessors, although the Prime Minister very rightly 
promised in his letter that compensation would be afforded 
by His Majesty's Government. This is a letter I have received 
from the Chief Constable of the County of Durham, under 
date January 4, 1915 : ' I have made inquiry in the two 
towns and find that no instructions have been received from 
the Government ; but both our borough councils are taking 
steps on their own account to inquire as to the amount of 
damage done.' The people in the Hartlepools would be glad 
to hear that His Majesty's Government will send down 
assessors, 'or, if they do not, that they will accept the state- 
ments made to them by the local authorities who have been 
inquiring into the damage done. 

THE NAVAL POSITION 

House of Lords, January 7, 1915. 

Hansard. The EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I would ask you 

to observe the form of my notice : 

'To ask His Majesty's Government whether they 
will make a statement on recent naval operations and 
on the present naval position.' 

I am obliged to put the notice in that form because there is 
still no representative of the Admiralty on the front minis- 
terial bench. I must say I think this persistent refusal of 
His Majesty's Government to appoint a representative of the 
Admiralty here is gross discourtesy to your Lordships' House 
/ and a real public inconvenience. I am sure that the noble 
Marquess who leads the House will, with his usual courtesy, 
50 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

endeavour to put the information given to him by the Ad- 
miralty into the form most interesting to your Lordships' 
House. He knows that in asking him to do that we on this 
side do not for one moment wish to press him to tell us any- 
thing that could by any possibility be against the national 
interest. But for whatever he can say we shall be most 
grateful. The nation follows the doings of the Fleet with 
just as great an interest and pride as it follows the doings 
of the Army ; and my noble friend who sits behind me (Lord 
Curzon) only refrained from alluding to the doings of the 
Fleet yesterday because he knew that I was going to have 
an opportunity of speaking for my party to-day. 

I do not know how far the noble Marquess will be able 
to take up the points on which I shall touch in turn, but I 
should not like to sit down without taking note of some of 
the occurrences of the past few months for which the Ad- 
miralty or the Navy have been responsible. I shall not 
again go into the question of the naval expedition to Antwerp. 1 * [See 
The time will come when we shall have to thresh it out to Naval i, 
the bottom on the floor of this House. All I will say now is PP- 320-8.] 
that the more I have learned of that expedition the more 
sure I am that it ought not to have been entrusted to the 
Admiralty, and that the Naval Brigade was not the force 
that ought to have been used. 

Turning to the battle off the Falkland Islands, 2 there we 2 [See 
have every reason to congratulate the Admiralty on the Naval 2, 
strategical conception which made that victory possible, P p * 
and the Admiral and his squadron on the manner in which 
that victory was achieved. The Admiralty acted on one of 
Nelson's great maxims, that the best thing to do was to 
annihilate the enemy. I hope all our countrymen under- 
stand that so thoroughly was that maxim carried out that 
it is not going too far to say that Admiral von Spee and his 
German squadron had no chance whatever, humanly speak- 
ing, against Admiral Sturdee and his British squadron, just 
as Admiral Cradock in his turn had no chance whatever with 
his squadron against Admiral von Spee and his squadron. 
The measure of Admiral Sturdee's success off the Falkland 
Islands is the measure of the blunder that the Admiralty 
made in furnishing Admiral Cradock with a squadron so 
wholly incompetent for the task that he was set to carry out 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



1 [See 
Naval 2, 
307-8.] 

2 [See 
above, 
pp. 1-13.] 



3 [See 
Naval 2, 
pp. 440-5-] 



4 [See 
Naval 2, 
pp. 420-5.] 



in the Pacific. The moment has not yet come to follow that 
matter out either. We shall have to follow it out in time ; 
but it is almost inconceivable that it should have been the 
same authority that armed Admiral Sturdee with his squadron 
and that armed Admiral Cradock with his squadron, both to 
perform the same task. 

I do not know whether the noble Marquess will be able 
to tell us anything about the loss of the Bulwark x or the For- 
midable.' 2 ' So far as the public know, the Bulwark was lost 
by an explosion in the magazine. I do not think we have 
been told whether that explosion was due to an accident or 
whether it could possibly have been due to what I know has 
often been the source of anxiety in all navies, and that is the 
chemical decomposition of powder. So far as we know, the 
Formidable was lost by submarine attack somewhere in the 
Channel. I do not know whether the noble Marquess will be 
able to tell us anything about that, I have heard a rumour, 
to which I do not personally attach any credence, that she 
was not torpedoed, but that she also was lost by an explosion 
in her magazine. Personally I do not believe that, but as 
the rumour exists I mention it in order to give the noble 
Marquess an opportunity of dealing with it if he is able. 

I pass to the raid by our cruisers, submarines, destroyers, 
and airships on the German harbour of Cuxhaven. 3 I do 
not ask to be told anything about that raid either its object 
or its success or otherwise which is not entirely in harmony 
with national interests ; but I should not like to sit down 
without expressing the extraordinary admiration I feel, not 
only for the individual skill and daring of the men engaged 
on the water, under the water, and in the air, but also for the 
professional skill with which all their operations were co- 
ordinated and made part of one whole. 

Then I pass to the East Coast raid. 4 Lord Durham has 
told us to-night that there was no sort of panic. Well, I do 
not think any of us who knew our countrymen thought that 
there would be a panic. I hope that the Government will 
take that lesson to heart and believe that our people are not 
given to panic, that our people are worthy of being thoroughly 
trusted, and that it is the worst possible policy to base any 
tactical or political action on the supposition that our people 
could be frightened into panic. All they want to know is 
52 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the whole truth about everything, however unpleasant that 
truth may be. The more His Majesty's Government take 
them into their confidence, the more resolute they will be in 
their support. But I have seen an old heresy awakened 
from the dead by this raid, and that is that the proper place 
for Sir John Jellicoe's Fleet is doing a sort of patrolling work 
up and down our coast. Nothing could be worse policy, or 
more dangerous, or more suicidal. I do not know where Sir 
John Jellicoe and his Fleet are, and I do not want to know ; 
but I do know that his only and sole task is to destroy the 
German Fleet if it ever comes out. It is not his business to 
try and prevent a raid of this kind. 

I want to say something about the possibility of preventing 
a raid of this kind. Given a German squadron of fast power- 
ful ships which leaves Wilhelmshaven secretly after dark one 
night and arrives at a spot on our coast chosen by itself, 
which, as we know, may have no military significance what- 
ever, and arrives at that spot before dawn and leaves with the 
utmost speed on its return journey within less than an hour 
after dawn then I say that it can only be by a fluke if that 
raiding party be intercepted on its way back ; and I hope the 
British public will understand that. It is no kind of reflection 
on Sir John Jellicoe, or on the Admiralty, or on any of the 
Admirals acting under the Admiralty and not under the orders 
of Sir John Jellicoe, that such a raid as this is possible. 

I pass to an incident which occurred much earlier in the 
history of the war I mean the escape of the Goeben and the 
Breslau 1 from the Straits of Messina, with all the political l [See 
consequences which have ensued. I do not think, so far as Naval 
we can see, that those political consequences are going to be PI> ' 5 I 
particularly grievous for the Allies, though I think they may 
be very fatal for some friends of Germany. Still there is no 
doubt that that escape was an incident of real naval and 
political importance. The Admiralty have evidently thought 
so too, because we have been told in the newspapers that in 
the first place they held a Court of Inquiry into the con- 
duct of the British Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, 
Sir Berkeley Milne, and that he was completely exonerated. 
Subsequently a court-martial was held on Admiral Trou- 
bridge, and he in his turn was acquitted with honour by his 
fellow-officers who sat on that court-martial. Now it is 

53 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

quite clear that the Admiralty would not have ordered the 
inquiry into Sir Berkeley Milne's conduct in the first place, 
and the court-martial on Admiral Troubridge in the other, 
if they did not think that there was something that required 
explanation, and unless something had happened which in 
their opinion ought not to have happened. Now we know 
that the one distinguished officer has been exonerated by 
the Admiralty itself, and the other completely acquitted by 
a court-martial. I do not think the Government can leave 
the question there. I should like to know, even now, some- 
thing more about it. I am quite sure that the time will 
come when we shall have to go into that matter even if the 
Government are not able to help us in going into it now. 

That leads me to another point to which I specially wish 
to draw the noble Marquess's attention, and I confess it is 
one to which I attach very special importance. I always 
understood when I was at the Admiralty, and I am told now, 
that it has been an invariable practice of the Navy that if 
ever one of His Majesty's ships has been lost, either in peace 
or in war, a court-martial has been held on the surviving 
officers of that ship. If the captain survived, the court- 
martial was on the captain ; if the captain was lost the court- 
martial was on the other officers if there were any survivors, 
and even on the crew. Now in this war we have lost, among 
ships of importance, the Cressy, the Aboukir, the Hogue, the 
Hawke, the Monmouth, the Good Hope, and the Formidable. 
In the case of the Monmouth and the Good Hope there could 
be no court-martial because we lost every officer and man ; 
but there have been survivors I am thankful to say many 
survivors in the case of the Cressy, the Hogue, the Aboukir, 
the Formidable, and the Hawke. Perhaps the Formidable is 
too recent a case for me to use as an illustration, but not so 
the Cressy, the Hogue, and the Aboukir. I have seen nothing 
of any court-martial on the surviving officers or men of those 
cruisers. Why ? Why should a practice which I believe 
has never been suspended, which has been invariable during 
two or three centuries why should that suddenly be sus- 
pended in this war ? I think the practice was most salutary 
and most fair to the naval officers and men themselves, most 
helpful for the maintenance of the high tradition of the Naval 
Service, most useful to the nation in order that in each case 
54 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORYNAVAL 

it might know why one of His Majesty's ships had been lost. 
Therefore I ask, and shall press hereafter if not now, for an 
explanation why a court-martial has not been held in these 
cases. Of course, nothing would satisfy me more than to 
hear that those courts-martial are going to be held. If they 
are, I rather regret the delay, but I am very glad of the 
decision. 

I should not like to sit down without briefly reviewing 
the work of the Fleet since the war began. It is a review 
which will be very short, though the field it will cover is not 
less than immense. The doings of the Army are constantly 
before the public. It is only now and again that the doings 
of the Navy similarly appear. Yet, my Lords, I believe the 
death-roll of the Navy is very nearly as high as the death- 
roll of the Army. Of course, the number of wounded in the 
Army is enormously greater than the number of wounded in 
the Navy, but it has been the melancholy, and I believe un- 
foreseen, experience of the Navy in this war that when a ship 
has been lost the greater proportion of her crew has been lost 
too. The Navy has kept the people of these islands and of 
the whole Empire at work and with food in their cupboards. 
The fact that the war has only partially interrupted the 
normal life of industry and of the family wherever the British 
flag flies is due to the work of the Navy. It is due to the 
Navy that greater movements of troops have taken place 
under the British flag in connection with this war than I 
think have ever taken place before in the history of this 
country or in the history of the world ; and, as far as we 
know, those movements of troops have taken place not only 
without the loss of a single ship but without the loss of a single 
life. All that is due to the Navy. It is due to our Fleet also 
that the only thing the German Navy has been able to do in 
the way of a raid has been this killing of civilians in the coast 
towns of Durham and Yorkshire, a feat which never could 
have had any possibility of any military value whatever. 
The German object could only have been one of two either 
to create a panic in this country, which is a very likely idea 
on their part, as they clearly know nothing whatever about 
the character of our people ; or they may have thought it 
necessary to keep up the spirits of their own population by 
the exhibition of this naval activity. Of that no doubt they 

55 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

will be the best judges. But if that really was their object, 
then so far as we are concerned it is a hopeful sign. 

Our position as an Opposition, as my noble friend said 
last night, is a peculiar one ; and we cannot lay aside all 
responsibility, because we represent a very large body of 
opinion in the country who want to know from time to time 
why it is that we give such whole-hearted support to the 
Government. My noble friend answered that question in 
part last night. I would supplement what he said by saying 
to our friends that one of the reasons why we support the 
Government is that we know that the Government are giving 
the whole of their support to the Board of Admiralty and to 
Sir John Jellicoe and the officers and men of the Fleet in the 
performance of the great task that lies before them. Not 
that we associate ourselves unreservedly with all the doings 
of the Admiralty. I have already made my reservations in 
respect of the expedition to Antwerp and the composition 
of Admiral Cradock's squadron ; and I confess that I think 
that the private war of words which the First Lord delights 
in carrying on on his own account against the Germans is 
simply deplorable, and I cannot understand how his colleagues 
in the Cabinet can tolerate it. I certainly dissociate myself 
from that altogether. But to the Board of Admiralty as a 
Board we give our whole-hearted support, and to Lord Fisher 
in his very special and immense responsibility. Above all, 
let me say, on behalf of all the party for which I speak, that 
we have the most supreme and unwavering confidence in 
Sir John Jellicoe and the officers and men of the Grand Fleet, 
and not only in those officers and men but in the officers and 
men of the squadrons or flotillas not under his command, 
whether in British seas or in foreign waters. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : My Lords, we cannot, I think, 
but be glad that the noble Earl opposite, who as a former 
First Lord of the Admiralty speaks with authority and ex- 
perience, has been able, even in so thinly an attended House 
as this, to bring forward the subject of the Navy. One would 
have hoped that a large number of the noble Earl's sup- 
porters would attend to listen to his eloquent statement. The 
fact that at this moment the subject of the Navy in a debate 
in Parliament does not arouse precisely the same immediate 
interest as that of a debate on the Army is due entirely to the 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

fact which was mentioned by the noble Earl, and on which I 
will say a word in a moment that the immediate doings of 
the Navy have been on a less dramatic scale than those of the 
Army. I have no doubt that to-morrow, when the noble 
Viscount opposite brings forward his motion on recruiting 
for the Army a far larger attendance will adorn the benches 
opposite than I see at this moment. 

The noble Earl repeated the complaint that has been 
made, that there is no representative of the Admiralty in this 
House. For more reasons than one I share the regret of the 
noble Earl. Speaking generally, I think it is desirable that 
all the important Departments of State should have a repre- 
sentative in your Lordships' House, although, as I believe 
I pointed out when this question was under discussion before, 
there have been cases when the party opposite was in power 
when no representative of the Admiralty has been in this 
House. I might, perhaps, mention this further point as an 
excuse on my own behalf for venturing to reply to the noble 
Earl. Since the institution of the Committee of Imperial 
Defence, those who regularly sit on it, as I have now for a 
great number of years, obtain a certain general knowledge 
both of the Army and of the Navy in their technical aspects 
which Ministers before the institution of that body who 
did not fill either of the two actual appointments were not in 
a position to acquire. 

Like the noble Earl, I do not propose in any way to argue 
the question of the expedition for the support of the besieged 
city of Antwerp. That is a question which, as he says, may 
very possibly become the subject of a more detailed discussion 
on a later date. Nor do I propose on the present occasion to 
add anything to what has already been said about the action 
off the coast of Chile, which, as we know, resulted in the 
lamentable loss of important vessels of His Majesty's Navy. 
On the last occasion on which any public statement was made 
about the Navy it was made by my right hon. colleague the 
First Lord in another place on November 27th, 1 and since 
that statement the most noteworthy event that has occurred Naval 
is that to which the noble Earl alluded, among others p ' 3I9 
namely, the action off the Falkland Islands. The circum- 
stances of that action have been stated with a tolerable degree 
of freedom, and I need not supplement what was said by 

57 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the noble Earl, except, of course, to add my congratulations 
to the Admiral for his brilliant performance. The noble 
Earl also alluded to the not less brilliant achievement of the 
Fleet and of the officers and men in various branches of the 
Naval Service in the raid on Cuxhaven. The more one 
considers and studies the actual feats of daring and skill which 
were performed in that raid, the more profound does one's 
admiration become of the individual officers and men who 
took part in it. 

The result of Admiral Sturdee's victory off the Falkland 
Islands is that only two German cruisers the Dresden and 
the Karlsruhe are left to carry out their commerce-destroy- 
ing raids, and also two armed merchant vessels. Those are 
the only enemy ships now on the ocean, and, without attempt- 
ing to boast or to make any too sanguine a forecast, I think 
it is safe to say that their ultimate end is certain. The 
difficulties which confront ships of that kind in obtaining 
supplies, and in particular in coaling, are so marked that it is 
impossible to suppose, although they may be able to do a 
certain amount of damage to individual ships in the interval, 
that they can for long escape the fate of other ships of the 
same kind that have paid the penalty. It is a point to which 
notice cannot be drawn too often in connection with what 
the noble Earl said about the recognition due to the Navy, 
how complete now is our maritime control over the whole 
world. I fancy that students of history would be unanimous 
in saying that there never has been a naval war in which the 
supremacy of the British Fleet all over the world has been 
obtained so rapidly and at such small cost as supremacy has 
been obtained in this instance. 

Various events have recently made us think of the war 
against the United States which began in 1812, the last 
serious naval war in which this country was engaged. That 
followed the great series of successes of the i8th century 
and the beginning of the igth all those marvellous vic- 
tories which gave us the command of the sea. But, as the 
noble Earl very well knows, when it came to 1812 we en- 
countered something of a serious set-back. The Americans 
produced a class of frigate superior and more powerful than 
our own ; and not only in a series of untoward naval actions, 
but also in the effect on trade in the country, our Navy for 
58 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

a considerable period was not predominant. Now, as I say, 
in an incredibly short space of time we have almost succeeded 
in obtaining that command, and it is impossible to thank the 
Navy too heartily for what it has achieved in that respect. 
At the same time we must not forget, in the first place, to 
mention the ships of the Australian Navy, nor omit to note 
the assistance rendered both by French and by Russian 
cruisers, and also in the Pacific to such an extent by the fine 
Navy of Japan. Those are points which we certainly must 
not pass by. 

As I was saying, the noble Earl and I was grateful to 
him for it drew attention to the vast silent service which is 
rendered by the Navy, and which in the press of the obser- 
vation of other events we may be sometimes apt to forget for 
a moment, in securing the great flow of trade backwards and 
forwards and also in securing the sanctity of these shores. 
And it is important to remember one great naval revolution 
which the progress of science and invention has brought 
about namely, that close naval blockade has now become 
a thing of the past. In all those great naval wars of the past 
the Fleet that had the command of the sea could blockade 
a port, leave its ships at a reasonable distance from that port, 
and thereby intern the inferior hostile fleet and command 
the naval situation. The invention of submarines has put 
a stop to all that. No such thing as a close naval blockade 
is any longer possible ; and we have further to remember the 
most important fact that a flotilla of submarines cannot be 
countered by the possession of a superior force of submarines 
of our own. A squadron of battleships is liable to be defeated 
and destroyed by a superior squadron ; the same with cruisers, 
and the same even with destroyers. But when you come to 
submarines the mere fact that you possess a large number 
yourself does not, in fact, seriously limit the possibilities of 
danger arising from the hostile flotilla. 

I was grateful to the noble Earl, speaking with the 
authority he does, for making it so clear that the kind of 
naval raid which was made upon our coast the other day 
cannot in existing circumstances be rendered impossible by 
any naval means. He stated that with the utmost clearness 
and with a conviction for which I was grateful, because it 
has apparently sometimes been hinted that something might 

59 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

have been done which would render a raid of that kind im- 
possible. Perhaps I ought to apologise for using the word 
' raid/ which has become something of a term of art in our 
recent discussions. A raid has of late been taken technically 
to mean a landing of a moderate number, say 10,000, or at 
the most 15,000, men on these shores ; and according to the 
technical use of the word that term ought not to' be applied 
to a naval bombardment such as that which took place the 
other day. But, on the other hand, we have heard the phrase 
used in this connection, and perhaps it is as good as any 
other. It has to be realised that there are no known methods 
of making an attack of this kind altogether impossible. If 
the enemy are prepared to go on making attacks on undefended 
towns, it is impossible to say for certainty that they may not 
make them again. 

As regards the information which we so freely hear is 
conveyed to the enemy from our shores, I can only say that if 
that information included statements that either Scarborough 
or Whitby was in any sense a defended town, as we have seen 
stated in some German publications, it was, as we know, of 
an altogether erroneous character. And perhaps I might say, 
in passing and I say this with the most absolute confidence 
that I am quite certain that no activities of German spies 
or any aliens had any bearing whatever upon this naval 
attack on Whitby, Scarborough, and the Hartlepools ; and 
although I am not able to give my reasons for making that 
statement, I regard it as a matter of proved certainty. As 
regards the attack upon those towns reported to be justified 
in the case of Scarborough or was it Whitby ? by the 
existence of a wireless station, all I can say is that that argu- 
ment would make it justifiable for any of the forces of the 
Allies who entered Germany to deliver over to the fate of 
Magdeburg any German watering-places which possess a 
telegraph office or in which a soldier in uniform could be 
found. We know that nothing of the kind is likely to happen. 
Breaches of the conventions and proprieties of warfare by 
the enemy may be countered in some cases by severe dealing 
with individuals, but they are not to be countered, and cer- 
tainly will not be countered by us, by anything in the nature 
of indiscriminate reprisals. But we can say with certainty, 
just as we believe it to be the case in the matter of the Belgian 
60 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

outrages, that such acts will recoil in the long run on the 
State that perpetrates them. 

I should like to add my testimony, and I know I can also 
add that of the Admiralty, to what has been said of the ad- 
miration to be felt for the calmness and courage with which 
the inhabitants of those bombarded places met the unex- 
pected experience to which they were subject. It so happens 
that I have the testimony of a friend who visited Hartlepool 
immediately after the bombardment, who was full of ad- 
miration of the complete calmness with which the inhabitants 
of that town behaved. Before leaving this branch of the 
subject I desire to say that I heard with peculiar satisfaction 
the observation which was made by the noble Earl, again 
speaking with all the authority of his experience, that events 
such as these ought not to be allowed, and cannot be allowed, 
to interfere in any way with the main scheme of the naval 
defence of this country. Any suggestion of pinning the 
main Fleet to the coast in consequence of attacks or out- 
rages of this kind would be in the highest degree unwise, and 
perhaps might be almost suicidal. And when the noble 
Earl says that he does not know where the Grand Fleet is, I 
can assure him that I am in precisely the same position. 
It is a question which I never ask, and I am inclined to think 
that none of my colleagues outside the Admiralty are any 
wiser than I am. 

Perhaps I might say a word upon the steady growth which 
is taking place in our general naval preponderance. When 
the First Lord made his statement at the end of November 
he entered into some detail on this subject, and I have no wish 
to repeat in any way what he then said. Every month our 
Fleet in all its branches goes on getting relatively stronger, 
and that is a process which will steadily continue. It is 
also, I think, desirable to point out that the manning of the 
Fleet in all its different branches has been conducted with 
ease and with success in spite of the formation of the body 
to which the noble Earl alluded with some deprecation 
namely, the Naval Brigade. When war broke out there 
were a large number of men available in the depots. We were 
therefore able not merely to make up the reserves of the 
nucleus crews but to man with first-rate skilled complements 
the ships which were building for foreign Powers which were 

61 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

taken over, as the House knows, in a great hurry when war 
broke out ; and all the great forthcoming deliveries of new 
ships of all kinds, including monitors a special kind of craft 
useful for particular purposes of warfare, as the House knows 
the manning of all those is completely provided for as far 
ahead as it is necessary to consider. And in the last resort 
there remains the Naval Division, which has been used for other 
purposes, to which the noble Earl alluded, which so far as 
it is composed of seafaring men can be utilised as another 
Reserve. 

The noble Earl spoke of certain losses which had taken 
place in the Fleet of late. He alluded, in the first place, to 
the lamentable explosion on board the Bulwark. Although 
I do not know that it can ever be absolutely proved what 
the cause of that explosion was, the most generally held 
opinion is that it was the result of an accident and not a 
deterioration in the explosives ; but I am only there giving a 
general impression of what I believe to be the best instructed 
belief. The noble Earl also mentioned the Formidable, the 
loss of which we all so profoundly regret ; and he mentioned 
a rumour which he said was prevalent in some quarters that 
that battleship had been destroyed not by a torpedo but by 
an internal explosion. The definite opinion of the Admiralty 
is that the Formidable was sunk by two torpedoes fired from 
a submarine ; and I should like to tell the House that after 
the ship had been struck the captain signalled to another 
ship which was in the neighbourhood not to stand by but to 
keep off because he believed there was a submarine in the 
neighbourhood. That was a very gallant act, and worthy of 
the finest traditions of the British Navy ; and I am sure it 
must be a consolation to those whose relatives were lost on 
that ship to know that they went down like heroes with their 
last thought for their comrades in the Fleet. We ought not 
to forget also to pay a tribute to the gallant conduct of those 
who assisted in the rescue of some of those who happily sur- 
vived from the Formidable, the fishermen who took on board 
some men from the ship's boats, a work of the greatest diffi- 
culty and carried out with the finest gallantry. 

Then the noble Earl concluded his speech by touching on 
a subject of some difficulty, and one upon which I fully admit 
difference of opinion may easily exist. He inquired as to the 
62 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

holding of courts of inquiry and courts-martial in cases of 
the loss of ships. He asked whether, so far as possible, the 
result of such coiirts might not be made known to the public, 
and he also desired that it should be laid down as an in- 
variable rule that in all cases in which a ship was lost a court- 
martial should necessarily be held. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I think I put it this way 
What is the reason why the invariable rule has been departed 
from ? 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : Precisely ; but it comes to 
the same thing. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I expressed my own opinion. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I am speaking, of course, 
without special technical knowledge, and I am subject to the 
contradiction of the noble Earl, or of any other noble Lord 
who is better informed than I am ; but I confess it is a sug- 
gestion entirely new to me that during the whole of the naval 
history of this country, where a ship has been sunk in the 
course of a naval battle, a court-martial has been always 
held. I should like to ask the noble Earl I do not press 
him for an answer at this moment whether, if that is so, the 
holding of the court-martial has been confined to those 
actually on board the ship that was sunk, or whether it was 
held on the Admiral commanding the squadron or Fleet, as 
the case might be, to which the ship that was lost belonged ? 
I am speaking, of course, of a naval action in which the ship 
is sunk by gunfire, as was the only way of sinking a ship in 
the past. If that is so, I can only say it is a surprise to me to 
be told, say in the case of a great victory when one or two 
ships were lost, that either the captains or admirals of those 
particular ships were tried by court-martial ; and whether 
that is so or not, I should like to point out that in the case 
of a ship which is sunk by a submarine, or even I think it 
may be said of one which is sunk by a mine, a ship of that 
kind is lost in an operation of warfare and therefore is not 
in pari materia with losses which occur in peace time by a 
ship being cast away or run aground, or by some mishap of 
that sort. I certainly had believed, and it appears to me to 
be a rational distinction, that a difference had been made in 
the past between the loss of ships by operations of warfare 
and losses which occurred through accident or mishap for 

63 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which the commanding officer of the ship might presumably 
be to blame. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I do not think any one thought 
of holding a court-martial on the captain of a ship sunk in a 
naval victory such as was Trafalgar ; but if there had been a 
naval reverse, I think a court-martial would have been held 
on the Admiral. In the case of a single frigate action the 
captain was held responsible, and that corresponds with the 
loss of a ship by a submarine or mine now. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : That, no doubt, is a matter 
which the Admiralty will take into careful consideration. I 
am not able to tell the noble Earl precisely in what cases 
courts-martial have or have not been held, although," as he 
knows, some courts of inquiry and courts-martial have 
been held ; the noble Earl alluded in particular to the escape 
of the Goeben and the inquiry which took place at which 
the conduct of two Admirals was inquired into. The Hawke 
was under the command of the Admiral commanding the 
Grand Fleet. What happened to the Hawke was not the 
result of independent action on the part of her commander ; 
therefore the question as to who ought to be put on his trial 
would arise, I have no doubt, in each particular case. But, 
apart from that, there is the further question of what degree 
of publication ought to take place in cases where courts of 
inquiry or courts-martial are held. The view which the 
Admiralty take of that argument of the noble Earl is that 
during the progress of the war it is not expedient to publish 
the results of courts of inquiry ; and I conceive that they 
founded their view largely upon this consideration namely, 
that in time of war there are all manner of circumstances, 
some of which are almost certain to be involved in the evi- 
dence given for or against the particular officer, which, for 
reasons of public policy, cannot properly be published. 

I feel pretty certain that so far as the particular case of 
the Goeben is concerned, although certain facts connected 
with the escape of that vessel might be published, it would 
not be possible in the public interest to publish everything 
which might come out at the court of inquiry. If that is so 
it is clearly not fair to the officers, or indeed to the public, 
that a truncated story should be told ; and that, I think, is 
the main argument which causes the Admiralty to ask noble 
64 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Lords and others who desire to be furnished with these details 
not to press for them during the progress of the war. There 
obviously can be no object in not publishing anything which 
in ordinary times would be published the proceedings of a 
court of inquiry relating to the loss of a ship except the 
fact that some damage may be done to the public interest 
thereby ; and if a rule can be made and maintained that so 
long as, at any rate, the war at sea lasts there should be no 
publication of the details of these inquiries I believe that it 
would prove to be to the public interest, and that no other 
interests would be prejudiced thereby. It is, of course, open 
to a particular officer who feels that a complete silence about 
a case is damaging him to make an appeal to have certain 
facts published, and I have no doubt that any appeal of that 
kind would be most carefully considered by the authorities. 
But the general rule is one which I venture to think it is 
reasonable should be made and maintained. 

As I said when I entered on this subject, it is one on which 
there is, no doubt, much to be said on both sides. I dare say 
there is much to be said for the noble Earl's desire to try 
somebody by court-martial in all cases of loss. On the other 
hand, I think it might be argued that the effect upon officers 
although I do not believe, knowing the spirit and temper 
of the Navy, that it is an effect which would be in itself 
formidable of putting upon trial every man who meets with 
a mishap would be, except for that wonderfully bold temper 
of the Navy to which I was alluding, rather to encourage 
them not to take the kind of risks which are freely taken and 
ought to be taken in warfare, but which are sometimes taken 
in peace when they ought not to be taken. That is an argu- 
ment which I confess I think has some importance. But I 
have no doubt that the Admiralty will attach every weight 
to the arguments which have been used by the noble Earl on 
this subject, and if he desires to develop them to me or to any 
of the naval authorities privately I shall be very glad, I need 
not say, to convey them to the proper quarter namely, 
to the notice of the Board of Admiralty. Whatever may be 
said about the representation of the Board of Admiralty in 
this House, there is one respect in which the Navy 
always rather suffers in comparison with the Army in this 
Assembly. There are always a number of noble Lords in 

NAVAL 3 E 65 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

this House who have held high military positions and have 
seen a great deal of military service. It is only every now 
and then that we are similarly favoured among the non- 
official Peers in respect of the Navy. There have been times 
when there have been eminent Admirals in this House, but 
a debate of this kind does not now enjoy quite the same 
advantage which a general military debate does in your 
Lordships' House. I repeat that I am very glad that the 
noble Earl has opened up this subject, and I am quite certain 
that his observations will be appreciated not merely by the 
House but by the country, and I am glad to have had an 
opportunity of replying as well as I could to them. 

EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON : My Lords, there are 
three observations only that I will make. The first is that it 
must have been a great strain upon the noble Marquess, 
although it has been a great pleasure to us, that he should be 
willing to deliver to us the interesting remarks to which we 
have just listened about the Navy. But it really is not fair 
that the noble Marquess, who is the most devoted and self- 
sacrificing pluralist I have ever known, should be called 
upon, in the space of two or three afternoons, to represent 
nearly every Government Department in this House. Will- 
ing as he is to do it, and willing as we are to listen to him, I 
do ask him to see whether he cannot get us a representative 
of the Admiralty in this House. There was a time, a few 
years ago, when the Master of the Horse occupied that posi- 
tion. No such discreditable anomaly, I hope, will be re- 
peated. I am certain that among his colleagues, either in 
the other House or in this, the noble Marquess can find some 
one to represent the Admiralty here. 

My second observation is that with the general spirit of 
what the noble Marquess said about courts-martial in naval 
cases we shall all agree ; but I think that it would be going 
too far if he expected us on this side, during the progress of the 
war, to give an absolute pledge that in no case would we ask 
for the publication of the result of a court-martial in a case 
where a ship was lost. Be it remembered that a court- 
martial on the loss of a ship is a procedure from which the 
Navy is not averse. Rather is it one to which it is habituated, 
and any departure therefrom is more likely to be resented 
than approved of by the Navy. 
66 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

My third point is about the Goeben and the Breslau. The 
noble Marquess did not quite appreciate, perhaps, the point 
of my noble friend who sits behind me. My noble friend 
pointed out that the escape of these two ships with its vital 
and momentous consequences in the progress of the war was 
evidently regarded by the Admiralty as due to an error on 
the part of some one or another. Accordingly the conduct 
of two Admirals was investigated. Both of these Admirals 
have been acquitted, I believe on the ground that they were 
merely carrying out the instructions of the Admiralty. The 
implication therefore is that the blame, if blame there is, 
rests with the Board of Admiralty itself. That is a conclusion 
which is very widely drawn, and one of the reasons why my 
noble friend pressed for information was in order to give 
the noble Marquess an opportunity of dispelling any doubt. 
That opportunity he has not taken. But perhaps he may 
be able to tell us in a sentence if my version of the official 
procedure is correct whether the verdict of the court- 
martial which acquitted Admiral Troubridge has been con- 
firmed or not by the Board of Admiralty ? 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I will inquire as to that. I 
am not certain. 

NAVAL PRIZE FUND 

House of Lords, January 7, 1915. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN rose to ask His Majesty's Hansard. 
Government whether the Treasury had arrived at a decision 
as to the system of bounty which it was announced on 
March 17, 1914, was to be substituted for naval prize money. 
The noble Earl said : My Lords, on March 17, 1914, the 
First Lord of the Admiralty announced that it was the inten- 
tion of the Admiralty to abolish the system then in force of 
prize money and to substitute for it a system of bounties. 
Accordingly an Order in Council was passed abolishing the 
system then in existence, but the new system was not set up. 
On August 3ist I asked in this House a question l on this i [See 
matter, and Lord Wimborne answered : below.] 

' The old system has been done away with and a 
new one set up, but the exact form which it will take 
will be announced in due course/ 



l [See 
Naval I, 
p. 114.] 



Hansard. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Now here we are in January 1915, nearly a year since the 
change was proposed, and nothing has been done. I am 
glad to think that the amount which I suppose at some time 
will have to be divided is considerable. So far as I am aware, 
however, no announcement has been made by the Admiralty, 
and we have to be content with the statement that ' the 
exact form will be announced in due course/ What we 
want to know is, when will ' due course ' arrive ? 

EARL BEAUCHAMP : My Lords, the Admiralty have placed 
before the Treasury a scheme for the establishment of a 
Naval Prize Fund and for a revised method of distribution in 
accordance with the decision embodied in the Order of His 
Majesty in Council of August 28th last. 1 Under this scheme 
it is proposed to distribute gratuities on a scale generally 
corresponding to the old system of distribution to the ships' 
companies, but modified to suit the new conditions of the 
Naval Service. Up to the present time only a small number 
of prizes have been finally dealt with by the Court and sold, 
and it is not possible now to make any statement as to when 
distribution can be made, or the amount of such distribution. 
I can assure the noble Earl that this question, which is com- 
plex and difficult, is engaging the close attention of the two 
Departments concerned that is to say, the Admiralty and 
the Treasury. But after a close consideration of the question 
I think that I may say this, that everybody is agreed that 
periodical distribution, say every three months, is quite 
impracticable, and that some other method of distribution 
than that will have to be agreed to. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN : That answer is not in words 
the same, but is practically the same as that which I received 
on August 3ist last, when the announcement was already 
several months due. Certainly the Admiralty and the 
Treasury seem to me to be proceeding at a very slow rate. 

[The following is the question referred to above, together with the 
answer given thereto : 

House of Lords, August 31, 1914. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN rose to ask His Majesty's Government 
whether the Treasury have arrived at a decision as to the grant or 
bounty which the First Lord of the Admiralty stated when introducing 
the Naval Estimates was under consideration as a substitute for naval 
68 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

prize money. The noble Earl said : My Lords, the First Lord of the 
Admiralty informed the House of Commons that the Government in- 
tended to abolish prize money. He stated also that a considerable 
number of naval officers were in favour of that course, and added that 
the question of issuing some grant or bounty to sailors during the 
course of a war was under consideration. That was on March 17, and 
the matter, I suppose, has been under consideration ever since. Now 
here we are in a war, and the question of prize money is one which is, 
I hope, very likely soon to arise. Therefore, I trust that the Treasury 
have arrived at a decision with regard to this matter. At the present 
time the question of prize money is governed by the Order in Council 
of 1900. Prize money up to the present moment has therefore not 
been abolished, but I understand that an Order in Council dealing with 
the question is under consideration. I trust that the Order in Council 
is very soon to be issued, and I venture to hope also that His Majesty's 
Government have made up their minds as to the system which it is 
proposed to substitute for the present system of prize money. 

LORD WIMBORNE : My Lords, the Admiralty issued a statement 
through the Press Bureau on August 29 to this effect : 

' Parliament was informed earlier in the year that His Majesty's 
Government had decided that prize money in respect of captures 
should not be granted. An Order in Council has been passed 
cancelling the previous Proclamation of September 17, 1900, in 
respect of captures from the enemy. In lieu of prize money a sys- 
tem of bounties will be established. The exact form that the 
bounties will take and the manner in which they will be distributed 
are under consideration, but the intention is that prizes captured 
during the war should cease to be the perquisite of a limited 
number of fortunate crews, and that the proceeds of the sales of 
vessels and cargoes should form a fund out of which the distribution 
will be made on a basis to be subsequently determined and an- 
nounced by Proclamation. No alteration will be made in regard 
to the grant of prize bounties for the capture or destruction of 
enemy warships as provided for in the Naval Prize Act, 1864, 
provision for which will be made by Proclamation/ 

I have further to say that the Treasury have agreed generally with the 
Admiralty to substitute the system of prize bounty for that of prize 
money. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN : I was under the impression that the 
new Order in Council had not been passed. Apparently I was wrong. 

LORD WIMBORNE : Yes. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN : Is the Order in Council in force ? 

LORD WIMBORNE : It has been passed. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN : Do I understand that prize money 

69 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

has been abolished, and yet the system which is to be substituted has 
not yet been determined on ? It surely is an extraordinary thing 
that one system be done away with, and that you should postpone till 
a future date the decision as to the system to be substituted. I was, 
as I have said, under the impression that the Order in Council was 
under consideration, and that when it was issued it would contain a 
full and complete statement of what was to be substituted for prize 
money. 

LORD WIMBORNE : That matter is still under consideration. The 
old system has been done away with, and a new one set up, but the 
exact form which it will take will be announced in due course. 

The EARL OF CAMPERDOWN : Ever since March 17 the new system 
has been under consideration, but it has not been settled yet !] 

CLASSIFICATION AND PAY OF NAVAL OFFICERS 
At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 7th day of January 



Present 

L.G., The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

Jan 8, WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 

from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the 2nd day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas in Article 168 of the Regulations for 
the Government of your Majesty's Naval Service it is 
laid down that the Officers of your Majesty's Navy are 
to be divided into six branches, viz. : Military, Engineer, 
Medical, Accountant, Naval Instructor, and Artisan : 

' And Whereas we are of opinion that it is desirable in 

the interests of your Majesty's Naval Service that the 

Officers of the Engineer Branch should now be classified 

as part of the Military Branch, and further, that certain 

70 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

alterations should be made in the rates of pay of Engineer 
Commanders and Engineer Lieutenant-Commanders of 
your Majesty's Fleet : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to approve of the Regulations set forth in the 
annexed Schedule, to take effect from the ist day of 
January 1915. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in these proposals in so 
far as the pay of the Officers is concerned. 

' SCHEDULE. 

' i. From the ist day of January 1915, Officers of His 
Majesty's Navy will be divided into five Branches, namely, 
Military, Medical, Accountant, Naval Instructor, and 
Artisan. 

' 2. Officers of the existing Engineer Branch, although 
forming part of the Military Branch, will retain their 
present titles. 

' They will not be eligible to take Command of His 
Majesty's Ships. 

' In all details relating to the duties of the Fleet and to 
the discipline and interior economy of His Majesty's Ships 
they will be subject to the authority of any Officer who 
may be in charge of the Executive duties of the Ship, 
or acting as Officer of the Watch, or specially detailed 
for the charge of any other special service or duty, of 
whatever seniority such Officer may be. 

' 3. The following revised rates of pay to take effect for 
Engineer Commanders and Engineer Lieutenant-Com- 
manders as specified : 

Pay per diem. 
s. d. 

Engineer Commander and Engineer Lieu- 
tenant-Commander after four years from 
date of promotion to Engineer Lieutenant- 
Commander . . . . . .100 

Engineer Commander and Engineer Lieu- 
tenant-Commander after six years from 
date of promotion to Engineer Lieutenant- 
Commander . . . . . .120' 

71 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into considera- 
tion, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, 
to approve of what is therein proposed, and the Right Hon- 
ourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to give 
the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

PAY ARRANGEMENTS FOR ROYAL NAVAL AIR 

SERVICE 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 7th day of January 



Present 
The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

L.G., WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 

Jan. 8, from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
I 9 I 5- Admiralty, dated the 2ist day of December 1914, in the 

words following, viz : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, and other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas your Majesty, by your Order in Council 
bearing date the i6th day of July 1914, was pleased to 
sanction the revision in certain respects of the provisional 
arrangements for the emoluments of Officers and others 
serving in the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps 
sanctioned by your Order in Council bearing date the 
igth day of July 1912 : 

' And Whereas we are of opinion that these arrange- 
ments require additions in certain further respects : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased to sanction the follow- 
ing proposals regarding the counting of time for increase 
of pay, etc., for pension of men entered in the Royal 
Naval Air Service. 

' (i) The active service of all ratings in the Royal Naval 
72 



9 i 5 ] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Air Service whether they are lent from the Active List 
of the Royal Navy, or entered direct under special en- 
gagement for a period of service in the Royal Naval Air 
Service, to be followed by service in the Royal Fleet 
Reserve (Air Service Section), to count as continuous 
service for all purposes : 

' (2) Men lent from the Active List of the Royal Navy 
to the Royal Naval Air Service to count their active 
service in the Royal Naval Air Service for pension and 
gratuity either in their Naval rating or their Air Service 
grade, whichever is the more advantageous to them : 

' (3) The time served in the Royal Naval Air Service 
by men lent from the Active List to count, on reverting to 
the general service, towards increase of pay in the general 
service rating held during the period : 

' (4) Men transferred from the Military Wing, Royal 
Flying Corps, to the Royal Naval Air Service in no case to 
receive pensions less than those which equivalent ranks 
in the Military Wing, Royal Flying Corps, are allowed. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in these proposals/ 
His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed, and the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

PAY OF RETIRED OFFICERS OF ROYAL INDIAN 

MARINE 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 7th day of January 



Present 
. The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial L.G., 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Jan. 8, 
Admiralty, dated the 2nd day of January 1915, in the follow- I 9 I 5- 
ing words, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 

73 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas we have found it necessary to employ 
temporarily in your Majesty's Navy certain retired 
Officers of your Majesty's Indian Marine Force, and 
certain Officers who resigned from that force : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to sanction the grant to such Officers temporarily 
employed of pay and allowances from Imperial Funds as 
follows : 

' Retired Officers, Royal Indian Marine. 
' Pay and allowances at the Naval rates applicable to 
their temporary rank in the Royal Navy, to be paid con- 
currently with their Indian pensions : 

' Other Officers, late Royal Indian Marine. 
' Pay and allowances at the Naval rates applicable to 
their temporary rank in the Royal Navy, plus 25 per cent, 
bonus on full pay excluding allowances. Such pay to 
take effect as from the ist September 1914. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in this proposal/ 
His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed, and the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

REVENTLOW ON THE NAVAL SITUATION 

Extracts from article ' Germany still Confident ; Prepared 
for a Long War/ by Count Ernest von Reventlow, 
in the ' New York World/ Sunday, January 10, 1915 

Another question of the future is, how long will Russia 
and France believe Great Britain able to break down 
the German power of resistance ? From the beginning of 
74 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the war, Great Britain used every possible means to cut off 
Germany from the trade of the world, and keep from the 
German frontier all those wares and goods which the German 
people need. Through this policy Great Britain intended, 
and, according to English Government and press, was believed 
able to starve out Germany and make it impossible for 
Germans to continue to carry on the war. With this purpose 
Great Britain trod under foot international rights of the sea 
and all international customs. 

How the naval war between Germany and Great Britain 
will develop cannot be prophesied. Particularly in naval 
warfare do unexpected occurrences suddenly give entirely a 
different appearance to things. For the rest I believe 
that the interview with Grand Admiral von Tirpitz 1 l [See 
recently published in the American Press, points out the Naval 2, 
way which promises great success for the German cause P- 435 ^ 
the establishment of a blockade of the English coast in certain 
sections. It would be the first time in history that the coasts 
of Great Britain were blockaded, but Germany through her 
submarine power is in a position to carry out such a blockade 
of the British coasts and harbours, and in fact an effective 
blockade in the sense of the Declaration of Paris in 1856. 

Such a blockade would be in line with declarations of 
international rights, while the enclosing of the North Sea by 
Great Britain runs counter to international rights, particularly 
to the rights of neutral Powers. 

In all other circumstances we Germans, knowing our- 
selves, face the future of the conflict with England con- 
fidently. It is an English untruth that the German fleet 
fears a battle with that of England. On the contrary, the 
German fleet already has twice visited the English coast, and 
maintains, as before, its base in the German Bight of the 
North Sea. The great English Fleet, however, has for 
months quitted the North Sea and keeps itself on the other 
side of the English Isles, in the Irish Sea or west of the 
Shetland Islands. Therefore for our Fleet the British Fleet 
is difficult to find. The English Fleet, however, when it 
wishes, can always find our Fleet because it does not hide 
itself. The English Admiralty is anxious to keep its Fleet 
intact as long as possible. 

75 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY^-NAVAL 

CAPTURE OF THE FARN CORRESPONDENCE 
WITH THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT 

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State 

British Embassy, 
Washington, January 13, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. SIR, I have the honour to inform you that I learn a ship 

named the K. D. 5, flying the German flag, entered the port 
of San Juan, Porto Rico, on the I2th instant. The British 
Consul states that there is evidence to show that this vessel 
is the former British Farn of London, which has been captured 
by the enemy. Being private property, it is not recognised 
by international law as lawful prize until it has been taken 
into a prize court of the captor and adjudicated upon. 

I have the honour to request that the United States 
Government will be so good as to cause this matter to be 
investigated by the proper authorities, and, if satisfied that 
the facts are as stated above, to give orders for the 
detention of this vessel in the interests of a proper observance 
of neutrality. I have, &c., 

CECIL SPRING-RICE. 



The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State 

British Embassy, 
Washington, January 17, 1915. 

ibid. SIR, Referring to my notes Nos. 18 and 25 of the I3th 

and I4th l instant, relative to the British ship Farn which 
has been taken into the port of San Juan, Porto Rico, I have 
the honour to say that His Majesty's Government presume 
that the United States Government will refuse the request 
of the German officer, and that instructions will be given to 
the authorities at San Juan to act in conformity with Article 
21 of the Convention signed at The Hague on October i8th, 

2 [See 1907, known as No. 13 2 of the Instruments signed at the 

Naval i, Second Peace Conference. I have, &c., 

P- 428 ' ] CECIL SPRING-RICE. 

1 Not printed. 

76 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador 

Department of State, 
Washington, January 29, 1915. 

EXCELLENCY, I have the honour to acknowledge the U.S.D.C. 
receipt of your notes of the isth, I4th, and I7th instant in 
regard to the steamer K. D. 3, which entered the port of San 
Juan, Porto Rico, in the possession of a German prize crew, 
and to inform you in reply that, as stated to you informally 
at the Department, this Government, after a careful investi- 
gation of the case, determined to treat the steamer as a tender 
to a belligerent fleet, and on the 22nd instant instructions 
were given that the vessel be ordered to leave port within 
twenty-four hours after notice to that effect, and upon failure 
to leave, that the vessel, together with the prize officers and 
crew, be interned, the British officers and crew and the Chinese 
seamen being released. 

The Department is now advised that the vessel, together 
with the prize officers and crew, was interned on the 25th 
instant at San Juan. I have, &c., 

W. J. BRYAN. 

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State 

British Embassy, 
Washington, February 26, 1915. 

SIR, In your note of the 2gth ultimo you were good enough ibid. 
to inform me of the decision of the United States Government 
to treat the steamship Farn, or K. D. 3, which entered the 
port of San Juan, Porto Rico, in the possession of a German 
prize crew, as a tender to a belligerent fleet, and that as a 
result of the instructions given in pursuance of this decision 
the vessel had been interned. 

I understand from the conversations on this question 
which I have had the honour to have at the Department of 
State, that the United States Government have been under 
the impression that the Farn, at the time of her original 
capture by a German cruiser, was employed as an Admiralty 
collier. I am now informed by my Government that the 
vessel has not in fact been employed as a collier or otherwise 
on Admiralty service since the outbreak of war, and that at 

77 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the time of her capture she was carrying a commercial cargo 
to the Plate. 

I am further instructed to 'state that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment consider that, in any case, whatever the previous status 
of the vessel may have been, it would be necessary, before 
the vessel could be treated by a neutral Power in whose port 
she might find herself, as a German fleet auxiliary, instead of 
as a prize under Article 21 of The Hague Convention, that 
there should have been a finding of condemnation of her on 
some other ground by a competent prize court. 

His Majesty's Government for these reasons consider that 
no circumstances have been disclosed in the present case 
which would justify the treatment of the Farn in a manner 
other than that prescribed in Article 21 of The Hague Con- 
vention No. 13 of 1907, and they trust that on further con- 
sideration the United States Government will agree in this 
view and issue the necessary instructions to the authorities 
concerned for the release of the vessel. I have, &c., 

CECIL SPRING-RICE. 



The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador 

Department of State, 
Washington, March 13, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. EXCELLENCY, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt 

of your Excellency's note of the 26th ultimo in relation to the 
steamship Farn, or K. D. 3, which has been interned in the 
port of San Juan, Porto Rico, as a tender to a belligerent fleet. 
The Department is advised that the Farn left Cardiff about 
September 5th, 1914, for Montevideo, with a clause in her 
charter to deliver coal to warships if they so desired. Though, 
as you state, the vessel was not employed as a collier, or 
otherwise, in the Admiralty service, this fact would not in 
the opinion of the Department affect her status at the time 
of internment if she indeed acted as a collier or auxiliary to a 
belligerent fleet. It is understood that the Farn was a British 
merchant vessel ; that she had on board a cargo of Cardiff 
coal amounting to some 3000 t9ns ; that she was captured 
by the German cruiser Karlsruhe on October 5th ; that the 
cruiser placed a prize crew and officers on board ; and that 
78 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

notwithstanding the known practice of the Karlsruhe to sink 
her enemy prizes, the vessel had been at sea continuously 
since the date of capture until she put into the port of San 
Juan on January i2th last for provisions and water. The 
Department believes that the only reasonable conclusion in 
the circumstances, is that between October 5th and January 
I2th the Farn was used as a tender to German warships. It 
appears obvious that a belligerent may use a prize in its 
service and that the prize thereby becomes stamped with a 
character dependent upon the nature of the service. It is 
upon this view of the case that the United States Govern- 
ment concluded to treat the vessel as a tender, which 
character accords with her presumed service to the German 
fleet. 

Your Excellency states that it would be necessary before 
the vessel could be treated as a German fleet auxiliary that 
she should have been condemned by a competent prize court. 
With this conclusion the Government of the United States 
is under the necessity of disagreeing. In the opinion of this 
Government an enemy vessel which has been captured by a 
belligerent cruiser becomes as between the two governments 
the property of the captor without the intervention of a prize 
court. If no prize court is available this Government does 
not understand that it is the duty of the captor to release 
his prize, or to refuse to impress her into its service. On 
the contrary, the captor would be remiss in his duty to his 
Government and to the efficiency of its belligerent operations 
if he released an enemy vessel because he could not take her 
in for adjudication. 

As to Article 21 of Hague Convention No. 13 of 1907, 
cited by your Excellency as prescribing the treatment to be 
accorded to the Farn, it is only necessary to state that as it 
appears that His Majesty's Government has not ratified this 
Convention it should not be regarded as of binding effect 
between Great Britain and the United States. 

In this relation I venture to call to your attention that 
the British Consul at San Juan protested on January I2th 
against the clearance of the Farn, and that your Excellency 
in your note of January I3th requested that she be detained 
in the interest of neutrality. It was not until January I7th 
that your Excellency informed the Department that His 

79 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Majesty's Government presumed that the United States 
would act under Article 21 of Hague Convention No. 13 of 
1907 in regard to the release of the vessel. Sufficient time 
had thus elapsed to allow for communication with British 
warships and their appearance off the port of San Juan. The 
result of releasing a German prize loaded with coal at this 
juncture needs no comment. 

In the circumstances the Government of the United 
States is under the necessity of adhering to its decision to 
intern until the end of the war the steamship Farn as a fleet 
auxiliary. I have, etc., For the Secretary of State, 

ROBERT LANSING. 



The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State 

British Embassy, 
Washington, March 26, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. SIR, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt 

of your note of March I3th in which you are good enough 
to explain the grounds on which the United States Govern- 
ment is under the necessity of adhering to its decision to 
intern until the end of the war the steamship Farn as a fleet 
auxiliary. 

The tenor of your note was duly telegraphed to His 
Majesty's Government, who desire me to inform you that it 
will have their most attentive consideration. They prefer, 
however, to await the receipt of the full text before replying 
in detail. 

They do not at present understand to whom the United 
States Government feel themselves bound to hand over the 
Farn at the end of the war, and they would much appreciate 
it if they could be informed of the decision arrived at in this 
respect. While they would be very glad if this point could 
be cleared up, they do not abandon their contention that 
the Farn ought to be released to the British owners without 
delay. I have, &c., 

CECIL SPRING-RICE. 



80 



9 i 5 ] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 41 of the year 1915) 
ENGLAND, SOUTH COAST 

Portland Harbour Approach Caution with regard to 

Target Practice 

Position. Portland outer breakwater, lat. 50 35' N., L.G., 
long. 2 25' W. Jan. 15, 

Caution. Mariners are hereby warned that Target prac- I 9 I 5- 
tice will take place, without further notice, from ships lying 
in Portland harbour, and it will therefore be dangerous hence- 
forth for vessels to enter the following area : 

Limits of dangerous area : 

(a) On the North. By a line drawn in a 97 (S. 67 E. 
Mag.) direction from the north end of the outer break- 
water, until St. Albans head bears 18 (N. 34 E. Mag.). 

(b) On the South. By a line drawn in a 119 (S. 45 
E. Mag.) direction from the south end of the outer break- 
water, until St. Albans head bears 18 (N. 34 E. Mag.). 

(c) On the East. By a line joining the eastern ex- 
tremities of limits (a) and (b). 

(d) On the West. By Portland outer breakwater. 
Variation. 16 W. 

Charts temporarily affected. No. 2615, Portland to Christ- 
church ; No. 2450, Portland to Owers ; No. 2255, Weymouth 
and Portland ; No. 26756, English Channel, middle sheet. 

Publication. Channel Pilot, Part I., 1908, page 150 ; Sup- 
plement No. 2, 1914. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, i^th January 1915. 

SWAKOPMUND OCCUPIED 

Pretoria, January 16. 

It is officially announced that the Union Forces occupied 
Swakopmund on Thursday morning. 
NAVAL 3 F 81 



Times, 
Jan. 14, 



Times, 
Jan. 22, 



1 [See 
Naval i, 
PP- 374-9 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The British had two killed and one wounded in the opera- 
tions. Renter. 



INTERNED GERMAN SHIPS 

It is officially stated that a number of enemy steamships 
interned in the United Kingdom are being requisitioned by 
the Admiralty in order that they may be set free for employ- 
ment in the coasting trade, more especially to meet the need 
for greater coal supplies in London. 



The Admiralty proposes to put the following thirty-four 
enemy steamers which were detained in United Kingdom 
ports at the outbreak of war into the East Coast coal trade x : 



Nyland 

Brema 

Ostpreussen 

Henry Furst 

Dryade 

Erna Boldt 

George Harper 

Ursus 

Hans Leonhardt 

Hans Hemsoth 

Sabbia 

Levensau 

Hornsund 

Providentia 

Serak 

Tergestea 

Karpat 



Albert Clement 
Marie Leonhardi 
Frieda 
Gemma 
Emma Minlos 
Hanna Larsen 
Ottokar 
Hercules 
Horst Martini 
Franz Fischer 
Rhenania 
Wega 
Prosper 
Denebola 
Vianna 
Hans Jost 
Herbert Fischer 



These steamers are being employed with a view to reliev- 
ing the situation caused by the short supply of tonnage, the 
delays in port, and the consequent difficulty of getting coals 
into London. 



FRENCH SUBMARINE SUNK 

Paris, January 19. 

C.O. The French submarine Saphir, which on the morning 

of the 15th instant took up patrol duty near the Dardanelles, 

32 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

has not since rejoined the squadron operating in those waters. 
The foreign Press states she has been sunk, and Turkish 
vessels are said to have picked up part of her crew. 



Constantinople, January 15. 

The Turkish General Staff reports as follows : The K. V., 
French submarine Saphir attempted to approach the entrance J an - 
to the Dardanelles, but was forthwith sunk by our artillery. 
A portion of the crew was rescued. 



Constantinople, January 17. 

Headquarters communicates details concerning the sinking K. 
of the French submarine Saphir, which, as already announced, 
was sunk at the entrance of the Dardanelles. The sub- 
marine was seeking to approach the entrance of the Dar- 
danelles without showing herself, when she struck a mine 
and sank. The efforts of our motor-boats to save the sur- 
vivors of the crew are a noble answer to the inhuman deeds 
which have been committed by our enemies. 



Paris, January 22. 

It is officially announced by the United States Embassy Times, 
in Constantinople that Turkish vessels have picked up and Jan. 23, 
brought to Constantinople ten of the crew of the French 
submarine Saphir, which was sunk by a mine in the Dar- 
danelles. 



THE CHAR SUNK 

The Char, Lieutenant James Melsome, R.N.R., in com- Times, 
mand, which was sunk after a collision in the Downs on J an - 20 
Saturday morning, 1 was one of eight tugs, tenders to the I 9 I 5' 
Harrier, employed on special examination service. There * U an 
were at first only six tugs employed on this work in the Downs, 
but two were lately added, of which one was the Char, for- 
merly the North-Eastern Railway Company's steamer Stranton, 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

stationed at West Hartlepool. These vessels are commanded 
by lieutenants in the Royal Naval Reserve, and the work 
upon which they are employed is most severe, comfortless, 
and perilous. 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 45 of the year 1915) 

ENGLAND, EAST COAST 

Yarmouth Roads Restriction of Navigation 

L.G., Position. Yarmouth roads, lat. 52 36' N., long. i 45' E. 

Jan. 22, Caution. Mariners are hereby warned that, under the 

I 9 I 5- Defence of the Realm Regulations, an order has been made 

forbidding any vessels, other than open boats, to be under way 

in Great Yarmouth Roads between one hour after sunset and 

half an hour before sunrise, until further notice. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, i8th January 1915. 

ECHOES OF CORONEL AND THE FALKLANDS 

Times, The officer of H.M.S. Glasgow whose narrative of the naval 

Jan. 19, battle off Chile on November i last was published in The 

I 9 I 5- Times of December n * has now written home the following 

l [See descriptive account of the naval battle off the Falkland Islands, 

which took place on December 8. It will be recalled that with 

the exception of the Dresden all the ships comprising Admiral 

von Spec's squadron were then sunk by the squadron under 

Rear- Admiral Sturdee : 

December 10, 1914. 

Lots have happened since I last wrote. On the morning 
of the 8th, the Germans, under Admiral von Spee, appeared 
off these (Falkland) Islands, and were reported about 7 A.M. by 
our look-outs and the volunteers. Couldn't have been better ; 
saved us a long cold search round Cape Horn and played right 
into our hands. They came to destroy the wireless station and 
to coal, expecting to find us in inferior force. We all got up 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

steam as quickly as possible, and luckily had mostly completed 
with coal. The Scharnhorst, followed by the Numb erg, first 
approached, but when they got within 20,000 yards we opened 
fire with 1 2-inch from inside the harbour, firing over the land, 
which completely hid us from the enemy, and directed by 
spotting-officers on the hill. The Canopus got one hit at this 
very long range. Then we hove up anchor and steamed out, 
Glasgow leading as usual. We kept our large cruisers under 
our smoke as long as possible. About 8.30 A.M. our big 
cruisers were drawing close, now at about 28 knots, and when 
within 16,000 yards (that is outside the Glasgow range) we had 
the unique experience of watching a battle royal between the 
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and our two big ones. 

The Germans were now in line ahead, the Leipzig, Number g, 
and Dresden following. It was a wonderful sight. About 
10.30 or so the three cruisers altered course to scatter and try 
to get away (I guess they knew it was all up by now), so we 
gave chase, the Kent and Cornwall coming along behind us. 
About 2 P.M. we closed the Leipzig enough to fire our foremost 
guns, and she turned every now and then to fire a salvo at us. 
We closed still more until a regular battle went on. The 
weather was thickish with rain mist. About 5 P.M. we received 
a wireless from the Flag saying that they had sunk the 
Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, at which we all cheered. At 
this time we had severely damaged the 'Leipzig, when the 
Cornwall came up and joined in, but we had already given her 
her death-blow. Although shells fell all round us, we were 
only hit aloft three times, and lost only one man killed, one 
badly wounded, and several wounded from splinters of shell. 
The two officers aloft had narrow escape from a shell which 
passed through the control-top. 

We stood close by the Leipzig at 9.15 P.M. when she turned 
over and sank, and we picked up five officers and seven men, 
one wounded. The Kent sank the Nurnberg, and the Bristol 
sank two transports, the Baden and the Santa Isabel ; so 
altogether we almost wiped out the squadron. Ships sunk 
were ,,the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Leipzig, Nurnberg, Baden, 
and Santa Isabel, leaving the Dresden, which so far escaped. 
She is fast, but not much of a fighting ship. The others 
anyway the two big ones were the pride of the German Navy 
and prize firers (crack ships). They fought well. Five were 

85 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

saved from the Niirnberg, none from the Scharnhorst (flag), 
and 150 from the Gneisenau. Some 2000 Germans went down. 
We (the Glasgow) lost one "man killed, the Kent none, the 
Cornwall five, the Inflexible one, and the others none not a 
scratch. Just shows what we were up against in our battle off 
Coronel with the poor old Monmouth and Good Hope. 

Our prisoners were convinced (from German sources) that 
the Germans were in Calais, and that they had taken 1,120,000 
Russians ! These people also laughed at the idea of the 
Germans in Germany being scarce of provisions, and said 
Sweden and Denmark had plenty. 

The King sent us a message, ' Heartiest congratulations 
officers and men on your opportune victory.' 

[The following is the letter referred to above, p. 84 : 

qth November 1914. 

We are at this moment steaming gaily along at 17 knots. We left 
the day before yesterday, OUT five men slightly injured by pieces of shells 
now quite recovered and none the worse. Will now give a resume of 
our recent moves. 

We were joined by the Good Hope, with Sir Christopher Cradock in 
command, and the Monmouth (Captain Brandt) off the Brazilian coast. 
We then cruised south together Good Hope, Glasgow, Monmouth, and 
the armed liner Otranto down to the cold Terra del Fuego and Straits 
of Magellan, making swoops down upon wild and unsurveyed bays and 
places whither we had heard the enemy had gone to coal, etc., but 
failed to find them there, although we heard their secret and friendly 
wireless stations talking in code. The land round there is covered with 
ice and snow, and the many huge glaciers one sees are wonderful to 
behold. 

Well, after passing and repassing Cape Horn, sometimes twice in 
one day, we were glad to get orders to proceed north on the Pacific 
coast and to warmer weather. By this time we found that the two 
armoured enemy's cruisers, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, were probably 
coming over from the Pacific Islands to join up with the cruisers Leipzig, 
Dresden, and Niirnberg, as they had escaped the Australian and China 
squadrons. We made a rendezvous farther north for our colliers, 
and went into Coronel and on to Valparaiso to pick up news and receive 
letters, etc., then back to rendezvous, coaled, and then got orders to go 
to Coronel alone to send cables, etc. We left Coronel, Chile, on the 
second occasion about nine o'clock on the morning of November i, and 
at about 4 P.M. sighted the enemy in force. We put on speed and ap- 
86 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

preached them until we made out four cruisers in line ahead, the two 
big armoured cruisers leading and two three-funnelled cruisers (about 
our class) following in open order. They immediately gave chase, so 
we ' hopped it ' in the direction of our own ships and the Flag. We 
advised the Flag by wireless, but the enemy continually used their 
wireless in order to jam our signals. We first picked up the Monmouth 
and Otranto and ran a line ahead, Glasgow senior leading. 

In an hour or so the Good Hope (Cradock's ship) came up, and we 
wheeled into line behind her, and again approached the enemy, coming 
round to south when about seven miles off. The sun by this time was 
getting low on our starboard beam ; the enemy were to the east of us, 
all proceeding south, they having the advantage both in guns and the 
light ; we being silhouetted against the horizon. Their strategical 
speed being equal to ours, it was impossible to improve the lights before 
dark. -I did not think he would engage until next day. However, we 
were now gradually closing. About 6.40 P.M. or so the foremost ar- 
moured enemy's cruiser opened fire with her 8-inch, and shells shrieked 
over and short of us, some falling about 500 yards short, giving the im- 
pression of excellent shooting. Soon after the Otranto began to haul 
out of line and edge away to the south-west, she not being fitted to 
fight men-o'-war. We appeared to close a point or two, and at 7 P.M. 
opened fire. The enemy replied in rapid salvoes, making good and 
deadly shooting, mostly directed against our Flag, and the Monmouth, 
our next ahead. There was not much doubt as to the result. Shells 
continued to straddle us, some bursting overhead, throwing pieces of 
broken shell in all directions. About ten minutes or so after this the 
poor Monmouth sheered off the line to the westward a hundred yards 
or so, when I saw her being hit heavily. She appeared to heel a bit 
and shake, her foremast turret (the 6-inch gun shield) in flames. She 
fell back again into line and out again to the eastward, still firing her 
6-inch intermittently. 

Shortly after the Good Hope was seen to be on fire, also about the 
fore turret, and seemed to steer or fall away to the eastward or towards 
the enemy. During this time we kept up a continual fire from our 
two 6-inch and port battery 4-inch guns in the direction of the foremost 
light cruisers of the enemy's line, the third and fourth ship, of the 
lines, but owing to the big sea, our rolling, and the gathering darkness 
it was impossible to spot the fall of our shells. We could only fire at 
the flash of their guns, and when our heavy rolling allowed our gun- 
layers to see the flashes at all. About 7.30 P.M. I was standing near 
the after 6-inch hand-up when I felt a shell strike us below deck. It 
seemed to pass out through the other side, but didn't, and I awaited 
the explosion, expecting the deck planks to rise up ; but nothing 
visibly occurred at the moment. I was second in command of the 

87 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

starboard battery and, as that was the unengaged side, superintended 
the supply of ammunition to the port guns, and generally kept an eye 
for casualties, so was able to use my binoculars to see what could be 
seen. Hills, a marine, carrying ammunition to P5, was struck behind 
the ear by a fragment of shell and was temporarily out of action, lying 
down near 85 hand-up. 

The Good Hope fell more and more out of line to eastward, burning 
brightly forward, when suddenly an explosion occurred about her after 
funnel, blowing up debris and flames and sparks some 200 feet high or 
so, quite distinctly to be heard from our deck. Some of our men thought 
it was the enemy's flagship, so near had she drifted towards them. 
Soon after I could see nothing of her, and she never fired her guns again. 
Our speed during the action must have varied from seven or eight to 
seventeen knots or so, and when the Monmouth dropped back in her 
distress we had to ease in order not to meet the doses meant for her. 
The enemy now dropped slowly back, and the armoured cruisers 
directed their fire in at us ; we continued alone to reply when possible, 
now at about 4500 yards. Everybody was remarkably cool as if at 
practice. Another shell struck our No. 2 funnel, showing large holes 
around the casing, and it was this or these shells which wounded three 
more of our men slightly. 

I cannot understand the miracle of our deliverance ; none ever will. 
We were struck at the water-line by in all five shells out of about six 
hundred directed at us, but strangely not in vulnerable places, our coal 
saving us on three occasions as we are not armoured and should not 
be in battle line against armoured vessels. We only had two guns that 
would pierce their armour the Good Hope's old two 9.2*5, one of which 
was out of action ten minutes after the start. A shell entered the 
captain's pantry and continued on, bursting in a passage, the fragments 
going through the steel wall of the captain's cabin, wrecking it com- 
pletely. Again no fire resulted. 

The Monmouth, no longer firing, steamed off to the north-west, and 
we stood by her signalling. She fell off to north-east, then we asked 
her if she could steer north-west. She replied, ' I want to get stern to 
sea, as I am making water badly forward.' We followed close by. 
Shortly after I was on the flying bridge when I spotted the enemy 
approaching in line abreast, the ship to the right or southward morsing 
with an oil lamp to the others. They were then about 6000 yards off or 
so in the rain, mist, and darkness. I told the captain, who gave me 
orders to bring them astern, and put on full speed. We drew out of 
range. The Monmouth was silent and hidden by our smoke. About 
half an hour after we saw flashes of gun-fire and the play of a search- 
light which lasted a few seconds, then disappeared. We went in a west- 
north-westerly direction, coming gradually round to south, steering 

88 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

for Magellan Straits in order to warn our old battleship, the Canopus, 
who was coming up from the southward, to turn and run. She was 
near two hundred miles away also, and we were some hours getting 
through to her, because of the continual jamming by the enemy's wire- 
less. It would have been a needless and useless sacrifice of our ship 
and our 370 odd lives to have remained and engaged the enemy's ships 
again ; some 1600 lives had already gone in the Good Hope and Mon- 
mouth. Luckily our engines and boilers were intact, and we were able 
to push through the heavy seas at 24 knots and get away to give an 
account of the action, and warn the Canopus, who, although she no 
doubt would have fought gallantly, could hardly hope to successfully 
fight five ships. We all thanked God for our miraculous escape after 
a very severe action against great odds.] 



The secretary of the Association of Men of Kent and Times, 
Kentish Men (Mr. Henry Thompson) has received the following J an - I 9 
letter from Captain J. D. Allen, of H.M.S. Kent, describing 
the action near the Falkland Islands, in which that vessel sank 
the German cruiser Niirnberg : 

December 12, 1914. 

You will have heard by this time that on December 8 
H.M.S. Kent chased, engaged, and sank the German cruiser 
Niirnberg. It was a single-ship action, as no other ship was in 
sight at the time. The chase commenced at noon and the 
action commenced at 5 P.M. After a sharp action, during 
which the Kent was struck by the enemy's shell no less than 
thirty-six times, the Niirnberg sank at 7.26 P.M. I regret to 
say that four men were killed and twelve wounded. From 
the time the enemy was sighted until the end of the action 
the behaviour of the officers and men of the Kent was perfectly 
magnificent. Although under a very heavy fire, they were, 
one and all, perfectly calm and self-possessed, and, though 
the enemy fought bravely to the very end, against such men 
as I have the honour to command, they never could have had a 
chance. 

The Number g is a faster ship than the Kent, but I appealed 
to the engineers and stokers to do all in their power to catch 
her, and finely they responded to my appeal. The Kent went 
faster and faster until she was going 25 knots, more than a 
knot faster than she had ever been before. The enemy got 
nearer and nearer until at last she got within range of our guns. 

89 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Soon the Kent's shell began to fall thick and fast around her, 
and she was struck many times until she was in flames. The 
enemy continued firing their guns until the ship was sinking, 
and as she sank below the surface some brave men on her 
quarterdeck were waving the German ensign. 

No sooner had she sunk than the Kent's men displayed the 
same zeal and activity in endeavouring to save life as they had 
done in fighting the ship. Boats were hastily repaired and 
lowered, manned by men eagerly volunteering to help. Un- 
fortunately the sea was rough and the water very cold, so we 
only succeeded in picking up twelve men, of whom five sub- 
sequently died. 

The silk ensign and Jack presented to the Kent by the 
ladies of Kent were flying the whole time. They were both 
torn to ribbons, but I have got them both safe. I carefully 
collected every bit I could, as they were torn to pieces and 
some pieces were caught in the rigging. I am afraid they are 
past repair, but nearly all the pieces intact. They can never 
be flown again. Will you be so kind as to ask the ladies of 
Kent what they wish done with them. They can be sewn up, 
though some pieces are missing. Meanwhile I will keep them 
here for the present. 

Please convey to the Association of Men of Kent and 
Kentish Men the sincere congratulations of the captain, 
officers, and men of H.M.S. Kent on this memorable occasion. 
Tell them how proud we are to have had the opportunity of 
adding yet another honour to the name Kent, and how much 
we have been encouraged by the interest they have taken in 
our welfare. 

The Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men has 
undertaken to provide a new silken ensign and Jack for the 
county ship. Donations to the fund, which Mr. Alderman Le 
May has started with a guinea, will be gratefully acknowledged 
by Mr. Henry Thompson, secretary of the association, 21 and 
23 High Street, Rochester. 



Times, The action off the Falklands was described in The Times 

Jan. 20, yesterday by officers serving in the Glasgow and the Kent. 
I 9 I 5- To-day we print an account of the same action, written by an 

90 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

officer of the Inflexible, which is not only extremely interesting 
in itself, but has the additional merit of being the first descrip- 
tion published of a modern battle cruiser in action by one 
serving in such a ship. The letter, which is dated December 
n, says : 

I am just sending you a short description of the action on 
the 8th. I suppose you have seen in the papers that it took 
place near the Falkland Islands. 

On Tuesday morning we were in harbour, and had started 
coaling at about 6.30 A.M. At about 8.30 A.M. five German 
cruisers were reported approaching the harbour by the shore 
signal station. These turned out to be the Scharnhorst 
(flagship), Gneisenau, Niirnberg, Dresden, and Leipzig, the 
squadron which sank the Good Hope and Monmouth off 
Valparaiso. Of course we were delighted to see them, as we 
were wanting very badly to settle up accounts with them over 
their last exploit. 

When they sighted us they immediately turned tail and 
made off as fast as they could, for, of course, we had a con- 
siderably more powerful squadron. Apparently they had not 
the faintest suspicion that we were in the vicinity, for they had 
expected to take the Falkland Islands without much opposition 
and coal there. I believe that half their seamen were in 
landing rig ready to land when they were approaching. As 
soon as they were reported we all dropped coaling at once, 
shoved off the colliers, and made off after them. As we knew 
we were faster than they were we did not hurry very much to 
start with, but slowly closed with them, and this gave us time 
to have dinner comfortably before getting on with the work. 

About 12.30 the flagship and ourself, who are considerably 
faster than the rest of our squadron, increased speed and went 
on ahead to attack their two big cruisers, the Scharnhorst and 
Gneisenau. At i P.M. we opened fire on them at a range of 

yards, the flagship taking on the Gneisenau and ourselves 

the Scharnhorst. Their light cruisers immediately spread, but 
we managed to get at least one shot into the Leipzig before they 
made off, as she was observed to be dropping rapidly astern. 
We then turned the whole of our attention to the big cruisers 
and left the rest of our squadron to deal with their light cruisers. 

We blazed away at the Scharnhorst for three hours, and 

9 1 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

finally she sank at about 4 P.M. It was very hard to tell what 
damage we had done to her as there was a great deal of smoke, 
and we were, of course, a Considerable distance away. We 
could see that she had three funnels gone and both masts shot 
away, and must have been more like a sieve than anything 
else before she finally went down. We had very little damage 
done to us, as we had an immense superiority in gunfire. Our 
i2-in. guns were hitting her pretty hard all the time, but as 
she had only 8.2-in. guns her fire was very ineffective all the 
time, though I must say remarkably accurate. When she 
started to go down she went very quickly, and unfortunately 
we were unable to stop and pick up any of her men as the 
Gneisenau seemed still to have a good deal of kick left in her. 

We went to the flagship's assistance, and started in again at 
the Gneisenau. At about 4.45 P.M. she appeared to be sinking 
and had ceased fire. Her colours had been shot away several 
times, but she had hoisted them again, and now we thought she 
had hauled them down. The only visible damage done to her 
was her foremost funnel shot away, though as we found out 
afterwards she was badly knocked about. Apparently she 
had no more colours left, but was still game, for as we were 
closing she managed to get off one more solitary gun. We had 
to stand off again, and gave her a few more rounds, and another 
of our cruisers which had come up let off a few at her. About 
5.15 she was observed to be sinking, and we started to close 
her. She heeled over very slowly till she got to about 70 deg., 
then she went over with a rush, there was a large cloud of 
steam, she cocked her stem up in the air and disappeared. 

I should think about 300 to 400 of her crew managed 
to get away from the ship, and were left floating about in 
the water, hanging on to bits of wreckage, hammocks, and 
anything they could lay hands on. Their heads bobbing about 
in the water looked for all the world like a great patch of 
brown seaweed. As soon as possible we got out what boats 
we had left to pick them up, and threw lifebuoys and any 
available bits of wood to them. The flagship and the other 
cruiser had come up and were doing the same, but a lot of 
them were drowned as we were short of boats and the sea had 
started to get choppy. It also was awfully cold in the water, 
and those we got on board were half-frozen, and you could see 
many of them in the water letting go of the spars or whatever 
92 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

they were holding on to as they gradually got numbed. We 
saw icebergs the next day. 

We picked up the commander of the Gneisenau, seven 
officers, and about 50 men, and between the three ships we 
managed to save about 180. But a lot of them were drowned, 
and it was an awful sight to see them floating about in the 
water, shouting out for the boat to come to them and then they 
would suddenly go down. About 7 P.M. we started off to 
look for the remainder of their squadron. In the evening one 
of our light cruisers reported having sunk the Leipzig, and 
another one had sunk two of their colliers. Next morning one 
of our armoured cruisers reported having sunk the Nurnberg. 
So we really got through a very good day's work, only one of 
their small cruisers having escaped, and we feel that we have 
avenged the Good Hope and Monmouth and paid them back 
with a little interest. Still, one can't help feeling sorry for the 
poor devils on board ; they were very nice fellows, and we 
have done all we can for them, and I must say they put up a 
most gallant fight considering the odds against them. Our 
ships are practically undamaged, and we should have finished 
the action much sooner if we had gone closer to them, but, of 
course, our object was to sink them with as little damage to 
ourselves as possible. 

One of the officers saved was telling me that towards the 
end of the action he could not get along their upper deck, as 
they practically had none left ; nearly every man on the 
upper deck had been killed, all the gjuns were out of action, 
and one turret had been blown bodily overboard by 12-in. 
lyddite shell. Both their engines were broken up, and they 
had a fire in the after part of the ship. They would probably 
have had many more fires, but our shells striking the water 
near the ship sent up columns of water which kept on putting 
out the fires. The spouts of water sent up by our shells 
hitting the water near them went up about half as high again 
as their mastheads, probably about 300 ft. 

The German sailors when they got on board expected to 
be shot, and were very agreeably surprised when they found 
they would be looked after decently instead. 



93 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Times, 
Jan. 18, 



Mr. Charles E. Gould, a wireless operator on H.M.S. Good 
Hope one of five men whp formed an observation party 
which was put ashore on the island of Veshupi, tells in a letter 
to his mother at Sonning, Berks, how he witnessed the sinking 
of his vessel. He writes : ' I am safe, with four others. I 
was picked up from the island of Veshupi in the Pacific by 
H.M.S. Canopus exhausted, cold, and in rags, but just in the 
pink of condition. All my comrades have gone ; roughly 
1500 men perished on that terrible Sunday. It was a rough 
night. I won't describe the battle now, but the last of the 
old ship was this : she caught fire, then her magazine blew up 
and flames rose over 200 ft. in the air. Only our little party of 
five remain. All our clothes and belongings went down with 
the ship. The crew of the Canopus treated us very kindly. I 
obtained a pair of canvas trousers, and on my arrival in the 
Falkland Islands the other day I got a Wild West shirt and 
some socks. 

' Since the war started I have had some terrible hardships. 
Days and nights with no sleep out in the open on some 
mountain or hill as observation party for the squadron 
sometimes sleeping (or rather resting) on rushes, bushes or 
fern leaves, digging a hole in the ground and living like a 
penguin. 

' But I am all right now ; I am stationed ashore at a light- 
house in the Falklands/ 



Times, 
Jan. 20, 



ZEPPELIN RAID ON EAST COAST TOWNS 

A German airship raid was made on Yarmouth and 
other towns on the East Coast last night, and afterwards on 
King's Lynn and the neighbourhood of Sandringham. 

As will be seen from the Court Circular, the Royal Family 
returned to Buckingham Palace from Sandringham yesterday. 

Three German airships were seen at 1.30 in the afternoon 
off the Dutch coast. They passed over the island of Ter- 
schelling on their way across the North Sea, but whether all 
reached the English coast is not clear. 

Their presence was unsuspected until, after dark about 
8.30, bombs were dropped on Yarmouth. Considerable 
94 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

damage was done, and at least three lives are believed to have 
been lost. 

The bombardment of the town from the air continued 
for some ten minutes. Several of the missiles did not explode, 
and one fell through a house in Yarmouth, without injuring 
the family within. 

The authorities promptly extinguished the street lights, 
and the people seem as far as possible to have kept under 
cover. This probably made the death-roll lighter than it 
would otherwise have been. 

After the attack on Yarmouth several other towns, Cromer 
and Sheringham, were visited, and bombs dropped on them, 
with what result is not yet definitely known. 

At King's Lynn, the last town reported to have been 
visited, the airmen succeeded in killing a boy, who was in 
bed at the time. Before King's Lynn was reached a bomb 
was dropped on Heacham, six miles from Sandringham. 

Although there were reports that more than one airship 
was seen, the time table which we publish below is quite 
compatible with the presence of only one airship, which 
swept round the Norfolk coast from Yarmouth to King's 
Lynn. 

The following are the approximate times at which the 
different towns were visited : 



Holland (Terschelling) 

Yarmouth 

Cromer . 

Sheringham 

Hunstanton 

Heacham 

Dersingham 

King's Lynn 



1.30 P.M. 

8.20 P.M. 

8.30 P.M. 

8.45 P.M. 

10. P.M. 
10.30 P.M. 
10.40 P.M. 

11. O P.M. 



Amsterdam, January 20. 

An official telegram from Berlin says : ' On the night of Times, 
January igth naval airships undertook an attack on some J an - 2I > 
fortified places on the English East Coast. The weather was 3 
fggy and rainy. Several bombs were successfully dropped. 
The airships were shot at, but returned unhurt. (Signed) 
Deputy Chief of the Admiral Staff, VON BEHNCKE.' 
Renter. 

95 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Amsterdam, January 21. 

Times, The following officially inspired message from Berlin, 

Jan. 22, giving the official version of the Zeppelin raid, is published 
here : 

' Our airships, in order to attack the fortified place of 
Great Yarmouth, were obliged to fly over other places, from 
which, it is stated, they were fired at. These attacks were 
answered by throwing bombs. 

' England has no right to be indignant, as her flying 
machines and ships in broad daylight attacked open towns, 
such as Freiburg, Dar-es-Salaam, and Swakppmund. Air 
war is acknowledged to be a means of modern warfare as 
long as it is carried out within the rules of international law. 
This has been done by our dirigibles. 

' The German nation has been forced by England to 
fight for her existence, and cannot be forced to forgo legitimate 
self-defence, and will not do so, relying upon her good right.' 



House of Commons, February 8, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. INGLEBY asked the Under-Secretary for War if he 

can state how many Zeppelins raided the East Coast on 
January igth ; whether the Zeppelins were accompanied 
by motor-cars ; if so, whether he can give the number of 
such cars ; and whether any of them have been identified or 
any of their occupants arrested ? 

MR. TENNANT : It is not in the public interest to give 
the information which may be in possession of the Depart- 
ment regarding the first point. The other points are being 
further investigated, and J hope to be able to give an answer 
shortly. 



House of Commons, February 9, 1915. 
Hansard. i n reply to SIR WILLIAM BULL, MR. McKENNA stated : 

The allegations mentioned in the first part of the question 
have been carefully investigated by the Norfolk constabulary, 
who have traced eight cars which were on the roads about the 
times and places of the Zeppelin's passing. The cars whose 
movements have been described in letters to The Times and 
Morning Post have been identified, and in each case their 
96 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

movements, though consistent with the stories told in the 
papers, have been satisfactorily explained. The occupants 
of the cars were all persons against whom there is no possible 
ground of suspicion. The figures given in the second part 
of the question refer to the prohibited areas on the East and 
South Coasts. The answer to the third and fourth parts of 
the question is that no orders for the removal of alien enemies 
from the East Coast have been suspended by or at tlje instance 
of the Home Office. As regards the fifth point, no car was 
stopped at King's Lynn for infringement of regulations 
there was no order then in force at King's Lynn prohibiting 
bright head lights but after the passing of the Zeppelin 
several cars were warned to extinguish their lights on account 
of this danger. 



ENGAGEMENT AT SHATT-EL-ARAB. 

Constantinople, January 19. 

The Turkish General Staff reports as follows : During K.V., 
a night attack on the English lines at Shatt-el-Arab, the Jan. 19, 
enemy was surprised. He lost 100 killed and wounded. I 9 I 5- 
A detachment of English cavalry attempted to surprise a 
detachment of our infantry in the neighbourhood of Korna 
[Kurna], The attack, which was well supported by the fire 
of a gunboat, was repelled with great enemy losses. At the 
same time the gunboat also was forced to retire. 

TURKISH CLAIMS AND ENGLISH CORRECTIONS. 

Constantinople. 

Headquarters issues following report : K.V., 

On January 2ist, English forces under cover of three J an - 22 > 
gunboats attempted an offensive against our troops which 
were near Korna, but were completely defeated and compelled 
to withdraw with great losses. Our losses were insignificant. 



Press Bureau, January 26. 

With reference to the statement published in the German Times 
war news on January 23rd, as coming from Constantinople, J an - 2 7 
NAVAL 3 Q 97 I915 ' 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

in the following terms : ' On the 2ist instant an English 
force, under cover of three gunboats, took the offensive against 
our troops near Korna, but they were driven back with heavy 
loss. Our losses are without importance/ The facts of this 
engagement, which took place on the 2Oth, were reported by 
General Barrett, as follows : 

' January 2Oth. Reconnaissance was made to-day at 
6 A.M. from Mezera, in co-operation with Navy, to ascertain 
strength and disposition of the enemy's force near Mezera 
and Korna. 

1 Our force found his outposts on the sand hills to the 
south of the Ratta canal, about seven miles to the north of 
Mezera, and drove them across the canal and advanced into 
the marshes within six hundred yards of it. 

' Severe loss was inflicted on the enemy. We shelled his 
dhows and camps, and he was driven back in disorder. 

' His strength was estimated at about five thousand, 
together with six guns. 

' Casualties on our side were about fifty, and our with- 
drawal to Mezera camp was not molested.' 

The version given by the Turks of this reconnaissance is 
not unlike the German account of the recent naval action in 
the North Sea. 



RUSSIAN OPERATIONS IN THE BLACK SEA 

Petrograd, January 22. 

Times, An official statement says : ' In the Black Sea we sank 

Jan. 23, on the igth and 2Oth instant several Turkish sailing vessels, 

and in the neighbourhood of Khopa and Riza we set on fire 

and damaged Turkish barracks and destroyed the lighthouse. 

We also bombarded the bridge.' 

THE GOEBEN MINED 

Athens, January 21. 

Times, According to information received from Constantinople, 

Jan. 23, the Goeben struck a mine which had drifted into the Bosphorus 
I 9 I 5- while returning from a cruise in the Black Sea. She was 

able to reach Beikos in safety. 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Two large transports have been moored in front of the 
Goeben in order to hide the extensive damage to the ship 
from the public. It seems that she cannot be repaired, as 
the plant of the local arsenal is not adequate for a ship of her 
size. 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 53 of the year 1915) 

ENGLAND SOUTH COAST 

Portland Harbour Entrances Anchorage Prohibited 

Position. North ship channel entrance, lat. 50 35" N., L.G., 
long. 2 26' W. Jan. 22, 

Caution. Submarine cables are laid across the three ^S- 
entrances to Portland harbour, and vessels are in consequence 
prohibited from anchoring in their vicinity. 

Charts affected. No. 2268, Portland harbour ; No. 2255, 
Weymouth and Portland. 

Publication. Channel Pilot, Part i., 1908, page 153. 
Authority. Admiral Superintendent, H.M. Dockyard, 
Portsmouth. 

By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 
Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, 22nd January 1915. 

COST OF SHIPPING LOSSES 

The cost of the principal losses at sea last year is estimated Times, 
by the Liverpool Underwriters' Association to have been J an - 22 
twice as heavy as the loss in either of the two preceding 
years. Reckoning only losses amounting to 10,000 and 
upwards, the total cost is placed at 13,688,954, as compared 
with 6,736,000 in 1913 and 6,510,000 in 1912. These losses 
were caused by the destruction of 272 vessels in 1914, 176 
in 1913, and 144 in 1912. The cost of the principal losses at 
sea within the past five years is estimated to have been 
38,291,954, caused by the destruction of 899 vessels. 

The number of total losses of vessels of 500 tons and 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

upwards in 1914 is placed at 323, of which 105 vessels were 
sunk by warships or mines, the war risk proving the most 
serious cause of loss during the year. The next most import- 
ant cause was stranding, which resulted in 100 losses. Fifty- 
four vessels foundered or were abandoned, 25 were lost by 
collision, 23 by fires and explosions, and 16 were ' missing/ 

Of the 323 vessels totally lost, 141 were foreign steamers 
and 115 were British steamers ; 56 were foreign sailing ships 
and only n were British sailing ships. 

DURWARD TORPEDOED BY SUBMARINE 

Amsterdam, January 22. 

Times, A Dutch steam pilot cutter brought to the Hook of 

Jan. 23, Holland this evening the crew of the British steamer Durward, 
I 9 I 5. from Leith to Rotterdam. 

The Durward was torpedoed by the German submarine 
U 19, 13 miles off the Maas lightship. The crew rowed to 
the Maas lightship, and from there were taken off by the pilot 
cutter and landed at the Hook of Holland. 

The Durward was a steel screw steamer of 1301 tons, 
built by A. Stephen and Sons, of Glasgow, and owned by 
G. Gibson and Co., of Leith. She was commanded by Captain 
Wood, and carried a crew of more than twenty. She left 
Leith on Tuesday morning with a cargo of general goods. 

MR. SECRETARY BRYAN ON NEUTRAL 
DUTIES 

New York, January 24. 

Times, The Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, has written to Mr. 

Jan. 26, Stone, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 
i9 J 5- a letter defending the neutrality of the United States in the 

European War. The letter is as follows : 

DEAR MR. STONE, I have received your letter of the 8th 
instant referring to the frequent complaints or charges made 
in one form or another through the Press that this Govern- 
ment has shown partiality to Great Britain, France, or Russia 
against Germany and Austria during the present war, and 
stating that you have received numerous letters to the same 

100 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

effect from sympathisers with the latter Powers. You sum- 
marise various grounds for these complaints and ask that you 
may be furnished with whatever information the Department 
may have touching these points of complaint in order that 
you may be informed as to what the true situation is with 
regard to these matters. 

In order that you may have such information as the 
Department has on the subjects referred to in your letter I 
will take them up seriatim. 

I. Freedom of Communication by Submarine Cables versus ' 
Censored Communication by Wireless 

The reason that wireless messages and cable messages 
require different treatment by a neutral Government is as 
follows : Communications by wireless cannot be interrupted 
by a belligerent. With a submarine cable it is otherwise. 
The possibility of cutting a cable exists, and if a belligerent 
possesses naval superiority a cable is cut, as was the German 
cable near the Azores by one of Germany's enemies, and as 
was the British cable near Fanning Island by a German naval 
force. Since a cable is subject to a hostile attack the responsi- 
bility falls upon a belligerent and not upon a neutral to prevent 
cable communication. 

A more important reason, however, at least from the point 
of view of a neutral Government, is that messages sent out 
from a wireless station in neutral territory may be received 
by belligerent warships on the high seas. If these messages, 
whether plain or in cipher, direct movements of warships or 
convey to them information as to the location of an enemy's 
public or private vessels the neutral territory becomes a base 
of naval operations, to permit which would be essentially 
unneutral. As a wireless message can be received by all 
stations and vessels within a given radius, every message 
in cipher, whatever its intended destination, must be censored. 
Otherwise military information may be sent to warships off 
the coast of a neutral country. It is manifest that a sub- 
marine cable is incapable of becoming a means of direct com- 
munication with a warship on the high seas ; hence its use 
cannot as a rule make a neutral territory a base for the direction 
of naval operations. 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

//. Censorship of Mails and in Some Cases Repeated 
Destruction of American Letters on Neutral Vessels 

As to the censorship of mails, Germany as well as Great 
Britain has pursued this course with regard to private letters 
falling into their hands. The unquestioned right to adopt 
a measure of this sort makes objections to it inadvisable. 
It has been asserted that American mails on board Dutch 
steamers have been repeatedly destroyed. No evidence to 
this effect has been filed with the Government, and therefore 
no representations have been made. Until such a case is 
presented in concrete form this Government would not be 
justified in presenting this matter to the offending belligerent. 
Complaints came to the Department that mails on board 
neutral steamers have been opened and detained, but there 
seem to be but few cases where a mail from neutral countries 
has not been finally delivered. When a mail is sent to 
belligerent countries open, and is of a neutral and private 
character, it has not been molested, so far as the Department 
is advised. 

///. Searching of American Vessels for German and Austrian 
Subjects on the High Seas and in the Territorial Waters 
of a Belligerent 

So far as this Government has been informed no American 
vessels on the high seas, with two exceptions, have been 
detained or searched by belligerent warships for German and 
Austrian subjects. 

One of the exceptions to which reference is made is now 
the subject of rigid investigation and a vigorous representa- 
tion has been made to the offending Government. The other 
exception, where certain German passengers were made to 
sign a promise not to take part in the war, has been brought 
to the attention of the offending Government with a declara- 
tion that such procedure, if true, is an unwarranted exercise 
of jurisdiction over American vessels in which this Government 
will not acquiesce. An American private vessel entering 
voluntarily the territorial waters of a belligerent becomes 
subject to its municipal laws, as do persons on board the 
vessel. There appeared in certain publications an assertion 
that failure to protest in these cases is an abandonment of a 

102 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

principle for which the United States went to war in 1812. 
If the failure to protest were true which it is not the 
principle involved is entirely different from the one appealed 
to against a justifiable (unjustifiable ?) impressment of 
Americans in the British Navy in time of peace. 

IV. Submission without Protest to British Violations of Rules 
Regarding Absolute and Conditional Contraband as 
laid down in The Hague Conventions, the Declaration 
of London, and International Law 

There is no Hague Convention which deals with absolute 
or conditional contraband, and as the Declaration of London 
is not in force, the rules of international law only apply. As 
to articles to be regarded as contraband, there is no general 
agreement between nations. It is the practice of a century, 
either in time of peace or after the outbreak of war, for a 
nation to declare articles which it will consider as absolute 
or conditional contraband. It is true that a neutral Govern- 
ment is seriously affected by this declaration, as the rights 
of its subjects or citizens may be impaired. But the rights 
and the interests of belligerents and neutrals are opposed 
in respect to contraband articles and trade, and there is no 
tribunal to which questions of difference may be readily 
submitted. 

The record of the United States in the past is not free 
from criticism. When neutral, this Government has stood 
for a restricted list of absolute and conditional contraband. 
As a belligerent, we have contended for a liberal list, according 
to our conception of the necessities of the case. The United 
States has made earnest representations to Great Britain in 
regard to the seizure and detention by the British authorities 
of all American ships or cargoes bona fide destined to neutral 
ports, on the ground that such seizures and detentions were 
contrary to the existing rules of international law. It will 
be recalled, however, that the American Courts have estab- 
lished various rules bearing on these matters. The rule of 
' continuous voyage ' has been not only asserted by American 
tribunals, but extended by them. They have exercised the 
right to determine from circumstances whether the ostensible 
was the real destination. They have held that the shipment 
of articles of contraband to a neutral port ' to order/ from 

103 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which, as a matter of fact, cargoes have been shipped to 
an enemy, is corroborative, evidence that the cargo was 
really destined to an enemy instead of to a neutral port 
of delivery. 

It is thus seen that some of the doctrines which appear to 
bear harshly upon neutrals at the present time are analogous 
to, or outgrowths from, policies adopted by the United States 
of America when it was belligerent. The Government, 
therefore, cannot consistently protest against the application 
of rules which it has followed in the past unless they have 
not been practised as heretofore. 

V. Acquiescence without Protest to the Inclusion of Copper 
and other Articles in the British List of Absolute Contraband 

The United States of America has now under consideration 
the question of the right of a belligerent to include ' copper 
unwrought ' in its list of absolute contraband instead of in 
its list of conditional contraband. As the Government of 
the United States of America has in the past placed ' all 
articles from which ammunition was manufactured ' in its 
contraband list and had declared copper to be among such 
materials, it necessarily finds some embarrassment in dealing 
with the subject. Moreover, there is no instance of the 
United States of America acquiescing in Great Britain's 
seizure of a copper shipment. In every case in which it has 
been done vigorous representations have been made to the 
British Government, and representatives of the United States 
of America have pressed for the release of shipments. 

VI. Submission with Protest to Interference with American 
Trade to Neutral Countries in Conditional and Absolute 
Contraband 

The fact that the commerce of the United States is inter- 
rupted by Great Britain is consequent upon the superiority 
of her Navy on the high seas. History shows that whenever 
a country has possessed that superiority our trade has been 
interrupted and that few articles essential to the prosecution 
of war have been allowed to reach its enemy from this country. 
The Department's recent Note to the British Government, 
which has been made public, in regard to the detentions and 
104 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

seizures of American vessels and cargoes, is a complete answer 
to this complaint. 

Certain other complaints appear to be aimed at the loss 
of profit in trade, which must include, at least in part, trade 
in contraband with Germany, while other complaints demand 
the prohibition of trade in contraband, which appears to refer 
to trade with the Allies. 

VII. Submission without Protest to Interruption of Trade in 
Conditional Contraband consigned to Private Persons 
in Germany and Austria, thereby supporting the Policy 
of Great Britain to cut off all Supplies from Germany 
and Austria 

As no American vessel, so far as is known, has attempted 
to carry conditional contraband to Germany or Austria- 
Hungary, no ground of complaint has arisen out of the seizure 
or condemnation by Great Britain of an American vessel with 
a belligerent destination. Until a case arises, and the Gov- 
ernment has taken action upon it, criticism is premature and 
unwarranted. 

The United States, in its Note of December 28th to the 
British Government, strongly contended for the principle of 
freedom of trade in articles of conditional contraband not 
destined to belligerent forces. 

VIII. Submission to the British in their Interference with 
Trade in Petroleum, Rubber, Leather, and Wool 

Petrol and other petroleum products have been proclaimed 
by Great Britain as contraband of war. In view of the 
absolute necessity of such products to the use of submarines, 
aeroplanes, and motors the United States Government has 
not yet reached the conclusion that they are improperly 
included in the list of contraband. Military operations 
to-day are largely a question of motive power through mechan- 
ical devices. It is, therefore, difficult to argue successfully 
against the inclusion of petroleum among articles of contra- 
band. As to the detention of cargoes of petroleum going to 
neutral countries, this Government has thus far successfully 
obtained the release in every case of detention or seizure 
which have been brought to its attention. 

Great Britain and France have placed rubber on the 

105 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

absolute contraband list, and leather on the conditional list. 
Rubber is extensively used in the manufacture and operation 
of motors, and, like petrol, is* regarded as essential to motor 
power to-day. Leather is even more widely used in cavalry 
and infantry equipment. It is understood that both rubber 
and leather, together with wool, have been embargoed by 
most of the belligerent countries. 

It will be recalled that the United States has in the past 
exercised the right of embargo upon exports of any com- 
modity which might aid an enemy's cause. 

IX. The United States has not interfered with the Sale to 
Great Britain and her Allies of Arms, Horses, Uniforms, 
and other Munitions of War, although such Sales prolong 
the Conflict 

There is no power in the Executive to prevent the sale of 
ammunition to belligerents. The duty of a neutral to restrict 
trade in munitions of war has never been imposed by inter- 
national law or by municipal statute. It has never been the 
policy of this Government to prevent the shipment of arms or 
ammunition into belligerent territory except in the case of 
neighbouring American Republics, and then only when civil 
strife prevailed. Even to this extent the belligerents in the 
present conflict, when they are neutrals, have never, so far 
as records disclose, limited the sale of munitions of war. 
It is only necessary to point to the enormous quantities 
of arms and ammunition furnished by manufacturers in 
Germany to belligerents in the Russo-Japanese War and in 
the recent Balkan Wars to establish the general recognition 
of the propriety of this trade by a neutral nation. 

It may be added that on December isth the German 
Ambassador, by direction of his Government, presented a 
copy of a Memorandum of the Imperial German Govern- 
ment which, among other things, set forth the attitude 
of that Government towards traffic in contraband of war 
by citizens of neutral countries. The Imperial Government 
stated that 

' under the general principles of international law 
no exception can be taken to neutral States letting war 
material go to Germany's enemies from or through 
neutral territory ' ; 
106 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

and that 

' adversaries of Germany in the present war are, in 

the opinion of the Imperial Government, authorised to 

draw on the United States contraband of war, and 

especially arms, worth billions of marks/ 

These principles, as the Ambassador stated, have been 

accepted by the United States Government in a statement 

issued by the Department of State on October I5th last 

entitled, ' Neutrality and trade in contraband/ Acting in 

conformity with the propositions there set forth, the United 

States has itself taken no part in contraband traffic, and has, 

so far as possible, lent its influence towards equal treatment 

for all belligerents in the matter of purchasing arms and 

ammunition of private persons in the United States. 

X. The United States has not suppressed the Sale of Dum- 
dum Bullets to Great Britain 

On December 5th last the German Ambassador addressed 
a Note to the Department, stating that the British Govern- 
ment had ordered from the Winchester Repeating Arms 
Company 20,000 shot guns, model 1897, and 50,000,000 
buckshot cartridges for use in such guns. The Department 
replied that it saw published the statement of the Winchester 
Company, the correctness of which Germany has confirmed 
to the Department by telegraph. In this statement the 
company categorically denies it has received an order for such 
guns and cartridges from, or made any sales of such material 
to, the British Government, or to any other Government 
engaged in the present war. The Ambassador further called 
attention to * information, the accuracy of which is not to 
be doubted/ that 8,000,000 cartridges filled with mushroom 
bullets had been delivered since October by the Union Metallic 
Cartridge Company for the armament of the British Army. 
In its reply, the Department referred to a letter of December 
loth, 1914, of the Remington Arms Union Metallic Com- 
pany of New York to the Ambassador, called forth by certain 
newspaper reports of statements alleged to have been made 
by the Ambassador in regard to sales by that company of 
soft-nosed bullets. From this letter, a copy of which was 
sent to the Department by the company, it appears that, 
instead of 8,000,000 cartridges having been sold, only a little 

107 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

over 117,000 were manufactured and 109,000 were sold. 
The letter further asserts that these cartridges were made to 
supply a demand for better" sporting cartridges with soft- 
nosed bullets than have been manufactured heretofore, and 
that such cartridges cannot be used in the military rifles of 
any foreign Power. The company adds that its statements 
can be substantiated, and that it is ready to give the Ambas- 
sador any evidence he may require on these points. 

The Department further stated that it was also in receipt 
from the company of a complete detailed list of persons to 
whom these cartridges were sold, and that from this list it 
appeared that cartridges were sold to a firm in lots of 20 to 
2,000, and in one lot each of 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000. Of these 
only 960 cartridges went to British North America and 100 
to British East Africa. The Department added that if the 
Ambassador could furnish evidence that this or any other 
company was manufacturing and selling for the use of the 
contending armies cartridges whose use would contravene 
The Hague Conventions the Department would be glad to be 
furnished with this evidence ; and that the President would, 
in case any American company could be shown to be engaged 
in this traffic, use his influence to prevent, so far as possible, 
sales of such ammunition to Powers engaged in the European 
War, without regard to whether it was the duty of this Govern- 
ment upon legal or conventional grounds to take such action. 
The substance of both the Ambassador's Note and the Depart- 
ment's reply have appeared in the Press. 

The Department has received no other complaints of 
alleged sales of dum-dum bullets by American citizens to 
belligerent Governments. 

XI. British Warships are permitted to be off American Ports 

and intercept Neutral Vessels 

The complaint is unjustified from the fact that repre- 
sentations were made to the British Government that the 
presence of war vessels in the vicinity of New York harbour 
was offensive to this Government, and a similar complaint 
was made to the Japanese Government as to one of its cruisers 
in the vicinity of the port of Honolulu. In both cases the 
warships were withdrawn. It will be recalled that in 1863 
the Department took the position that captures made by 
108 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

vessels, after hovering about neutral ports, would not be 
regarded as valid. In the Franco-Prussian War President 
Grant issued a Proclamation of warning against such practices. 
The same policy has been maintained in the present war, and 
all the recent proclamations of neutrality by the President 
state that such practice of belligerent warships is ' unfriendly 
and offensive/ 

XII. Great Britain and her Allies are allowed without Protest 
to disregard American Citizenship Papers and Passports 

American citizenship papers have been disregarded in 
comparatively few instances by Great Britain, but the same 
is true of all belligerents. Bearers of American passports 
have been arrested in all countries at war. In every case of 
apparent illegal arrest the United States Government has 
entered vigorous protests, with a request of release. The 
Department does not know of any cases, except one or two 
which are still under investigation, in which naturalised 
Germans have not been released upon representations of this 
Government. 

There have, however, come to the Department's notice 
authentic cases in which American passports have been 
fraudulently obtained and used by certain German subjects. 
The Department of Justice has recently apprehended at 
least four persons of German nationality who, it is alleged, 
obtained American passports under the pretence of being 
American citizens, and for the purpose of returning to 
Germany without molestation by her enemies during the 
voyage. 

There are indications that a systematic plan had been 
devised to obtain American passports through fraud for the 
purpose of securing a safe passage for German officers and 
reservists desiring to return to Germany. Such fraudulent 
use of passports by Germans themselves can have no other 
effect than to cast suspicion upon American passports in 
general. New regulations, however, requiring, among other 
things, the attaching of photographs of the bearer to his 
passport under the seal of the Department of State and the 
vigilance of the Department of Justice, will doubtless prevent 
further misuse of American passports. 

109 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

XIII. Change of Policy in Regard to Loans to 
Belligerents 

War loans in this country were disapproved because 
they were inconsistent with the spirit of neutrality. There 
is a clearly defined difference between a war loan and the 
purchase of arms and ammunition. The policy of disap- 
proving of war loans affects all Governments alike, so that 
the disapproval is not an unneutral act. The case is entirely 
different in the matter of arms and ammunition, because the 
prohibition of -export not only might not, but in this case would 
not, operate equally upon the nations at war. Then, too, 
the reason given for the disapproval of war loans is the sale 
of arms and ammunition. 

The taking of. money out of the United States during 
such a war as this might seriously embarrass the Government 
in case it needed to borrow money, and might also seriously 
impair this nation's ability to assist neutral nations which, 
although not participants in this war, are compelled to bear 
a heavy burden on account of the war. And, again, a war 
loan, if offered for popular subscription in the United States, 
would be taken up chiefly by those who are in sympathy 
with the belligerent seeking the loan. The result would be 
that great numbers of the American people might become 
more earnest partisans, having a material interest in the 
success of the belligerent whose bonds they hold. These 
purchasers would not be confined to a few, but would be 
spread generally throughout the country, so that people 
would be divided into groups of partisans, a state of things 
which would result in intense bitterness and might cause an 
undesirable, if not a serious, situation. 

On the other hand, contracts for, and sales of, contraband 
are mere matters of trade. The manufacturer, unless par- 
ticularly sentimental, would sell to one belligerent as readily 
as he would to another. No general spirit of partisanship is 
aroused no sympathies excited. The whole transaction is 
merely a matter of business. 

This Government has not been advised that any general 
loans have been made by foreign Governments in this country 
since the President expressed his wish that loans of this 
character should not be made, 
no 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

XIV. Submission to the Arrest of Native-born Americans on 
Neutral Vessels and in British Ports and their Imprisonment 

The general charge as to the arrest of American-born 
citizens on board neutral vessels and in British ports, the 
ignoring of their passports, and their confinement in gaols, 
requires evidence to support it. That there have been cases 
of injustice of this sort is unquestionably true, but Americans 
in Germany have suffered in this way as Americans have in 
Great Britain. This Government has considered that the 
majority of these cases resulted from over-zealousness on the 
part of subordinate officials in both countries. Every case 
which has been brought to the attention of the Department 
of State has been properly investigated, and, if the facts 
warranted, a demand for release has been made. 

XV. Indifference to the Confinement of Non-Combatants in 
Detention Camps in England and France 

As to the detention of non-combatants confined in con- 
centration camps, all belligerents, with, perhaps, the excep- 
tions of Serbia and Russia, have made similar complaints, 
and those for whom this Government is acting have asked 
for investigations, which representatives of this Government 
have made impartially. Their reports have shown that the 
treatment of prisoners is generally as good as possible under 
the conditions in all countries, and that there is no more 
reason to say that they are mistreated in one country than 
in another country, or that this Government has manifested 
indifference in the matter. 

As this Department's efforts at investigation seemed to 
develop bitterness between the countries, the Department, on 
November 20th, sent a circular of instruction to its repre- 
sentatives not to undertake further investigations in con- 
centration camps. But at the special request of the German 
Government that Mr. Jackson, the former American Minister 
at Bukarest, now attached to the American Embassy in 
Berlin, should make an investigation of prison camps in 
England in addition to the investigations already made, the 
Department has consented to dispatch Mr. Jackson on this 
special mission. 



in 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



XVI. Failure to Prevent Transhipment of British Troops 
and War Materials across the Territory of the United States 

The Department has had no specific case of the passage of 
convoys or troops across its territory brought to its notice. 
There have been rumours to this effect, but no actual facts 
have been presented. The transhipment of reservists of all 
the belligerents who have requested the privilege has been 
permitted on condition that they travel as individuals and 
not as organised, uniformed, or armed bodies. The German 
Embassy has advised the Department that it would not be 
likely to avail itself of the privilege, but Germany's ally, 
Austria-Hungary, did so. Only one case raising the question 
of the transit of war material owned by a belligerent across 
United States territory has come to the notice of the Depart- 
ment. This was a request on the part of the Canadian Gov- 
ernment for permission to ship equipment across Alaska to 
the sea. The request was refused. 

XVII. Treatment and Final Internment of the German 
s.s. Geier and Collier Locksun at Honolulu 

The Geier entered Honolulu on October I5th in an unsea- 
worthy condition. The commanding officer reported the 
necessity of extensive repairs which would require an indefinite 
period for completion. The vessel was allowed the generous 
period of three weeks to November 7th to make repairs and 
leave port, or, failing to do so, be interned. A longer period 
would have been contrary to international practice, which 
does not permit a vessel to remain for a long time in a neutral 
port for the purpose of repairing generally a run-down con- 
dition due to long service. Soon after the German cruiser 
arrived at Honolulu a Japanese cruiser appeared oif the port, 
and the commander of the Geier chose to intern the vessel 
rather than depart from the harbour. Shortly after the 
Geier entered the port of Honolulu the steamer Locksun 
arrived. It was found that this vessel had delivered coal to 
the Geier en route, and had accompanied her towards Hawaii. 
As she had thus constituted herself a tender or a collier to 
the Geier she was accorded the same treatment and interned 
on November 7th. 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

XVIII. Unfairness to Germany in Rules relative to the 
Coaling of Warships in the Panama Canal Zone 

By proclamation of November 13th, 1914, certain special 
restrictions were placed on the coaling of warships or their 
tenders or colliers in the Canal zone. These regulations were 
framed through collaboration with the State, Navy, and War 
Departments, and without the slightest reference to favour- 
itism to belligerents. Before these regulations were pro- 
claimed war vessels could procure coal of the Panama Railway 
in the zone ports, but no belligerent vessels are known to 
have done so. Under the proclamation fuel may be taken 
on by belligerent warships only with the consent of the Canal 
authorities, and in such amounts as will enable them to reach 
the nearest accessible neutral port, and the amount so taken 
on shall be deducted from the amount procurable in United 
States ports within three months thereafter. Now it is 
charged that the United States has shown partiality because 
Great Britain and not Germany happens to have colonies in 
the near vicinity where British ships may coal, while Germany 
has no such coaling facilities. Thus it is intimated that the 
United States should balance the inequalities of geographical 
position by a refusal to allow any warships of belligerents to 
coal in the Canal until the war is over. As no German war- 
ship has sought to obtain coal in the Canal zone the charge of 
discrimination rests upon the possibility which, during several 
months of warfare, has failed to materialise. 

XIX. Failure to Protest against Modifications of the Declara- 
tion of London by the British Government 

The German Foreign Office presented to our diplomats in 
Berlin a memorandum, dated October loth, calling attention 
to violations and changes in the Declaration of London by 
the British Government, and inquiring the attitude of the 
United States towards such action on the part of the Allies. 
The substance of the memorandum was forthwith telegraphed 
to the Department on October 22nd, and was replied to 
shortly thereafter to the effect that the United States had 
withdrawn its suggestion, made early in the war, that for the 
sake of uniformity the Declaration of London should be 
adopted as a temporary code of naval warfare during the 
NAVAL 3 H 113 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

present war owing to the unwillingness of belligerents to accept 
the Declaration without changes and modifications ; and that 
thenceforth the United States would insist that the rights of 
the United States and her citizens in the war should be gov- 
erned by the existing rules of international law. As this 
Government is not interested in the adoption of the Declara- 
tion of London by belligerents, modifications by belligerents 
in that code of naval warfare are of no concern to it except 
as they adversely affect the rights of the United States and 
its citizens as defined by international law. In so far as 
those rights have been infringed the Department has made 
every effort to obtain redress for the losses sustained. 

XX. General Unfriendly Attitude of the Government toward 
Germany and Austria 

If any American citizens, partisans of Germany and 
Austria-Hungary, feel that this Administration is acting in 
any way injurious to the cause of those countries, this feeling 
results from the fact that on the high seas the German and 
Austro-Hungarian naval power is thus far inferior to the 
British. It is the business of belligerent operations on the 
high seas, not the duty of a neutral, to prevent contraband 
from reaching the enemy. Those in this country who sym- 
pathise with Germany and Austria-Hungary appear to assume 
that some obligation rests upon this Government, in the 
performance of its neutral duty, to prevent all trade in con- 
traband and thus to equalise the difference due to the relative 
naval strength of the belligerents. No such obligation exists. 
It would be an unneutral act of partiality on the part of this 
Government to adopt such a policy, if the Executive had the 
power to do so. If Germany and Austria-Hungary cannot 
import contraband from this country it is not because of that 
fact the duty of the United States to close its markets to the 
Allies. The markets of this country are open upon equal 
terms to all the world, to every nation, belligerent or neutral. 

The foregoing categorical replies to specific complaints is 
a sufficient answer to the charge of unfriendliness to Germany 
and Austria-Hungary. 

I am, my dear Senator, very sincerely yours, 

(Signed) W. J. BRYAN. 
114 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

BRITISH NAVAL RAID ON ALEXANDRETTA 

Cairo, January 28. 

The following communique has been issued here : 
* On January 24th and 25th small parties landed in Times, 
Alexandretta Bay, north and south of the town, and cut six Jan. 29, 
telegraph wires. No serious resistance was offered and there 
were no casualties/ 



The following appears in the German war news issued from ibid. 
Berlin under date January 28th: 'Turkish Headquarters 
reports the vain attempt of the British cruiser Doris to land 
troops near Alexandretta/ 

ACTION OFF THE DOGGER BANK 

Admiralty, January 24. 

Early this morning a British patrolling squadron of Times, 
battle cruisers and light cruisers under Vice-Admiral Sir J an - 2 5 
David Beatty, with a Destroyer Flotilla under Commodore 
Tyrwhitt, sighted four German battle cruisers, several light 
cruisers, and a number of destroyers steering westward, and 
apparently making for the English coast. The enemy made 
for home at high speed. 

They were at once pursued, and at about 9.30 A.M. action 
was joined between the battle cruisers Lion, Tiger, Princess 
Royal, New Zealand, and Indomitable on the one hand, and 
Derfflinger, Seydlitz, Moltke, and Blucher on the other. 

A well-contested running fight ensued. Shortly after 
one o'clock Blucher, which had previously fallen out of the 
line, capsized and sank. Admiral Beatty reports that two 
other German battle cruisers were seriously damaged. They 
were, however, able to continue their flight and reached an 
area where dangers from German submarines and mines pre- 
vented further pursuit. 

No British ships have been lost, and our casualties in 
personnel as at present reported are slight, Lion, which led 
the line, having only eleven wounded and no killed. 

One hundred and twenty-three survivors have been 
rescued from Blucher s crew of 885, and it is possible that 
others have been saved by some of our destroyers. 

"5 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

No reports of any destroyer or light cruiser fighting have 
yet been received at the Admiralty, though some has apparently 
taken place. 

Their Lordships have expressed their satisfaction to Vice- 
Admiral Sir David Beatty. 



Amsterdam, January 25. 

An official telegram from Berlin gives the German version 
of the naval battle in the North Sea. It says : 

' During an advance in the North Sea by the armoured 
cruisers Seydlitz, Derfflinger, Moltke, and Blucher, which were 
accompanied by four small cruisers and two flotillas of torpedo- 
boats, the squadron became engaged with British forces 
composed of five battle cruisers, several small cruisers, and 
twenty-six destroyers. 

' The enemy broke off the engagement after a fight of three 
hours' duration seventy miles west-north-west of Heligoland, 
and retreated. 

' According to the information available one British battle 
cruiser, and on our side the armoured cruiser Blucher, were 
sunk. All the other German vessels have returned to port. 

' VON BEHNCKE/ 

Amsterdam, January 28. 

Times, A Renter telegram from Berlin gives the following : 

Jan. 29, Rear-Admiral Hipper, with small scouting cruisers, met 

I 9 I 5- the British squadron 120 miles west of Heligoland. The 

number and classes of the British ships were superior to the 
German. The Admiral turned south-east to find support 
nearer to the coast, or to have favourable sun and wind 
conditions. The British ships ran nearly parallel to the 
German force, a distance of about 20 kilometres. The battle 
opened at a range of 15 kilometres. The British concentrated 
their fire on the last German ship, Blucher, having the advan- 
tage of greater speed. The Blucher's engines were soon 
damaged, and she was obliged to fall back, but still kept on 
firing. The two attacking British destroyers were sunk by 
the Blucher's fire. A third destroyer was probably sunk by 
a German submarine. The Blucher was torpedoed by another 
destroyer, and blew up at 12.37 P - M - Seventy sea miles from 
Heligoland the British squadron turned, fearing German 
116 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

reinforcements or the minefields, or perhaps owing to the 
condition of its own ships. The leading ship, the Lion, and 
the second, the Tiger, were burning. Amidst the smoke 
a British battleship went near a German torpedo-boat which 
had remained on the spot. The torpedo-boat torpedoed the 
battleship, which soon sank. This fact is confirmed by the 
observation of a German airship to the battle cruiser Moltke. 
The German light forces did not participate. The German 
losses were the Blucher sunk. Two hundred men were 
rescued by a British torpedo-boat. One battle cruiser and 
one small cruiser were hit, and had some dead. The torpedo- 
boats returned undamaged. The damage to the Lion is 
apparently serious, as she was towed by the Indomitable. 
The name of the British battleship which sank is unknown. 



Further detailed reports have come to hand concerning K.D., 
the sea fight which took place on Sunday between the hours Jan. 
of about 9 A.M. and 12.30 noon, and they not only confirm I 9 I 4- 
the first German reports to the fullest extent, but they also 
add complementary details to the same effect. It is im- 
portant that this fact should be stated beforehand, as to-day 
the statement is repeated by the English that no English 
ship was lost. Admittedly, however, the ' official ' report 
does not emanate from the English Admiralty, but it was 
rather sent out to the world under the auspices of Renter's 
Agency. As against the English denial, we adhere to the 
statement that a British battle cruiser was sunk during the 
fight off Heligoland. This is beyond a doubt. The sinking 
was observed by a Zeppelin cruiser which was hovering over 
the battle area, and further by our armoured cruiser Moltke 
as well as by the torpedo-boat which was able to fire two 
torpedoes at the already heavily damaged British warship. 

As already known four large cruisers, several light cruisers 
and two torpedo-boat flotillas took part in the fight on 
the German side. The German ships were steaming on a 
westerly course west-north-west from Heligoland. They were 
presumably steaming in the normal formation of single line 
ahead, i.e. with ttie four large cruisers leading, followed by 
the light cruisers, the torpedo-boats being close to the large 
cruisers. 

117 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The English force came from the direction of the English 
coast. What objects the Epglish forces had in view are 
naturally not known here. It is possible that they were 
merely performing patrol duty. The enemy was sighted 
120 nautical miles west-north-west of Heligoland. Our force 
then changed its course to a south-easterly one. This 
manoeuvre had obviously for its object to draw the enemy 
nearer to the German coast, where possibly Heligoland might 
take a hand, or where perhaps German submarines or German 
minefields might prove effective. 

Considerations of wind and light conditions, which are 
well known to have their importance on the course of sea 
actions, may not have been without their influence on the 
decision of the German Admiral. Both opponents moving 
in a south-easterly direction, the German line found itself 
brought nearer to the English. The fight developed in a 
south-easterly direction and approached to within 70 English 
miles of Heligoland. When both fighting forces were about 
20 kilometres distant from each other the English Admiral 
opened fire. The commander of the German forces, Admiral 
Hipper, had hoisted his flag on the Seydlitz at the head of 
the line. The Blucher occupied the last position among the 
large cruisers. 

With reference to the Blucher , her speed must be reckoned 
at 25 knots at most, whilst the English ships could raise 
their speed to 28 knots, which, as a matter of course, gave 
them the advantage. In spite of this superiority the English 
did not attempt to get nearer to the German ships, but tried 
to obtain hits at a distance of close on 20 kilometres. Later 
on the distance was reduced to about 15 kilometres. The 
Blucher was subjected to heavy fire by the English. Soon 
after the commencement of the action a heavy shot damaged 
her machinery, causing her to list over, but she continued 
the action. The other German ships could not come to her 
help as they had to continue the fight. Her ability to man- 
oeuvre being naturally greatly impaired, English torpedo- 
boats were able to approach the Blucher and complete her 
destruction with torpedoes. At 12.37 a violent explosion 
was heard, after which the Blucher sank. * 

It has been firmly established that the fight with the 
Blucher cost the English two torpedo-boat destroyers which 
118 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

were destroyed by her. For the reasons already stated our 
forces were unable to take part in the rescue work. The 
survivors of the Blucher, which was the ship furthest advanced 
in the direction of England, were picked up by English light 
forces. The number of those rescued has reached 200. 

In the meanwhile the fight had proceeded and was then 
broken off by the English Admiral. As to the cause of this 
decision, it is left to conjecture as far as the German side is 
concerned. Heligoland cannot have had any immediate 
bearing on the point, as it was still 70 nautical miles away. 

Whether his approach towards the German coast made 
him feel uncomfortable, whether he had anxious thoughts 
with regard to German submarines, or whether the falling 
out of one of his battle cruisers decided him, we are unable 
to establish. The last indicated reason is the most probable 
one. The fact remains that a battle cruiser was left behind 
and, surrounded with steam and smoke clouds, got close to 
a German torpedo-boat which hit her twice with torpedoes. 
Her destruction, as already pointed out, is established with 
absolute certainty. By comparing this loss to that of the 
Blucher the English loss in this respect alone is consider- 
ably greater, as a modern battle cruiser is concerned on the 
English side. 

In addition to this, serious damage was observed on the 
English ships, such as the falling over of masts and funnels. 
Even English reports admit freely that the Lion was hit 
below the waterline and, some of the compartments filling, 
she had to be taken in tow by the Indomitable. Judging by 
the circumstance reported in the English accounts that ten 
men were killed and ten wounded on the Lion, it follows that 
other German shots must have pierced the armour and there- 
fore have caused considerable damage. 

It was further observed from the German side that a great 
fire and damage to machinery was caused by hits in another 
English battle cruiser. To the above must be added the 
loss of the torpedo-boat destroyers. Besides the craft of 
this description already mentioned as having been sunk by 
shots from the Blucher, a destroyer was annihilated by a 
German submarine. A fourth destroyer (Meteor) suffered 
such serious damage that she had to be taken in tow. The 
light cruisers did not take part in the fight on either side. 

wsgr 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Apart from the Blucher our ships did not suffer vitally. 
One of our cruisers was quite undamaged. In another 
there was slight material damage as well as the loss of a few 
lives caused by a direct hit. A third cruiser showed un- 
important damage by shell-fire and two killed. Not one of 
the German torpedo-boats was sunk or damaged ; neither is 
there any loss of life to deplore. 

The above is the truth concerning the fight off Heligoland, 
which the English Press has exaggerated into a great victory. 
We undoubtedly deplore with sorrow the loss of the Blucher 
and of several hundreds of brave German seamen. They 
died a hero's death and met it with courage and calm devo- 
tion to duty. We can, however, look back with satisfaction 
upon the issue of this fight which certainly did not terminate 
unfavourably for Germany. 

[From the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.] 



Berlin, February^, 1915. 
Main Headquarters reports as follows : 

Times, < Commenting on the gradual admissions in official reports 

IQIS 4> * Damage done to British cruisers, the German papers point 

out that it now becomes known the Lion, the Tiger, the 

Princess Royal, and the New Zealand are more or less 

damaged/ 

(Official.) 

Berlin, February 5. 

Times, The credit for the destruction of the British battle cruiser 

Feb. 6, on January 24th is due to destroyer ' V 5,' Commander- 

19*5 Lieutenant von Uchorn, who launched torpedoes from a 

range of five miles, thus showing the exceptional qualities of 

the German torpedoes in range and good explosive powers. 

The Admiralty officers regard the destruction of the cruiser 

as an established fact beyond all possible doubt, because of 

the corroborative testimony of a large number of officers and 

men, who identify the cruiser with considerable certainty as 

the Tiger. German Wireless. 



130 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Admiralty, January 26. 

All the British ships and destroyers engaged in Sunday's Times, 
action have returned safely to port. Jan. 27, 

The Lion, which had some of her forward compartments I 9 I 5- 
flooded by a shell below the waterline, was taken in tow by the 
Indomitable. The destroyer Meteor, which was also disabled, 
was taken in tow by the destroyer Liberty. Both vessels 
were guarded by strong escorts of destroyers. The repairs to 
both vessels can speedily be effected. 

The total number of casualties among officers and men 
reported to the Admiralty is : 

Lion. Seventeen men wounded. 

Tiger. One officer and nine men killed and three officers 
and eight men wounded. 

Meteor. Four men killed and one man wounded. 

It is not believed that any other casualties have occurred, 
but if so they will immediately be published. 

As soon as Sir David Beatty's report is received a fuller 
account will be given. 



Admiralty, March 3, 1915. 

The following despatch has been received from Vice- Times, 
Admiral Sir David Beatty, K.C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., com- March 3, 
manding the First Battle Cruiser Squadron, reporting the 
action in the North Sea on Sunday, January 24th, 1915 : 

H.M.S. Princess Royal, February 2, 1915. 

SIR, I have the honour to report that at daybreak on 
January 24th, 1915, the following vessels were patrolling in 
company. 

The battle cruisers Lion, Captain Alfred E. M. Chatfield, 
C.V.O., flying my flag ; Princess Royal, Captain Osmond de 
B. Brock, Aide-de-Camp ; Tiger, Captain Henry B. Pelly, 
M.V.O. ; New Zealand, Captain Lionel Halsey, C.M.G., 
Aide-de-Camp, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Archibald 
Moore, K.C.B., C.V.O. ; and Indomitable, Captain Francis W. 
Kennedy. 

The light cruisers Southampton, flying the broad pendant 
of Commodore William E. Goodenough, M.V.O. ; Nottingham, 
Captain Charles B. Miller ; Birmingham, Captain Arthur 

121 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

A. M. Duff ; and Lowestoft, Captain Theobald W. B. Kennedy, 
were disposed on my port beam. 

Commodore (T) Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt, C.B., in Arethusa, 
Aurora, Captain Wilmot S. Nicholson, Undaunted, Captain 
Francis G. St. John, M.V.O., Arethusa and the Destroyer 
Flotillas were ahead. 

At 7.25 A.M. the flash of guns was observed S.S.E. Shortly 
afterwards a report reached me from Aurora that she was 
engaged with enemy's ships. I immediately altered course 
to S.S.E., increased to 22 knots, and ordered the light cruisers 
and flotillas to chase S.S.E. to get in touch and report move- 
ments of enemy. 

This order was acted upon with great promptitude, in- 
deed my wishes had already been forestalled by the respec- 
tive senior officers, and reports almost immediately followed 
from Southampton, Arethusa, and Aurora, as to the position 
and composition of the enemy, which consisted of 3 battle 
cruisers and Blucher, 6 light cruisers, and a number of 
destroyers, steering N.W. The enemy had altered course 
to S.E. From now onwards the light cruisers maintained 
touch with the enemy, and kept me fully informed as to 
their movements. 

The battle cruisers worked up to full speed, steering to 
the southward. The wind at the time was N.E., light, with 
extreme visibility. At 7.30 A.M. the enemy were sighted on 
the port bow steaming fast, steering approximately S.E. dis- 
tant 14 miles. 

Owing to the prompt reports received we had attained 
our position on the quarter of the enemy, and so altered course 
to S.E. parallel to them, and settled down to a long stern 
chase, gradually increasing our speed until we reached 28-5 
knots. Great credit is due to the engineer staffs of New 
Zealand and Indomitable these ships greatly exceeded their 
normal speed. 

At 8.52 A.M., as we had closed to within 20,000 yards of 
the rear ship, the battle cruisers manoeuvred to keep on a 
line of bearing so that guns would bear, and Lion fired a 
single shot, which fell short. The enemy at this time were 
in single line ahead, with light cruisers ahead and a large 
number of destroyers on their starboard beam. 

Single shots were fired at intervals to test the range, and 
122 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

at 9.9 A.M. Lion made her first hit on the Blucher, No. 4 in the 
line. The Tiger opened fire at 9.20 A.M. on the rear ship, the 
Lion shifted to No. 3 in the line, at 18,000 yards, this ship 
being hit by several salvoes. The enemy returned our fire 
at 9.14 A.M. Princess Royal, on coming into range, opened 
fire on Blucher, the range of the leading ship being 17,500 
yards, at 9.35 A.M. New Zealand was within range of Blucher, 
which had dropped somewhat astern, and opened fire on her. 
Princess Royal shifted to the third ship in the line, inflicting 
considerable damage on her. 

Our flotilla cruisers and destroyers had gradually dropped 
from a position broad on our beam to our port quarter, so as 
not to foul our range with their smoke ; but the enemy's 
destroyers threatening attack, the Meteor and M Division 
passed ahead of us, Captain the Hon. H. Meade, D.S.O., 
handling this Division with conspicuous ability. 

About 9.45 A.M. the situation was as follows : Blucher, 
the fourth in their line, already showed signs of having suffered 
severely from gun-fire ; their leading ship and No. 3 were 
also on fire. Lion was engaging No. i, Princess Royal No. 3, 
New Zealand No. 4, while the Tiger, who was second in our 
line, fired first at their No. I, and when interfered with by 
smoke, at their No. 4. 

The enemy's destroyers emitted vast columns of smoke 
to screen their battle cruisers, and under cover of this the 
latter now appeared to have altered course to the northward 
to increase their distance, and certainly the rear ships hauled 
out on the port quarter of their leader, thereby increasing 
their distance from our line. The battle cruisers, therefore, 
were ordered to form a line of bearing N.N.W., and proceed 
at their utmost speed. 

Their destroyers then showed evident signs of an attempt 
to attack. Lion and Tiger opened fire on them, and caused 
them to retire and resume their original course. 

The light cruisers maintained an excellent position on the 
port quarter of the enemy's line, enabling them to observe 
and keep touch, or attack any vessel that might fall out of the 
line. 

At 10.48 A.M., the Blucher, which had dropped consider- 
ably astern of enemy's line, hauled out to port, steering north 
with a heavy list, on fire, and apparently in a defeated con- 

123 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

dition. I consequently ordered Indomitable to attack enemy 
breaking northward. 

At 10.54 A - M - submarines were reported on the starboard 
bow, and I personally observed the wash of a periscope two 
points on our starboard bow. I immediately turned to port. 

At 11.3 A.M. an injury to the Lion being reported as in- 
capable of immediate repair, I directed Lion to shape course 
N.W. At 11.20 A.M. I called the Attack alongside, shifting 
my flag to her at about 11.35 A.M. I proceeded at utmost 
speed to rejoin the Squadron, and met them at noon retiring 
N.N.W. 

I boarded and hoisted my flag in Princess Royal at about 
12.20 P.M., when Captain Brock acquainted me of what had 
occurred since the Lion fell out of the line, namely, that Blucher 
had been sunk and that the enemy battle cruisers had con- 
tinued their course to the eastward in a considerably damaged 
condition. He also informed me that a Zeppelin and a sea- 
plane had endeavoured to drop bombs on the vessels which 
went to the rescue of the survivors of Blucher. 

The good seamanship of Lieut. -Commander Cyril Callaghan, 
H.M.S. Attack, in placing his vessel alongside the Lion and 
subsequently the Princess Royal, enabled the transfer of flag 
to be made in the shortest possible time. 

At 2 P.M. I closed Lion and received a report that the 
starboard engine was giving trouble owing to priming, and at 
3.38 P.M. I ordered Indomitable to take her in tow, which was 
accomplished by 5 P.M. 

The greatest credit is due to the Captains of Indomitable 
and Lion for the seamanlike manner in which the Lion was 
taken in tow under difficult circumstances. 

The excellent steaming of the ships engaged in the opera- 
tion was a conspicuous feature. 

I attach an appendix giving the names of various officers 
and men who specially distinguished themselves. 

Where all did well it is difficult to single out officers and 
men for special mention, and as Lion and Tiger were the only 
ships hit by the enemy, the majority of these I mention belong 
to those ships. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient 
Servant, 

(Signed) DAVID BEATTY, 

Vice-Admiral. 
124 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

OFFICERS 

Commander Charles A. Fountaine, H.M.S. Lion. 

Lieutenant-Commander Evan C. Bunbury, H.M.S. Lion. 

Lieutenant Frederick T. Peters, H.M.S. Meteor. 

Lieutenant Charles M. R. Schwerdt, H.M.S. Lion. 

Engineer-Commander Donald P. Green, H.M.S. Lion. 

Engineer-Commander James L. Sands, H.M.S. Southamp- 
ton. 

Engineer-Commander Thomas H. Turner, H.M.S. New 
Zealand. 

Engineer-Lieutenant-Commander George Preece, H.M.S. 
Lion. 

Engineer-Lieutenant Albert Knothe, H.M.S. Indomitable. 

Surgeon Probationer James A. Stirling, R.N.V.R., H.M.S. 
Meteor. 

Mr. Joseph H. Burton, Gunner (T), H.M.S. Lion. 

Chief Carpenter Frederick E. Dailey, H.M.S. Lion. 

PETTY OFFICERS AND MEN 

Petty Officer John William Kennett, O.N. 186788, H.M.S. 
Lion. 

Able Seaman Henry Davis, O.N. 184526, H.M.S. Tiger. 

Able Seaman Hubert F. Griffin, O.N.J. 14160, H.M.S. 
Princess Royal. 

Able Seaman Peter Stanley Livingstone, O.N. 234328, 
H.M.S. Lion. 

Able Seaman Herbert Robison, O.N. 209112, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Able Seaman George Henry Le Seilleur, O.N. 156802, 
H.M.S. Lion. 

Boy ist Class, Francis G. H. Bamford, O.N.J. 25598, 
H.M.S. Tiger. 

Chief Engine-Room Artificer ist Class, Evan Richard 
Hughes, O.N. 268999, H.M.S. Indomitable. 

Chief Engine-Room Artificer 2nd Class, William Beaty 
Dand, O.N. 270648, H.M.S. New Zealand. 

Boy ist Class, Julius F. Rogers, O.N.J. 28329, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Chief Engine-Room Artificer W. Gillespie, O.N. 270080, 
H.M.S. Meteor. 

125 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Mechanician Alexander James Cannon, O.N. 175440, 
H.M.S. Lion. 

Mechanician Edward Charles Ephgrave, O.N. 288231, 
H.M.S. Lion. 

Chief Stoker Patrick Callaghan, O.N. 278953, H.M.S. 
Lion. 

Chief Stoker Alfred William Ferris, O.N. 175824, H.M.S. 
Lion. 

Chief Stoker John Ernest James Portsmouth, O.N. 174232, 
H.M.S. New Zealand. 

Chief Stoker William James, O.N. 153220 (R.F.R. Dev. 
A 3422), H.M.S. Indomitable. 

Chief Stoker James Keating, R.F.R., O.N. 165732, H.M.S. 
Meteor. 

Stoker Petty Officer Michael Flood, R.F.R., O.N. 153418, 
H.M.S. Meteor! 

Stoker Petty Officer Thomas William Hardy, O.N. 292542, 
H.M.S. Indomitable. 

Stoker Petty Officer Albert John Sims, O.N. 276502, 
H.M.S. New Zealand. 

Stoker Petty Officer Samuel Westaway, R.F.R., O.N. 
300938, H.M.S. "Meteor. 

Acting Leading Stoker John Blackburn, O.N.K. 4844, 
H.M.S. Tiger. 

Stoker ist Class, Alan H. Bennet, O.N.K. 10700, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Stoker 2nd Class, Harold Turner, O.N.K. 22720, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Leading Carpenter's Crew, Emmanuel Omega Bradley, 
O.N, 346621, H.M.S. Lion. 

Leading Carpenter's Crew, Elisha Currie, O.N. 344851, 
H.M.S. Lion. 

Sick Berth Attendant Charles S. Hutchinson, O.N.M. 
3882, H.M.S. Tiger. 

Chief Writer Samuel G. White, O.N. 340597, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Third Writer Herbert C. Green, O.N.M. 8266, H.M.S. 
Tiger. 

Officers 1 Steward 3rd Class, Fred W. Kearley, O.N.L. 
2716, H.M.S. Tiger. 

126 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The First Lord of the Admiralty has received the follow- Times, 
ing telegram from Field-Marshal Sir John French : Jan. 26, 

' I and the Army in France hope you and our naval com- I 9 I 5- 
rades will accept our warmest congratulations on the victory 
of the British Fleet in the North Sea. 

' Will you kindly convey to Admiral Beatty, Commodore 
Tyrwhitt, and their officers and men our admiration and 
warmest good wishes ? ' 



AIR RAIDS ON BELGIAN COAST 

Admiralty, January 24. 

On Friday, the 22nd, twelve or thirteen German aeroplanes Times, 
appeared over Dunkirk at 11.30 A.M. and dropped bombs. J an * 2 5* 

No particular damage was done, except that a shed in I9I5< 
the docks was set on fire. One of the bombs fell just outside 
the United States Consulate, breaking all the windows and 
smashing the furniture. 

Belgian, French, and British naval and military airmen 
engaged the German aeroplanes, one of which was brought 
down by a British military machine just over the Belgian 
frontier. The German aeroplane, pilot, and passenger were 
captured. 

During the day visits were paid to Zeebrugge by Squadron 
Commander Richard B. Davies and Flight Lieutenant Richard 
Peirse. Twenty-seven bombs were dropped on two sub- 
marines and on the guns on the mole. 

It is believed that one submarine was damaged con- 
siderably, and that many casualties were caused amongst 
the guns' crews. 

In making a reconnoitring flight before this attack 
Squadron Commander Davies was on one occasion surrounded 
by seven German aeroplanes, but managed to elude them. 
He was slightly wounded in the thigh on his way to Zeebrugge, 
but continued his flight, accomplished his mission, and is 
now progressing satisfactorily. 

THE KARLSRUHE 

The German war news contains the statement that it Times, 
is reported from Leipzig that the Karlsruhe has sunk~ eleven Jan. 25, 
merchant ships during the last fortnight. I915 * 

127 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Times, 
Jan. 26, 



Hansard. 



Hansard. 



LOSS OF THE VIKNOR 

Press Bureau, January 25. 

The Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to announce 
that the armed merchant vessel His Majesty's Ship Viknor, 
which has been missing for some days, must now be accepted 
as lost with all officers and men. 

The cause of her loss is uncertain, but as some bodies 
and wreckage have been washed ashore on the North Coast 
of Ireland it is presumed that during the recent bad weather 
she either foundered or, being carried out of her course, 
struck a mine in the seas where the Germans are known to 
have laid them. 

House of Commons, February 4, 1915. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether the bodies of four men belonging to the 
Royal Navy who served in the armed merchant cruiser 
Viknor, wrecked off the coast of Ireland, have been buried 
in a pauper's grave at Larne at the expense of the ratepayers ; 
whether these men's lives were lost in the service of the 
country ; and, if so, whether he will take steps to ensure 
that proper respect is in future paid to the remains of men 
of the Royal Navy killed during the present war ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : It would appear that, owing to a 
regrettable misunderstanding, arrangements were not made 
by any local naval authorities for the funeral of certain men 
whose bodies were washed ashore from His Majesty's Ship 
Viknor, and that the burials were undertaken by the Poor 
Law guardians. This fact was communicated to me by the 
hon. and gallant Member for Antrim (East) on the ist instant, 
and immediate instructions were issued that in the case of 
the recovery of any further bodies arrangements for the 
funeral should be made in accordance with the King's Regu- 
lations. Further, the guardians were at once informed that 
the cost of the burials which had already taken place would 
be refunded on application to the Admiralty. 



House of Commons, February 10, 1915. 
LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked whether His Majesty's 
Ship Viknor was surveyed after she was armed ; whether 
128 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the Government were quite satisfied that she was absolutely 
seaworthy ; and whether there will be any inquiry with 
regard to her loss ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : The hull and machinery of the ship 
were thoroughly surveyed while she was being fitted out 
and armed, and on completion her stability was tested. 
The Admiralty officers responsible were quite satisfied that 
the ship was in all respects seaworthy. As there are no 
survivors no formal inquiry can be held. 



House of Commons, February 17, 1915. 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the Admir- Hansard. 
alty whether he is aware that there are ten survivors of His 
Majesty's Ship Viknor who were nineteen days in that ship 
and left her as a prize crew on January i8th ; and whether 
the Board of Admiralty will reconsider their decision not 
to have an inquiry into the loss of the ship ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I do not think that the members of 
the crew referred to can, strictly speaking, be termed sur- 
vivors. In any case they are not in a position to throw any 
light on the circumstances in which this vessel was lost, not 
having been on board her at the time. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : There is great doubt about the 
seaworthiness of this ship. Is the right hon. gentleman 
aware that one sub-lieutenant, one signalman, four seamen, 
and three Marines, a total of nine, only left the ship a short 
time before, and they are all capable of giving evidence as 
to the seaworthiness of the ship ? The question is so serious 
that I ask the right hon. gentleman if he will reconsider the 
matter ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I cannot. On the question of sea- 
worthiness I cannot add anything to the reply of the First 
Lord. 



SUBMARINE ATTACKS GAZELLE IN THE 
BALTIC 

We learn from a trustworthy source that on January 24th K.D., 
the small cruiser Gazelle was attacked by an enemy submarine J an - 2 7 
in the neighbourhood of the island of Riigen and injured 
NAVAL 3 i 129 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

by a torpedo. Her injuries were slight. The cruiser has 
returned to a Baltic port. There was no loss of life. 

ZEPPELIN DESTROYED OFF LIBAU 

Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following 

Jan. 27, announcement : 

I 9 I 5- The Naval General Staff, Petrograd, communicate the 

following : 

' On Monday morning a Zeppelin appeared above Libau 

and had time to drop nine bombs on the undefended part 

of the town. After being fired at by the forts the Zeppelin 

fell into the water. 

' Small craft were sent out and destroyed the Zeppelin 

and took the crew prisoners/ 

THE BRESLAU AGAIN 

Petrograd, January 30. 

Times, The following communique was issued to-day at Great 

Feb. i, Headquarters : 

I 9 I 5- In the Black Sea on Wednesday, January 27th, our Fleet 

came upon the Turkish cruisers Medjidieh and Breslau, near 
Samsun, and pursued them until nightfall. 

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday our torpedo-boats 
sank several Turkish sailing vessels. 

On Thursday one of our torpedo-boats made a daring 
raid on Trebizond, where, after cannonading the enemy's 
troops, who took to flight, it bombarded and damaged the 
barracks and stores. 

At Rize, close by, the torpedo-boat silenced two of the 
enemy's batteries, sank several sailing vessels, and damaged 
the barracks. Renter. 

GERMAN GOVERNMENT TAKES CONTROL OF 
CORN AND FLOUR 

Times, It is officially announced from Berlin that the Federal 

Jan. 27, Council has decided to seize all the stocks of corn and flour 
I 9 I 5- in Germany by February ist, and that all business transactions 

in flour are forbidden from the morning of January 26th. 

130 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

' Owners of corn,' the announcement runs, ' are bound to 
report their stocks, whereupon confiscation at fixed prices will 
follow.' 

SINKING OF THE WILLIAM P. FRYE 
AND OTHER VESSELS 

Washington, March n. 

Once again the American public is aroused and the Times, 
American Government embarrassed by Prussian ineptitude March 12, 
and lawlessness. The German auxiliary cruiser Prinz Eitel I 9 I 5- 
Friedrich has arrived in Newport News. Had she come with 
clean hands the country would have applauded the daring 
and skill with which for seven months she conducted her 
commerce-destroying raids from China to the West Atlantic. 
As it is, the admiration expressed is more than qualified by 
annoyance and indignation that she should have dared to 
sink an American vessel which she is generally believed to 
have had no right to sink. 

Her victim, the William P. Frye, was a steel sailing vessel 
of some 3500 tons. She left Seattle on November ist for 
Queenstown with a cargo of 5200 tons of wheat, valued at 
just under 60,000. So far as can be gathered, the ultimate 
destination of the wheat was Liverpool. 

That the Eitel Friedrich will be interned is believed to be 
highly probable. The captain says she will need six weeks 
for boiler and machinery repairs, and even if given so long 
it is expected that he will prefer to rest upon his laurels than 
to risk certain fate before the guns of British cruisers. 

The Frye's captain, H. H. Kiehne, tells the following 
story : 

On January 27th he was approached by the Eitel Friedrich 
in the South Atlantic. Having made the requisite inquiries, 
the German captain told him that he deemed his cargo 
contraband, and proposed to destroy it. Kiehne protested, 
but German officers and men came on board and began to 
jettison the grain. The Eitel Friedrich then disappeared 
after another ship, and when she reappeared, to use Kiehne's 
words, ' evidently the grain was not being thrown overboard 
fast enough to suit the German skipper, for he sent half a 
hundred men aboard soon afterward, and the work went on 
for hours without interruption. However, it was slow at 

131 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the best, and I was informed the next morning that my ship 
would be sent to the bottom, which was done in the manner 
described. It was originally the intention of the German 
captain to leave enough cargo in the hold in the ship for 
ballast. That part of the grain was to be rendered useless 
by salt water. As soon as I was informed that my ship was 
to be sent to the bottom I and my wife, with our two boys 
and the crew, made for the German cruiser in our boats. We 
were taken on board and shown every courtesy throughout 
the remainder of the voyage/ 

Nor does the public yet know the full extent of the mis- 
treatment by the Eitel Friedrich of American property. The 
first ship she destroyed was American in all but flag, and 
would have flown the American flag had she finished her 
voyage. She was the Charcas, a British-chartered vessel 
belonging to the William R. Grace Company of New York, 
the transfer of which under the proposed new law had been 
arranged for before her loss was known. The Charcas was 
destroyed off the South American coast on December 5th. 

The next victim was the French collier Jean, with 3000 
tons of coal for British war vessels. The Jean was towed 
to Easter Island, where she was sunk. The British vessel 
Kildalton was caught and destroyed on the way. The crews 
of these ships were left on Easter Island. The list of the 
vessels sunk and of the crews taken into the Eitel Friedrich 
after leaving Easter Island was given to the Collector of 
Customs at Newport News as follows : 

Isabel Browne (Russian), sailing ship ; Axmar Eriksson, 
master ; crew, 13 ; owner, Tronberg, Finland ; sunk January 
27th. 

Pierre Loti (French), sailing ship ; Transchant, master ; 
crew, 24; owner, Societe Nouvelle d'Armement, Nantes; 
sunk January 27th ; 2196 tons. 

William P. Frye (American), sailing ship ; H. H. Kiehne, 
master ; crew, 31 ; 3374 tons. 

Jacobsen (French), sailing ship ; V. Lerou, master ; crew, 
23 ; owner, Soci6t6 des Voiliers Bunkerquois ; sunk January 
28th ; 2195 tons. 

Invercoe (British), sailing ship; W. J. King, master; 
crew, 23 ; owner, Inver Line, Aberdeen, Scotland ; sunk 
February I2th ; 1421 tons. 
133 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Mary Ada Short (British), steamship ; A. E. Cobbing, 
master ; crew, 28 ; owner, James Westoll, of Sunderland, 
England ; sunk February i8th ; 3605 tons. 

Floride (French), steamer ; Monssion, master ; crew, 78 ; 
passengers, 86 ; owner, Compagnie Generate Transatlantique ; 
sunk February igth ; 6629 tons. 

Willerby (British), steamer ; U. Wedgwood, master ; 
crew, 27 ; owners, Ropner and Co., West Hartlepool ; sunk 
February 2Oth ; 3630 tons. 



Santiago, March 3. 

The steamer Skerries, arrived at Coronel, reports that the Times, 
British barque Kildalton and the French barque Jean, were March 4, 
sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser, Eitel Friedrich at the 
end of December. The crews were left at Easter Island at 
the beginning of January. 

The Kildalton was bound from Liverpool to Callao ; and 
the Jean from Port Talbot to Antofagasta. A reinsurance 
rate of 10 per cent, on the Kildalton, and of 15 per cent, on the 
Jean was quoted on January 29. 



Panama, March 13. 

After spending two months on Easter Island, the Chilean Times, 
possession in the Southern Pacific, most of the crews of the March 30, 
barque Kildalton, of Glasgow, and the Jean, of Havre two of 
the victims of the Prinz Eitel Friedrich were landed at 
Panama on March 12 by the Norwegian ship Nordic. They 
sailed for England four days later. 

The sailors, 25 of whom were of British nationality, and 
24 Frenchmen, were put ashore at Easter Island on December 
31. The inhabitants consisted of about one hundred Malays, 
an Englishman, the agent of the Easter Island Trading Com- 
pany, and his wife, and Mrs. Ruttlidge, of the British Museum, 
who is studying the prehistoric statues and inscribed tablets 
for which the island is celebrated. 

When the Nordic called at the island on February 28, all 
the marooned sailors were taken off, except the captain of the 
Jean and seven sailors, who elected to remain. One of the 
seven, a Frenchman, married a Kanaka woman, and is now 

133 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

a leader of the tribe. A member of the Kildalton crew, David 
Campbell, died on the island on February 8. 



Washington, March 12. 

Times, The chorus of Press comments on the sinking of the 

March 13, William P. Frye bears out the educational value of the inci- 

1915 dent. Nearly every newspaper shares the belief semi-officially 

registered in Washington that Berlin is bound promptly to 

apologise and promise amends for an act which even the 

German-American Press cannot defend. It is pointed out 

that otherwise the whole of Germany's case about our cutting 

off of her foodstuffs falls to the ground. As the New York 

Times says, ' Any attempt to justify the sinking of the Frye 

would at once invalidate all protests against the seizure of 

l \$ee the Wilhelmina. 11 

p. 192.] N t that the cases of the Wilhelmina and the Frye are 

deemed parallel, save in Anglophobe quarters. While Ameri- 
can opinion is not altogether inclined to admit our right to 
seize the Wilhelmina 's cargo, it is noted in all quarters that 
the sinking of the Frye is a far more flagrant and more un- 
bearable infringement of neutral rights than the detention of 
the Wilhelmina. 

In another way too, the Eitel Friedrich is rightly or wrongly 
felt to have prejudiced the German case in the war-zone 
business. The cruiser is reported to have used German, 
French, and British flags. The Washington Times writes : 
' A German warship may use any flag it chooses, but if 
a British ship uses the American flag that renders all ships 
under the American flag liable to be sunk with their crews, 
passengers, and all on board. This doctrine cannot last long/ 
Nor is it only because of the damage to the Teutonic case 
that the blunder of the Eitel Friedrich 's captain is so convenient 
a prelude to the publication of our Orders in Council. Teutonic 
war methods are again under suspicion. What right, it is 
asked, had the Eitel Friedrich to continue her commerce- 
destroying career laden with non-combatant enemies, to 
say nothing of neutral Americans, when at any time she might 
have run into a hostile cruiser ? It is felt that the business 
lends an evil point to the stories of the use of non-combatants 
as shields for advancing troops in Belgium and France. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Though, according to some accounts, the captain is anxious 
to make a dash through the British cruisers which the news- 
papers say are waiting for him, the Eitel Friedrich has gone to 
dry dock, and the general impression continues that she will 
eventually be interned. 

According to the Staatszeitung, the German-Americans are 
proposing to use the international parcels post for sending 
supplies to Germany. The announcement is accompanied 
by letters from Mr. Bartholdt and the president of the German- 
American National Alliance. Mr. Bartholdt gives the opinion 
that interference by the Allies with the parcels post service 
would be a casus belli. The president of the German- 
American Alliance naively says : ' For reasons of policy, 
everything should be avoided that might awaken appre- 
hension that this is a matter of agitation or propaganda 
to counteract the effect of the policy of starvation instituted 
by England and her Allies/ 



Newport News, March 12. 

After a preliminary survey by the dockyard officials, ibid. 
Captain Thierichsen has written to the authorities estimating 
that it will take about three weeks to complete the repairs 
to the Prinz Eitel Friedrich. 



Newport News, March 12. 

When the Prinz Eitel Friedrich docked yesterday evening ibid. 
the crews of the sunken British, French, and Russian ships 
disembarked. The Englishmen marched towards the tram- 
way singing ' Tipper ary.' 

Captain Wedgewood, of the steamer Willerby, one of the 
British vessels sunk, said that the cruiser was almost upon the 
Willerby before he discovered her. The German signalled 
the steamer to stop, but the steamer kept on, whereupon the 
cruiser swerved astern, and Captain Wedgewood quickly 
ordered his engines astern, hoping to ram the German vessel. 
The Eitel Friedrich escaped by a few yards. Renter. 



Washington, March 14. 

Opinion grows that Berlin will seek to forestall an American Times, 
protest for the sinking of the William P. Frye by an apology March 15, 

135 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Times, 
March 23, 



Times, 
April 2, 



Times, 
April 6, 
19*5. 



and a promise of amends. Count Bernstorff has announced 
that the whole business was a mistake. The captain of the 
Prinz Eitel Friedrich, it seems, was under the impression that 
the rules of the Declaration of London were in force, and that 
as Queenstown is a fortified port he was justified in regarding 
as contraband the Fryes cargo of grain. In view of Germany's 
general attitude over the Declaration of London and of our 
contraband policy, Count Bernstorff may be congratulated on 
a notable addition to the diplomatic laurels he has gained since 
the outbreak of the war. 

There is considerable suspicion about the interned liners 
at Newport. It is believed that the Administration has dis- 
covered more than it cares to admit about the plans of Captain 
Boy-Ed, the German Naval Attache, and his colleagues for 
the disappearance of the faster vessels without clearance 
papers and for their conversion into commerce-destroyers. 

Washington, March 22. 

Remonstrances to Germany with reference to the sinking 
of the William P. Frye by the Prinz Eitel Friedrich are being 
prepared by the State Department, and will shortly be trans- 
mitted to Germany. 

It is stated officially at the White House that a Note to 
Great Britain, containing representations with regard to some 
features of the Order in Council, is being drafted and will be 
despatched to London in a few days. The basis of the repre- 
sentation has not been made known. Renter. 



Washington, March 31, 

It has been established to the satisfaction of the United 
States that the wheat cargo on board the American ship, 
William P. Frye, was not American-owned when she was sunk 
by the Prinz Eitel Friedrich. The American Note which will 
shortly be forwarded to Germany will therefore only ask for 
payment of the hull. Renter. 



Washington, April 5. 

The text of the American Note to Germany regarding the 
sinking of the William P. Frye by the Prinz Eitel Friedrich has 
now been published. 
136 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

It is of the briefest character, and is confined chiefly to a 
recital of the legal aspects of the sinking of the ship. It sug- 
gests as reparation the satisfaction of the entire claim for 
45,610, with interest as from January 28, the date of the sink- 
ing of the vessel. 

The items of the claim are as follows : Value of ship, 
30,000 ; actual freight as per freight list, 7950 ; travelling 
and other expenses of the ship's captain and others in connec- 
tion with the making of affidavits, etc., 100 ; personal effects 
of captain, 60 ; damages due to deprivation of use of ship, 
7500. Renter. 



Washington, April 9. 

The bad impression produced by the recent German diplo- Times, 
matic treatment of the United States is heightened by the A P ril I0 > 
publication of the German reply to the American request for 
an indemnity for the sinking of the William P. Frye. While 
Germany recognises the right of the United States to an in- 
demnity, it does not do so on the ground of international law 
and equity, but on account of a clause in certain old treaties, 
which provides for reimbursement for loss of even contraband 
goods destroyed, as the cargo of the William P. Frye was 
destroyed. The treaties are not mentioned in the American 
Note, and the cynical refusal to admit the justice of legal 
arguments by which the demand is supported is deemed to 
augur badly for the future. 



New York, April 9. 

The German reply to the American Note demanding com- ibid. 
pensation for the loss of the William P. Frye was handed to 
Mr. Gerard, the American Ambassador in Berlin, within 
twenty-four hours of the receipt of the Note. In the matter 
of speed this despatch of business breaks all diplomatic 
' records/ 



[In completion of the story of the William P. Frye, the diplomatic 
correspondence on the subject is here appended, although it more 
properly belongs to the International Law Division of this history : 

137 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The Secretary of State to Ambassador Gerard 
(TELEGRAM) 

Department of State, 
Washington, March 31, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. You are instructed to present the following note to the German 

Foreign Office : 

Under instructions from my Government I have the honour to 
present a claim for $228,059.54, with interest from January 28th, 1915, 
against the German Government on behalf of the owners and captain 
of the American sailing vessel William P. Frye, for damages suffered 
by them on account of the destruction of that vessel on the high seas 
by the German armed cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich, on January 28th, 



The facts upon which this claim arises and by reason of which the 
German Government is held responsible by the Government of the 
United States for the attendant loss and damages are briefly as follows : 

The William P. Frye, a steel sailing vessel 0^3374 tons gross tonnage, 
owned by American citizens and sailing under the United States flag 
and register, cleared from Seattle, Wash., November 4th, 1914, under 
charter to M. H. Houser, of Portland, Oreg., bound for Queenstown, 
Falmouth, or Plymouth for orders, with a cargo consisting solely of 
186,950 bushels of wheat owned by the aforesaid Houser and consigned 
' unto order or to its assigns/ all of which appears from the ship's 
papers which were taken from the vessel at the time of her destruction 
by the commander of the German cruiser. 

On January 27, 1915, the Prinz Eitel Friedrich encountered the 
Frye on the high seas, compelled her to stop, and sent on board an 
armed boarding party, who took possession. After an examination 
of the ship's papers the commander of the cruiser directed that the 
cargo be thrown overboard, but subsequently decided to destroy the 
vessel, and on the following morning, by his order, the Frye was sunk. 

The claim of the owners and captain consists of the following items : 

Value of ship, equipment, and outfit . . . $150,000.00 
Actual freight as per freight list, 5034 1000/2240 tons 

at 32-6 8180, 195. 6d. at $4.86 . . . 39,759-54 
Travelling and other expenses of Captain Kiehne and 

Arthur Sewall and Co., agents of ship, in connection 

with making affidavits, preparing and filing claim . 500.00 

Personal effects of Captain H. H. Kiehne . . 300.00 

Damages covering loss due to deprivation of use of 

ship 4. . v *. .... 37,500.00 

Total .... $228,059.54 
138 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

By direction of my Government, I have the honour to request that 
full reparation be made by the German Government for the destruction 
of the William P. Frye by the German cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich. 

BRYAN. 



Ambassador Gerard to the Secretary of State 

American Embassy, 

Berlin, April 5, 1915. 

The following is translation of the reply of the Foreign Office to my U.S.D.C. 
Note of April 3rd : 

German Foreign Office, 

Berlin, April 5, 1915. 

The undersigned has the honour to make reply to the Note of his 
Excellency, Mr. James W. Gerard, Ambassador, the United States 
America, dated the 3rd instant, Foreign Office No. 2892, relative to 
claims for damages for the sinking of the American merchant vessel, 
William P. Frye, by the German auxiliary cruiser, Prinz Eitel Friedrich. 

According to the reports which have reached the German Govern- 
ment the commander of the Prinz Eitel Friedrich stopped the William 
P. Frye on the high seas January 27th, 1915, and searched her. He 
found on board a cargo of wheat consigned to Queenstown, Falmouth, 
or Plymouth to order. After he had first tried to remove the cargo 
from the William P. Frye he took the ship's papers and her crew on 
board and sank ship. 

It results from these facts that the German commander acted quite 
in accordance with the principles of international law as laid down in 
the Declaration of London and the German prize ordinance. The ports 
of Queenstown, Falmouth, and Plymouth, whither the ship visited was 
bound, are strongly fortified English coast places, which, moreover, 
serve as bases for the British naval forces. The cargo of wheat being 
food or foodstuffs, was conditional contraband within the meaning of 
Article 24, No. I, of the Declaration of London, and Article 23, No. i, 
of the German prize ordinance, and was therefore to be considered as 
destined for the armed forces of the enemy, pursuant to Articles 33 and 
34 of the Declaration of London and Articles 32 and 33 of the German 
prize ordinance, and to be treated as contraband pending proof of the 
contrary. This proof was certainly not capable of being adduced at 
the time of the visiting of the vessel, since the cargo papers read to 
order. This, however, furnished the conditions under which, pursuant 
to Article 49 of the Declaration of London and Article 113 of the Ger- 
man prize ordinance the sinking of the ship was permissible, since it 
was not possible for the auxiliary cruiser to take the prize into a Ger- 
man port without involving danger to its own security or the success 
of its operations. The duties devolving upon the cruiser before de- 

139 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JAN. 

struction of the ship, pursuant to Article 50 of the Declaration of London 
and Article 116 of the German prize ordinance, were fulfilled by the 
cruiser in that it took on board all the persons found on the sailing 
vessel, as well as the ship's papers. 

The legality of the measures taken by the German commander is 
furthermore subject to examination by the German prize court pursuant 
to Article 51 of the Declaration of London and Section i, No. 2, of the 
German Code of Prize Procedure. These prize proceedings will be 
instituted before the prize court at Hamburg as soon as the ship's 
papers are received, and will comprise the settlement of questions 
whether the destruction of the cargo and the ship was necessary within 
the meaning of the Article 49 of the Declaration of London ; whether 
the property sunk was liable to capture ; and whether, or to what 
extent, indemnity is to be awarded the owners. In the trial the owners 
of ship and cargo would be at liberty, pursuant to Article 34, Paragraph 
3, of the Declaration of London, to adduce proof that the cargo of wheat 
had an innocent destination and did not, therefore, have the character 
of contraband. If such proof is not adduced, the German Government 
would not be liable for any compensation whatever, according to the 
general principles of international law. 

However, the legal situation is somewhat different in the light of 
the special stipulations applicable to the relations between Germany 
and the United States, since Article 13 of the Prussian-American treaty 
of friendship and commerce of July-n, 1799, taken in connection with 
Article 12 of Prussian-American treaty of commerce and navigation 
of May ist, 1828, provides that contraband belonging to the subjects 
or citizens of either party cannot be confiscated by the other in any 
case, but only detained or used in consideration of payment of the 
full value of the same. On the ground of this treaty stipulation, which 
is as a matter of course binding on the German prize court, the American 
owners of ship and cargo would receive compensation even if the court 
should declare the cargo of wheat to be contraband. Nevertheless, 
the approaching prize proceedings are not rendered superfluous, since 
the competent prize court must examine into the legality of the capture 
and destruction, and also pronounce upon the standing of the claimants 
and the amount of indemnity. 

The undersigned begs to suggest that the Ambassador bring the 
above to the knowledge of his Government and avail himself, &c. 

(Signed) JAGOW. 

April 1915. 

GERARD. 



140 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



The Secretary of State to Ambassador Gerard 

Department of State, 
Washington, April 28, 1915. 

You are instructed to present the following note to the German U.S.D.C. 
Foreign Office : 

In reply to your Excellency's Note of the 5th instant, which the 
Government of the United States understands admits the liability of 
the Imperial German Government for the damages resulting from the 
sinking of the American sailing vessel, William P. Frye, by the German 
auxiliary cruiser, Prinz Eitel Fried-rich, on January 28th last, I have the 
honour to say, by direction of my Government, that while the prompt- 
ness with which the Imperial German Government has admitted its 
liability is highly appreciated, my Government feels that it would 
be inappropriate in the circumstances of this case, and would involve 
unnecessary delay, to adopt the suggestion in your note that the legality 
of the capture and destruction, the standing of the claimants, and the 
amount of indemnity should be submitted to a prize court. 

Unquestionably the destruction of this vessel was a violation of the 
obligations imposed upon the Imperial German Government under 
existing treaty stipulations between the United States and Prussia, 
and the United States Government, by virtue of its treaty rights, has 
presented to the Imperial German Government a claim for indemnity 
on account of the resulting damages suffered by American citizens. 
The liability of the Imperial German Government and the standing 
of the claimants as American citizens, and the amount of indemnity 
are all questions which lend themselves to diplomatic negotiation be- 
tween the two Governments, and happily the question of liability has 
already been settled in that way. The status of the claimants and 
the amount of the indemnity are the only questions remaining to be 
settled, and it is appropriate that they should be dealt with in the same 
way. 

The Government of the United States fully understands that, as 
stated in your Excellency's Note, the German Government is liable 
under treaty provisions above mentioned for the damages arising from 
the destruction of the cargo as well as from the destruction of the 
vessel. But it will be observed that the claim under discussion does 
not include damages for the destruction of the cargo, and the question 
of the value of the cargo therefore is not involved in the present 
discussion. 

The Government of the United States recognises that the German 
Government will wish to be satisfied as to the American ownership of 
the vessel, and the amount of the damages sustained in consequence 
of her destruction. 

141 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

These matters are readily ascertainable, and if the German Govern- 
ment desires any further evidence in substantiation of the claim on 
these points in addition to that furnished by the ship's papers, which 
are already in the possession of the German Government, any additional 
evidence found necessary will be produced. In that case, however, 
inasmuch as any evidence which the German Government may wish to 
have produced is more accessible, and can more conveniently be 
examined in the United States than elsewhere, on account of the 
presence there of the owners and captain of the William P. Frye and 
their documentary records, and other possible witnesses, the Govern- . 
ment of the United States ventures to suggest the advisability of 
transferring the negotiations for the settlement of these points to the 
Imperial German embassy at Washington. 

In view of the admission of liability by reason of specific treaty 
stipulations, it has become unnecessary to enter into a discussion of 
the meaning and effect of the Declaration of London, which is given 
some prominence in your Excellency's Note of April 5th, further than 
to say that, as the German Government has already been advised, 
the Government of the United States does not regard the Declaration 
of London as in force. BRYAN.] 



THE FRENCH MINISTER OF MARINE IN LONDON. 

Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following 

Jan. 29, announcement : 

I 9 I 5- The French Minister of Marine, M. Victor Augagneur, 

dined on Wednesday night with the First Lord at Admiralty 
House * Among the other guests were the French Ambassa- 
dor, the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Crewe, 
Lord Kitchener, Sir Edward Grey, Mr. Balfour, Sir Ian 
Hamilton, Colonel Seely, Capitaine de Vaisseau Salaiin, the 
French Naval Attache, the Secretary of the Admiralty, and 
the Chief of the Admiralty War Staff. 

Earlier in the day M. Augagneur visited Portsmouth 
and was entertained at luncheon by the Commander-in- 
Chief. 

Mr. Churchill received the following telegram yesterday 
morning : 

' Avant de quitter la Grande Bretagne je vous adresse 
1'expression de ma reconnaissance personnelle pour 1'accueil 
qui m'a et6 fait. Dans notre entrevue se sont manifestos 
a nouveau 1'accord complet et la confiance reciproque des 
142 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

marines francaises et britanniques sur toutes les mesures 
qui nous conduiront a la victoire finale: 

1 AUGAGNEUR.' 

Mr. Churchill has replied as follows : 
' M. AUGAGNEUR, Ministre Marine, Paris. 

' It was a great pleasure to my colleagues and myself 
to make your personal acquaintance and to find ourselves 
in complete accord with the French Admiralty on all questions 
of policy/ 

With regard to the purposes and results of the Minister's 
mission Renter's Agency is authorised to make the following 
official declaration : 

M. Augagneur, the French Minister of Marine, arrived 
in London on Tuesday morning. 

The same day he was received by the King. He has 
had a series of conferences with the First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty with reference to the disposition and the employ- 
ment of the naval forces of the two allied Powers. 

These conferences showed the conformity of views of the 
two statesmen and the close solidarity of the two Governments. 

During his visit M. Augagneur saw the Prime Minister, 
the Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Grey, Lord Kitchener, 
Lord Crewe, and Mr. Balfour. 

The Minister also visited Portsmouth and inspected the 
arsenal and dockyard. 

GERMAN TORPEDO-BOAT SUNK BY RUSSIAN 
SUBMARINE. 

Paris, February 3. 

An official telegram from Petrograd announces that on Times, 
January 29 a Russian submarine sank a German torpedo- F eb - 4. 
boat off Cape Moen, Denmark. I 9 I 5- 

STATEMENT BY FRENCH MINISTRY OF MARINE. 

Paris, January 31. 

The Ministry of Marine to-day issued the following Note : Times, 
Up to the present, by a sort of self-respect, German Feb. i, 
seamen have generally not sunk Allied merchant ships until I 9 I 5- 
they have taken off the crews or authorised them to escape. 
Almost the only departure from this rule with which they 
have had to reproach themselves has been the criminal 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

1 [See attack oft Boulogne upon the French liner Amiral Ganteaume, 1 

Naval i, f u ii O f Belgian women and children. That vessel, torpedoed 

PP- 344-5-J by a German submarine, fortunately succeeded in reaching 

the coast with the assistance of friendly ships, which rescued 

most of the passengers. 

To-day the German Navy has decided to violate inter- 
national law systematically and deliberately. The officers 
have received orders to respect nothing in future, and to 
place themselves outside the pale of humanity. Thus, on 
January 3Oth, German submarines torpedoed without pre- 
vious notice two British merchant ships in the vicinity of 
Havre. The whole world will rise in horror at such an act 
of war, which is unworthy of a civilised nation. 

In the first instance the British steamer Tokomaru was 
sunk at ten o'clock in the morning of January soth, seven 
miles west-north-west of Cape Antifer by a German sub- 
marine. Her crew were saved by French torpedo-boats. 
The British steamer Icaria was also torpedoed by a German 
submarine on the same- day at one o'clock fifteen miles west 
of Cape Antifer. She did not sink, but was towed into 
Havre escorted by French torpedo craft. 

In the Irish Sea the British ships Linda Blanche and 
Ben Cruachan were torpedoed by German submarines. 
Renter. 

GERMAN SUBMARINE ACTIVITY 

Amsterdam, January 31. 

K.D., It is reported from Fleetwood that the German submarine 

Feb. i, ' U 21 ' has sunk the steamer Ben Cruachan of North Shields. 

I 9 I 5- The crew of the steamer, numbering 21, was given ten minutes 

time to get into the boats ; it was picked up by a fishing 

trawler and landed at Fleetwood. The Ben Cruachan was 

a coasting steamer. 

Renter's Agency reports from London ; Yesterday at 
12.30 noon the ' U 21 ' caught the steamer Linda Blanche 
bound from Manchester to Belfast in the neighbourhood of 
Liverpool ; the crew of this steamer composed of ten men 
was landed in boats. In the evening a steamer entering 
Liverpool reported having seen ' U 21 ' sinking yet a third 
British cargo steamer. 

144 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The Secretary of the Admiralty publishes the following Times, 
reports by the masters of the British merchant ships Toko- Feb - 9. 
maru and Ikaria, showing how they were torpedoed by 
German submarines, together with a memorandum on the 
loss of the British ship Oriole, probably from the same cause : 

I, Mathew Robertson, master of the s.s. Ikaria, of Liver- 
pool, official number 113368, declare as follows : 

I left Santos, via Rio Janeiro, Bahia, Pernambuco, and 
Madeira on December 2ist, 1914, with a cargo of general 
merchandise, bound for Havre and London. All went 
well until January 3ist, 1915. When about 25 miles north- 
west of Havre, 12.30 on that day, I was on the bridge with 
the chief and the second officer, when we saw the wake of 
a torpedo coming towards the ship at about 30 ft. from the 
ship. The ship was stopped at the time for the purpose 
of getting a pilot, as two tugboats were coming up with flags 
at the fore. About a second after we saw the wake of the 
torpedo, we were struck in the forepart of the ship on the 
port side. An explosion occurred and a volume of water 
mixed with cargo, cement, and parts of the torpedo arose 
about 60 ft. and fell on the deck. The ship immediately 
began to sink by the head. The crew were ordered to launch 
the boats to leave the ship. The crew and I then boarded 
the tug which was lying close to us and waited for the ship 
to sink. About an hour afterwards, as she stopped sinking 
by the head, part of the crew with myself, some of the officers, 
and the engineers went on board. A tow-rope was attached 
to the ship from the tugboat, and she was taken in tow. 
Meanwhile a part of the crew on board started to get steam 
in the main engines. As the ship would not steer, a second 
tug was called to assist in steering. She was ultimately 
towed to Havre, where she arrived about 9.30. 

Dated this ist of February, 1915. 

M. ROBERTSON. 

Declared before me, James Walsh, British Vice-Consul, 
Havre. 

I, Francis Greene, master of the British steamer Tokomaru, 
of Southampton, official No. 99624, declare as follows : 

I left the port of Wellington, New Zealand, on December 
NAVAL 3 K 145 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

9th, 1914, and touched at Montevideo January 2nd, 1915, 
and Teneriffe on January 22nd, 1915. 

About 9 A.M., when seven miles from Havre Lightship, 
we were steaming slow on our way to Havre when we were 
struck by a torpedo on the port side. We knew it was a 
torpedo from a submarine because we could see the periscope. 
The ship began to settle down by the head and took a heavy 
list to port and seas came over her. Immediately she took 
a list I got the crew into the boats. My room was full of 
water, and I could not save any of the ship's papers. As 
soon as the forecastle's head was submerged we rowed away 
from the ship. We were taken aboard by a French mine- 
sweeper, Saint Pierre. We stood by until the ship sank, 
which she did at 10.30 A.M. The crew, numbering 57 and 
myself, were saved ; all effects were lost. 

Dated this $oth day of January, 1915. 

F. GREENE. 

Declared before me, James Walsh, British Vice-Consul, 
Havre. 

The British steamship Oriole, of the General Steam 
Navigation Company, which left London on January 2gth, 
was due at Havre the following day. She has not arrived, 
nor is there any news of her whereabouts except that two 
life-buoys marked s.s. Oriole were picked up near Rye last 
Saturday. There is grave reason to fear that she may have 
fallen a victim to the German submarine which torpedoed 
the Tokomaru and Ikaria. She carried a mercantile crew 
of 21 hands all told. 



PROMOTIONS, APPOINTMENTS, HONOURS, AND 

REWARDS 

Admiralty, January i, 1915. 

L.G., The King has been graciously pleased to give orders for 

Jan. i, the following appointments to the Distinguished Service 
I 9 I 5- Order and for the Award of the Distinguished Service Cross 

in respect of the undermentioned Officers : 

146 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order. 

Major Arthur Harwood French, Royal Marine Light 
Infantry, Royal Marine Brigade, Royal Naval Division. 

Engineer Lieutenant -Commander Edward Hickman Tucker 
Meeson, His Majesty's Ship Laurel. 

Lieutenant-Commander Edmund Laurence Braithwaite 
Lockyer, His Majesty's Ship Carmania. 

Squadron Commander Edward Featherstone Briggs, Royal 
Naval Air Service. 

Flight Commander John Tremayne Babington, Royal 
Naval Air Service. 

Flight Lieutenant Sidney Vincent Sippe, Royal Naval 
Air Service. 

To receive the Distinguished Service Cross. 

Lieutenant George Lionel Davidson, late His Majesty's 
Ship Loyal. 

Lieutenant Gerald Gordon Grant, Royal Naval Volunteer 
Reserve, Royal Naval Division. 

Sub-Lieutenant Charles Oscar Frittriof Modin, Royal 
Naval Volunteer Reserve, Royal Naval Division. 

Lieutenant David James Gowney, Royal Marine Light 
Infantry, Royal Marine Brigade, Royal Naval Division. 

Lieutenant Harold Owen Joyce, late His Majesty's Ship 
Vestal. 

Lieutenant Douglas Reid Kinnier, Royal Naval Reserve, 
s.s. Ortega. 

The following awards have also been made : 

To receive the Distinguished Service Medal. 

For the operations round Antwerp from the 3rd to the 
9th October : 

NAVAL BRIGADE 

Chief Petty Officer Bernard Henry Ellis, No. 748, B Co., 
R.N.V.R., London. 

Chief Petty Officer Payne, D Co. 

Petty Officer William Wallace, O.N., Dev. 211130. 

Stoker Petty Officer WiUiam Stephen Cole, O.N., Ch. 
100113. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Leading Seaman (Acting) Henry Lowe, R.N.R., Dev., 
No. B, 2542. 

Ordinary Seaman George Ripley, new army recruit, C 
Co. (now R.N.V.R.), K.W./755. 

Ordinary Seaman T. Machen, new army recruit, C Co. 
(now R.N.V.R.). 

ROYAL MARINE BRIGADE 

R.F.R. Ch. 661. Sergeant-Ma j or (Acting) James Thomas 
Gallieford, R.M.L.I. 

R.F.R. Ch. 426. Quartermaster-Sergeant George James 
Kenny, R.M.L.I. 

R.F.R. Ch. 631. Sergeant Gideon Harry Bruce, R.M.L.I. 

Ch. 18717. Lance-Corporal Thomas Charles Franks, 
R.M.L.I. 

Ply. 7685. Lance-Corporal Walter John Cook, R.M.L.I. 

R.F.R. Ch. 194. Private George Henry Hall, R.M.L.I. 

R.F.R. Ch. 1585. Private Charles Joseph Fleet, R.M.L.I. 

Ch. 18446. Private Stuart Lang, R.M.L.I. 

Senior Reserve Attendant Edmund Walch, Royal Naval 
Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve, O.N., M. 9522. 

For the operations off the Belgian Coast from the I7th 
October to the gth November : 

Falcon. Petty Officer Robert Chappell, O.N., 207788 
(since died of wounds received in action). 

Falcon. Petty Officer Frederick William Georgeson Mot- 
teram, O.N., 183216. 

Brilliant. Leading Seaman John Thomas Knott, O.N., 
J. 1186. 

Falcon. Able Seaman Ernest Dimmock, O.N., 204549. 

Mersey. Boy, ist Class, Herbert Edward Sturman, O.N., 
J. 24887. 

For service in the Dardanelles in Submarine ' B n ' on 
the i3th December : 

Petty Officer William Charles Milsom, O.N., 182452. 

Petty Officer Thomas Henry Davey, O.N., 215464. 

Chief Engine-Room Artificer, 2nd Class, John Harding, 
O.N., 270410. 
148 



igi5] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Engine-Room Artificer, ist Class, Anthony Douglas, O.N., 
270773. 

Stoker Petty Officer Patrick M'Kenna, O.N., 284570. 
Leading Seaman Alfred Edmund Perry, O.N., 234667. 
Leading Seaman Wilfrid Charles Mortimer, O.N., 219476. 
Able Seaman Norman Lester Rae, O.N., 232229. 
Able Seaman George Read, O.N., 231010. 
Able Seaman Edward Buckle, O.N., 237869. 
Able Seaman Tom Blake, O.N., J. 1383. 
Signalman Frederick George Foote, O.N., J. 1862. 
Acting Leading Stoker John Henry Sowden, O.N., 308448. 
Stoker, ist Class, Stephen James Lovelady, O.N., K. 2240. 



CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD 

Lord Chamberlain s Office, January i, 1915. 
The King has been graciously pleased to give orders for 
the following appointments to the Most Honourable Order 
of the Bath : 

To be Ordinary Members of the Military Division of the Third 
Class, or Companions, of the said Most Honourable 
Order : 

Captain Noel Grant, R.N. (H.M.S. Carmania). 
Captain John Collings Taswell Glossop, R.N. (H.M.A.S. 
Sydney) . 

Commander James Barr, R.N.R. (H.M.S. Carmania). 

To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the Third 
Class, or Companions, of the said Most Honourable 
Order : 

Captain Richard Webb, R.N. 

Fleet Paymaster Charles John Ehrhardt Rotter, R.N. 



CHANCERY OF THE ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER 

St. James's Palace, ist January 1915. 

The King has been graciously pleased to make the following L.G., 
promotions in, and appointments to, the Royal Victorian Jan. i, 
Order : 

149 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JAN 

To be Member #f the Fifth Class. 

(Dated ist October 1914.) Carpenter Lieutenant John 
William Sheldrake, Royal Navy. On promotion from His 
Majesty's yacht Victoria and Albert. 

War Office, ijth February 1915. 

L.G., The following despatch has been received by the Secretary 

Feb. 17, O f state for War from the Field-Marshal Commanding-in- 
Chief, British Forces in the Field : 

i;\th January 1915. 

MY LORD, In accordance with the last paragraph of my 
Despatch of trie 2Oth November 1914, I have the honour to 
bring to notice names of those whom I recommend for gallant 
and distinguished service in the field. I have the honour to 
be, your Lordship's most obedient Servant, 

J. D. P. FRENCH, Field-Marshal, 
Commanding-in-Chief, The British Army 
in the Field. 



ROYAL NAVY 

Rear-Admiral the Honourable H. L. A. Hood, C.B., 
M.V.O., D.S.O. 

Wing Commander C. R. Samson, D.S.O. 

Squadron Commander R. B. Davies. 

Flight Lieutenant C. H. Collett, D.S.O. 

Flight Lieutenant R. E. C. Peirse. 

Acting Commander A. S. Littlejohns. 

Lieutenant E. S. Wise. 

Lieutenant D. C. G. Shoppee. 

Captain J. P. De Montmorency. 

Rear- Admiral E. G. Shortland, Royal Navy (retired). 

Captain Sir M. MacGregor, Bart., Royal Navy (retired). 

Captain C. W. G. Crawford, Royal Navy (retired). 

Paymaster-in-Chief C. Alton, C.B., Royal Navy (retired). 

Fleet Paymaster V. H. T. Weekes, Royal Navy. 

Fleet Paymaster F. H. Gerty, Royal Navy (retired). 
150 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE 

Admiralty, 2nd January 1915. 

The following is substituted for the notice which appeared 
in the London Gazette of the 22nd December 1914 * : 

In accordance with the provisions of His late Majesty's 
Order in Council of the 8th December, 1903, Rear- Admiral 
Cresswell John Eyres has been -placed on the Retired 
List, at his own request, in order to take up an appoint- 
ment as Captain in the Royal Naval Reserve. Dated 
i8th December 1914. 

The King has been graciously pleased to confer the L.G., 
Royal Naval Reserve Officers' Decoration upon the following J an - 1 5. 
Officer : I 9 I 5- 

Lieutenant Clarence Edward Henry Aylen. 

ROYAL MARINES 

Rear-Admiral Reginald Hugh Spencer Bacon, C.V.O., L.G., 
D.S.O., Retired, is granted a temporary Commission in the Jan. 22, 
Royal Marines as Colonel Second Commandant. Dated I 9 I 5 
January i6th, 1915. 

ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE 

Admiralty, January 23, 1915. 

In accordance with the provisions of His Majesty's Order L.G., 
ifi Council of December i6th, 1912, temporary Commissions Jan. 26, 
in the Royal Naval Reserve have been issued as follow* : I 9 I 5- 

Captains. 

Sir James Edward Clifford Goodrich, K.C.V.O. (Admiral, 
retired) . 

William Blake Fisher, C.B. (Admiral, retired). 

1 [The notice referred to is as follows : 

ADMIRALTY, igth December 1914. 
ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE. 

In accordance with the provisions of His Majesty's Order in Council of 
i6th December 1912, a temporary Commission in the Royal Naval Reserve 
has been issued as follows : 

CAPTAIN 
Cresswell J. Eyres (Rear Admiral, retired).] 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ROYAL NAVAL DIVISION 

L - G -> Colonel Second Commandant Alfred Edmund Marchant, 

Jan 29, CB A.D.C., Royal Marine Light Infantry, is granted the 

temporary rank of Brigadier- General from the 5th to the 

9th October, 1914, inclusive, whilst in command of the Third 

(Royal Marine) Brigade. 

ROYAL NAVAL DIVISION 

Admiralty, February 2, 1915. 

L.G., Captain Leslie Orme Wilson, D.S.O., M.P., Royal Marine 

Feb. 5, Light Infantry, Retired, serving with the Berkshire Royal 

Horse Artillery (Territorial Force), to command the Hawke 

Battalion of the First Brigade, and to be temporary Lieu- 

tenant-Colonel in the Royal Marines. Dated January 26th, 



ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE 

Admiralty, ^oth January 1915. 

L.G., In accordance with the provisions of His Majesty's Order 

Feb. 2, j n Council of 1 6th December 1912, temporary commissions in 
the Royal Naval Reserve have been issued as follows : 

Captains. 

John Denison (Admiral, retired). 
Frederick Owen Pike (Vice- Admiral, retired). 



DETENTIONS OR CAPTURES OF ENEMY SHIPS 

OR CARGOES 

VESSELS DETAINED OR CAPTURED AT SEA BY His MAJESTY'S 

ARMED FORCES 

L.G., (In continuation of previous notification published in 

Jan. 15, the London Gazette of January 5th, 1915. ') 

* [$ ee . LIST OF VESSELS. 

Naval 2, 
P. 459-1 



Name and Tonnage. 


Nationality. 


Where Detained. 


Josephina (1,295) 
Viganella (841) . 


Netherland 
German . 


. Falkland Islands. 
. ! Plymouth. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

SHIPS WHOSE CARGOES, OR PART OF THEM, HAVE 
BEEN DETAINED 

(In continuation of previous notification published in L.G., 
the London Gazette of January 5th, 1915. *) J an - J 5> 

1 [See 
LIST OF VESSELS. Nava j 2 

p. 460 J 



Name. 


Nationality. 


Cargo Detained at 


Albistan .... 


British . 


London. 


Dannebrog .... 


Danish . 


Falmouth. 


Ellen . . 


Norwegian 


Newport. 


Lincairn .... 


British . 


Liverpool. 


Maronian .... 


British . 


Liverpool. 


Martha .... 


Danish . 


Hull. 


Orissa .... 


British . 


Liverpool. 


Sicilian .... 


British . 


London. 


Woolston .... 


British . . . 


Liverpool. 



Foreign Office, 

January 14, 1915. 



VESSELS DETAINED OR CAPTURED AT SEA BY His MAJESTY'S 

ARMED FORCES 

(In continuation of previous notification published in L.G., 
the London Gazette of January I5th, 1915.) Jan. 29, 

1915- 

LIST OF SAILING VESSELS. 



Name and Tonnage. 


Nationality. 


Where Detained. 


Hamidieh (40) 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Kassi Kerim (32) 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Maria (36) .... 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Maria (30) . 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Saida (82) .... 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Saileh (34) .... 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Seideh (44) .... 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Seideh (27) .... 


Turkish . 


Famagusta. 


Selefka(S) . . . . 


Turkish . 


Akanthou. 



153 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



[JAN. 



SHIPS WHOSE CARGOES, .OR PART OF THEM, HAVE 
BEEN DETAINED 

(In continuation of previous notification published in 
the London Gazette of January I5th, 1915.) 



LIST OF VESSELS. 



Name of Vessel. 


* Nationality. 


Cargo Detained at 


Alrina 








Netherland 






Falmouth. 


Ardgarroch . 








British . 






Liverpool. 


Bonovento . 








Norwegian 






Falmouth. 


Den of Ruthven 








British 








London. 


Linaria 








British 








London. 


Manhattan . 








British 








London. 


Marengo 








British 








Hull. 


Marie Susanne 








British 








Gloucester. 


Mergansen . 








British 








Liverpool. 


Mombassa . 








British 








London. 


Terek 








British 








London. 



Foreign Office, 

January 28, 1915, 



ADMIRALTY MONTHLY ORDERS 

Admiralty, S.W., February i, 1915. 
64. Enemy Vessels, Mines and Submarines Rewards 
for Information, etc., as to 

In order to encourage fishermen and others to bring in 
immediate reports of enemy vessels and mines and to assist 
in the destruction of hostile Submarines, the Admiralty offer 
the following rewards to Trawlers, Drifters, and other vessels. 
Rewards (i), (2), (3), (4) and (5) are applicable to Trawlers 
and Drifters in the service of the Admiralty ; the remainder 
are not applicable to them ; 
154 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



SCALE OF REWARDS. 



(1) For the capture or destruction of an Enemy 

Submarine or other war vessel by the 
crew of a Trawler or Drifter 

(2) When the capture or destruction of an Enemy 

Submarine or other war vessel is caused 
through the agency of a Trawler or Drifter 

(3) For the proved destruction of an Enemy mine 

in certain areas limited by the Admiralty . 
In special cases . . . . 

(4) For information which directly leads to the 

actual capture or destruction of an Enemy 
war vessel down to and including a Mine- 
layer or Submarine 

(5) For information which leads to the Enemy 

war vessel, Minelayer, or Submarine being 
sighted and chased, the information being 
proved to be accurate although the Vessel 
was not destroyed ..... 

(6) For information of the movements of Enemy 

war vessels, or other vessels engaged in 
mine-laying or other hostile or suspicious 
action, the information being proved to be 
accurate and valuable and delivered at the 
earliest possible moment .... 
Also in special cases where the reporting vessel 
has not travelled off course .... 

(7) For the first information of the existence of 

Enemy Mines, proved to be accurate and 
valuable and delivered at the earliest 
possible moment 

Also in special cases where the reporting vessel 
has not travelled off course .... 

(8) When Drifters, by direction of Naval Authorities, 

are sent to set their nets in a certain area 
which it is desired to clear of Enemy Mines, 
and tho nets are damaged or destroyed by 
such mines, the reward is the amount of 
the proved value of the nets, in addition 
to the reward under (3) for mines exploded . 

(9) For the first report of a Mine washed up on 

shore, in cases where the Mine is actually 
recovered 



Amount not to 

exceed a 
Maximum of 



I,000/. 
I,000/. 

5*. 



I,000/. 



200/. 

i/. for each mile 
travelled off the 

course in order to 
report quickly. 



io/. 
los. per mile for 

each mile 

travelled off the 

course in order to 

report quickly, 

in addition to 3/. 

to the Skipper. 

5*. 



il. 



155 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

II. The areas, referred to in paragraph (3), are those in 
which navigation is permitted under the Admiralty Orders 
as published from time to time ; those in paragraph (8) may 
be designated by Naval Authorities as circumstances require, 
the Admiralty being informed whenever such local Notices 
are issued or withdrawn. 

III. Rewards under paragraph I., clauses (3), (6), (7) 
and (9), may be paid direct by Commanders-in-Chief and 
Senior Naval Officers ; those under (i), (2), (4), (5) and (8) 
are to be submitted to the Admiralty. 

The Admiralty or Senior Naval Officer will determine at 
their discretion the amount of the reward, its distribution 
between the Master and Crew, and share to be paid to each 
vessel if information is brought by more than one. The 
claims of Owners to share in the distribution are to be con- 
sidered in each case according to circumstances, and the 
amount apportioned accordingly. 

IV. Vessels observing Enemy War vessels or vessels 
engaged in mine-laying or other hostile or suspicious action 
should at once proceed towards the nearest British Warship 
or Port and report immediately. 

Reports should be made to Naval Officers, Coastguards, 
Customs Officers, or Fishery Officers. 

Where circumstances permit, reports should be made in 
writing, giving the following particulars of the Vessel sighted 
name, nationality, description, course and speed, date and 
time, position ; but in no circumstances should the making 
of the report be delayed. 

V. On all occasions when reports are made by fishing 
craft which render them eligible for a reward under the regula- 
tions mentioned, the Officer to whom the report is made 
should take all possible means to satisfy himself of the accuracy 
of the Skipper's statements. Special attention should be 
paid to any evidence as to the Skipper having sacrificed 
fishing in order to report. 

The times of his leaving port, commencing and ceasing to 
fish, returning to port, the time when he would normally 
have returned to 'port in the ordinary course of his fishing, 
and the amount of his catch, should all be carefully noted 
whenever circumstances permit. 
156 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

VI. Senior Naval Officers are to make the terms of this 
Notice known as widely as possible among those concerned. 
A supply printed in poster form, and omitting portions which 
do not concern the public, will be forwarded to them as soon 
as possible. 

65. Panama Canal Rules for Use by Belligerent 

Vessels 

The following " Rules and Regulations governing the use 
of the Panama Canal by Vessels of Belligerents and the 
maintenance of neutrality by the United States in the Canal 
Zone/' which are contained in a Proclamation by the President 
of the United States, dated November I3th, 1914, are to be 
observed by H.M. Ships and Fleet Auxiliaries : 

Rule i. A vessel of war, for the purposes of these rules, 
is defined as follows : a public armed vessel, under the com- 
mand of an officer duly commissioned by the Government, 
whose name appears on the list of officers of the military 
fleet, and the crew of which are under regular naval discipline, 
which vessel is qualified by its armament and the character 
of its personnel to take offensive action against the public or 
private ships of the enemy. 

Rule 2. In order to maintain both the neutrality of the 
Canal and that of the United States owning and operating it 
as a Government enterprise, the same treatment, except as 
hereinafter noted, as that given to vessels of war of the belli- 
gerents shall be given to every vessel, belligerent or neutral, 
whether armed or not, that does not fall under the defini- 
tion of Rule i, which vessel is employed by a belligerent 
Power as a transport or fleet auxiliary or in any other way 
for the direct purpose of prosecuting or aiding hostilities, 
whether by land or sea ; but such treatment shall not be 
given to a vessel fitted up and used exclusively as a hospital 
ship. 

Rule 3. A vessel of war of a belligerent, or a vessel falling 
under Rule 2 which is commanded by an officer of the military 
fleet, shall only be permitted to pass through the Canal after 
her commanding officer has given written assurance to the 
authorities of the Panama Canal that the Rules and Regula- 
tions will be faithfully observed. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

The authorities of the Panama Canal shall take such steps 
as may be requisite to insure the observance of the Rules and 
Regulations by vessels falling under Rule 2 which are not 
commanded by an officer of the military fleet. 

Rule 4. Vessels of war of a belligerent and vessels falling 
under Rule 2 shall not revictual nor take any stores in the 
Canal except so far as may be strictly necessary ; and the 
transit of such vessels through the Canal shall be effected 
with the least possible delay in accordance with the Canal 
Regulations in force, and with only such intermission as may 
result from the necessities of the service. 

Prizes shall be in all respects subject to the same Rules as 
vessels of war of the belligerents. 

Rule 5. No vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling 
under Rule 2 shall receive fuel or lubricants while within the 
territorial waters of the Canal Zone, except on the written 
authorisation of the Canal Authorities, specifying the amount 
of fuel and lubricants which may be received. 

Rule 6. Before issuing any authorisation for the receipt 
of fuel and lubricants by any vessel of war of a belligerent or 
vessel falling under Rule 2, the Canal Authorities shall obtain 
a written declaration, duly signed by the officer commanding 
such vessel, stating the amount of fuel and lubricants already 
on board. 

Rule 7. Supplies will not be furnished by the Govern- 
ment of the United States, either directly or indirectly through 
the intervention of a corporation, or otherwise, to vessels of 
war of a belligerent or vessels falling under Rule 2. If fur- 
nished by private contractors, or if taken from vessels under 
the control of a belligerent, fuel and lubricants may be taken 
on board vessels of war of a belligerent or vessels falling under 
Rule 2 only upon permission of the Canal Authorities, and then 
only in such amounts as will enable them, with the fuel and 
lubricants already on board, to reach the nearest accessible 
port, not an enemy port, at which they can obtain supplies 
necessary for the continuation of the voyage. The amounts 
of fuel and lubricants so received will be deducted from the 
amounts otherwise allowed in the ports under the jurisdiction 
of the United States during any time within a period of three 
months thereafter. Provisions furnished by contractors may 
be supplied only upon permission of the Canal Authorities, and 
158 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

then only in amount sufficient to bring up their supplies to 
the peace standard. 

Rule 8. No belligerent shall embark or disembark troops, 
munitions of war, or warlike materials in the Canal, except in 
case of necessity due to accidental hindrance of the transit. 
In such cases the Canal Authorities shall be the judge of the 
necessity, and the transit shall be resumed with all possible 
despatch. 

Rule 9. Vessels of war of a belligerent and vessels falling 
under Rule 2 shall not remain in the territorial waters of the 
Canal Zone under the jurisdiction of the United States longer 
than twenty-four hours at any one time, except in case of 
distress ; and in such case, shall depart as soon as possible ; 
but a vessel of war of one belligerent shall not depart within 
twenty-four hours from the departure of a vessel of an opposing 
belligerent. 

The twenty-four hours of this rule shall be construed to 
be twenty-four hours in addition to the time necessarily 
occupied in passing through the Canal. 

Rule 10. In the exercise of the exclusive right of the 
United States to provide for the regulation and management 
of the Canal, and in order to ensure that the Canal shall be 
kept free and open on terms of entire equality to vessels of 
commerce and of war, there shall not be, except by special 
arrangement, at any one time a greater number of vessels of 
war of any one nation, including those of the Allies of a 
belligerent nation, than three in either terminal port and its 
adjacent terminal waters, or than three in transit through 
the Canal ; nor shall the total number of such vessels, at any 
one time, exceed six in all the territorial waters of the Canal 
Zone under the jurisdiction of the United States. 

Rule ii. When vessels of war or vessels falling under 
Rule 2, belonging to or employed by opposing belligerents, 
are present simultaneously in the waters of the Canal Zone, a 
period of not less than twenty-four hours must elapse between 
the departure of the vessel belonging to or employed by one 
belligerent and the departure of the vessel belonging to or 
employed by his adversary. 

The order of departure is determined by order of arrival, 
unless the vessel which arrived first is so circumstanced that 
an extension of her stay is permissible. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

A vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling under 
Rule 2 may not leave the waters of the Canal Zone until 
twenty-four hours after the departure of a private vessel 
flying the flag of the adversary. 

Rule 12. A vessel of war of a belligerent or vessel falling 
under Rule 2 which has left the waters of the Canal Zone, 
whether she has passed through the Canal or not, shall, if she 
returns within a period of one week after her departure, lose 
all privileges of precedence in departure from the Canal Zone, 
or in passage through the Canal, over vessels -flying the flag 
of her adversaries which may enter those waters after her 
return and before the expiration of one week subsequent to 
her previous departure. In any such case the time of depar- 
ture of a vessel which has so returned shall be fixed by the 
Canal Authorities, who may in so doing consider the wishes 
of the commander of a public vessel or of the master of a 
private vessel of the adversary of the returned vessel, which 
adversary's vessel is then present within the waters of the 
Canal Zone. 

Rule 13. The repair facilities and docks belonging to the 
United States and administered by the Canal Authorities 
shall not be used by a vessel of war of a belligerent, or vessels 
falling under Rule 2, except when necessary in case of actual 
distress, and then only upon the order of the Canal Authori- 
ties, and only to the degree necessary to render the vessel 
seaworthy. Any work authorised shall be done with the 
least possible delay. 

Rule 14. The radio installation of any vessel of a belliger- 
ent Power, public or private, or of any vessel falling under 
Rule 2, shall be used only in connection with Canal business 
to the exclusion of all other business while within the waters 
of the Canal Zone, including the waters of Colon and Panama 
Harbours. 

Rule 15. Aircraft of a belligerent Power, public or private, 
are forbidden to descend or arise within the jurisdiction of 
the United States at the Canal Zone, or to pass through the 
air spaces above the lands and waters within said juris- 
diction. 

Rule 16. For the purpose of these rules the Canal Zone 
includes the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbours 
adjacent to the said cities. 
160 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

84. Ratings serving Abroad Method of Payment 

In view of the difficulty of arranging for the regular pay- 
ment of Naval ratings serving in France and Belgium it has 
been decided that every man on proceeding for service abroad 
is to be supplied with a Sailor's Pocket Book, in order that 
advances of pay may be obtained as required from any 
Accountant Officer who may be available. Each book should 
give the man's full name, rating, official number, depot or 
ship where borne for pay, and the net rate of advance which 
may be paid, after allowing for allotment, insurance and any 
other charges. The state of the account at the time of des- 
patch should also be indicated. The men's accounts should 
remain open on the books of their ship or depot, and be 
adjusted quarterly by making the necessary charges for 
allotments, etc., and for such advances of pay as are reported 
to have been made. 

When an advance of pay is required by the men of a 
detachment the Officer in Command will requisition the 
necessary money from the nearest Accountant Officer, after 
satisfying himself that the state of the men's accounts will 
permit of the sums asked for being allowed, and will give his 
receipt for the total amount. The advance made to each 
man, together with the date of payment, must be entered in 
his Pocket Book when the payment takes place, and at the 
same time the men's receipts must be obtained on Acquit- 
tance Rolls, such as are used in the Army for this purpose. 
These should be handed to the Accountant Officer as the 
Paying Officer's discharge for the sum received. Extracts 
therefrom will finally be despatched by the Accountant Officer 
to the men's ships or depots to be charged in their detailed 
accounts, and in order to facilitate their prompt despatch the 
ship or depot (as shown in the Pocket Book) should invariably 
be stated thereon. 

In cases where the Officer in Command of a detachment 
renders an account to the Admiralty he will himself make 
advances as required and forward the necessary information 
to the men's ships, the Pocket Books being noted in the 
manner indicated. 

Supplies of the Pocket Book and Acquittance Rolls are 
available at the West India Docks, and should at once be 

NAVAL 3 L l6l 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [JA: 

requisitioned for issue of future drafts. Where time permits 
it is desirable also that the system should be explained to the 
Officers and Men, who are not at present acquainted with this 
method of payment. 

Steps should also be taken to write up Pocket Books for 
all ratings already serving on the Continent, and the present 
state of the account should be shown in each case. They 
should then be despatched to the Officers in Command of the 
various detachments, together with a supply of Acquittance 
Rolls and a copy of this Order. 



162 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



FEBRUARY 1915 

NOTICE OF THE GERMAN ADMIRAL STAFF CON- 
CERNING NAVIGATION ON THE FRENCH COAST 

The Reichs-und-Staatsanzeiger publishes the following K.D. 
official notice : 

Berlin, February i, 1915. 

NOTICE. 

England is about to transport numerous troops and large 
quantities of war supplies to France. All military means at 
our disposal will be employed against these transports. 
Peaceful shipping is strongly warned against approaching the 
northern and western coasts of France, where it might be 
mistaken for vessels engaged in warlike operations and thus 
become exposed to grave danger. Merchant vessels pro- 
ceeding to the North Sea are recommended to use the route 
round Scotland. 

The Chief of the Admiral Staff, 

v. POHL. 

GERMAN SUBMARINE ATTACKED BY 

H.M.S. VANDUARA 

% 

Admiralty, March 12. 

H.M.S. Vanduara (auxiliary armed vessel) engaged a Times, 
German submarine in the Irish Sea on the ist February. March 13, 

The German Government allege that she did not show her I 9 I 5- 
colours before firing. The Commanding Officer of the Van- 
duara, however, reported at the time, * I was flying no colours, 
but hoisted white ensign before opening fire/ 

As fire was opened at about 3000 yards, and the yacht 

163 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

altered course to bring her bows on to the submarine, which 
submerged when she was still 2000 yards away, it is clear 
that there could have been fto justification for any positive 

statement on the part of the officer of the submarine. 



MR. CHURCHILL ON THE ALLIED FLEETS 

Times, The Matin publishes the following interview which its 

Feb. 3, special correspondent in London has had with the First Lord 
of the Admiralty : 

The aim of my interview may be summed up in the follow- 
ing question which I asked Mr. Churchill : ' What has been 
the combined effort of the British and French Fleets ? ' The 
First Lord replied : * The action of the Navy is necessarily 
slow. The pressure exercised on the adversary never ceases. 
While the Germans remain under cover, they have a great 
advantage over us. Take, for example, their submarines, of 
which they never cease to speak. We have more than they, 
but how can we send ours against theirs ? Submarines do 
not fight each other. Any single submarine of theirs which 
leaves harbour can naturally do more work than ten British 
submarines, which cannot find a single German ship to 
attack. It is easy to lose, either by submarine attacks or 
by mines, a battleship which has cost millions, not to speak 
of the lives on board. It is, therefore, necessary to act with 
prudence when, unlike the Germans, one is not hiding in port, 
but continually exposed on the high seas. 

' Let us recapitulate the work of our Navy since the 
opening of hostilities. Do you know how many German 
warships are still at large ? Two cruisers, the Karlsruhe and 
the Dresden, and two auxiliary . cruisers, the Kronprinz 
Wilhelm and the Prinz Eitel Friedrich. This is the first time 
that Great Britain can say in war that the seas are free. 
When we were fighting with you we never achieved an equal 
result. Even after Trafalgar things were not the same. 
Thanks to the freedom of the seas, the whole of Asia is open 
to us and our Allies. The same can be said of Australia and 
Africa That is to say, four-fifths of the world. 

' With regard to America, even if we suppose that in 
South America the Germans have relations and friendships, 
any help sent from that quarter cannot reach them. As for 
164 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the United States, it is possible that public opinion hesitated 
at the outset. But now Americans know. 

' We will know fyow to take all precautions compatible 
with the rights of belligerents and the respect of neutral 
Powers. Our grip on Germany will not cease until she has 
been crushed, for even if you, France, and our ally, Russia, 
decided to end the struggle which is inconceivable- we will 
continue to fight alone until the end/ 

I have been told by our Naval officers that on all occasions 
when our forces have acted together with the English we have 
been treated with great gallantry. We have always been 
given a place of honour in which it was possible for us to 
distinguish ourselves. I told the First Lord how much we 
appreciated this in France. He replied : 

' Napoleon said " Malta or war/' At the beginning of 
this campaign I spoke to the chiefs of your Navy, and when 
we had made all necessary arrangements, I said to them : 
" Malta will be your base. You can consider Malta to be a 
second Toulon/' 

Speaking about the situation on the front, Mr. Churchill 
concluded : 

' All our officers who have been in contact with your 
Army are unanimous in their opinion. We have an un- 
limited admiration for the effort made by France and by her 
Army. You can repeat this to your compatriots/ 



THE ASTURIAS ATTACKED 

Paris, February 2. 

An official note issued by the French Ministry of Marine Times, 
states that at 5 P.M. yesterday,, at a point fifteen miles north- Feb - 3, 
north-west of Havre, a German submarine fired a torpedo at 
the British hospital ship Asturias, but missed her. 

This action violates the provisions of The Hague Convention 
of November 18, 1907. 



House of Commons, February 3, 1915- 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : Can the Under-Secretary of State Hansard. 
for War give us any information about the attempt on the 

165 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Asturias, the hospital ship ; is he aware that the ship is so 
painted as to make it absolutely impossible that any mistake 
as to its character could have occurred ; and do the Govern- 
ment propose to make any representations to the neutral 
nations on the subject of this gross violation of international 
law ? 

MR. TENNANT : I have received by courtesy of the noble 
Lord, notice of this question and I have made inquiries at the 
War Office, but we have no official information there. I have 
put myself in communication with the Admiralty, and I under- 
stand that a telegram has been received at the Admiralty. 
Perhaps the noble Lord will address his question to the 
Admiralty. 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : Then perhaps I may be allowed to 
put the question to the representative of the Admiralty ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : Perhaps the noble Lord will raise the matter 
on the Motion for the Adjournment. 
LORD ROBERT CECIL : I will. 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : We received a message advising us that a 
submarine, with conning towers showing, fired a torpedo at the 
Asturias at five o'clock in the afternoon of the first. Happily, 
it missed her. She was painted white, with a green band, and 
red crosses, which were illuminated. I understand she was 
notified as a hospital snip to the belligerents by the War Office, 
in accordance with the Convention signed at The Hague on 
1 (See i8th October 1907.* Among those Conventions was a Con- 
Naval i, vention for 'the adaptation of the principles of the Geneva 
PP ' 4I4 " 2I ' J Convention to maritime war.' Those who concluded it were 
' animated alike by the desire to diminish, as far as depends on 
them, the inevitable evils of war ; and wishing with this object 
to adapt to maritime war the principles of the Geneva Con- 
vention of the 6th July 1906, have resolved to conclude a 
Convention for the purpose of revising the Convention of the 
29th July, 1899, relative to this question, and have appointed 
as their plenipotentiaries, that is to say ' Then follow the 
names of the plenipotentiaries, ' who, after having deposited 
their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have 
agreed upon the following provisions/ I should like to read 
166 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the first article. It is interesting to note that in the list 
of names of those who are so animated the first name I read is 
' His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia/ Article i 
reads as follows : ' Military hospital ships, that is to say, 
ships constructed or adapted by States for the particular and 
sole purpose of aiding the sick, wounded, and shipwrecked, 
the names of which have been communicated to the belligerent 
Powers at the commencement or dftring the course of hostili- 
ties, and in any case before they are employed, shall be 
respected and may not be captured while hostilities last. 
Such ships, moreover, are not on the same footing as war- 
ships as regards their stay in a neutral port/ With regard to 
the point as to representation made by the noble Lord [Lord 
R. Cecil] I will of course notify his suggestion to the Foreign 
Office. But this much is certain, that the civilised world 
will need no representation of ours to enhance its sense of 
horror at this wanton outrage. 



The Secretary of the Admiralty issues the following state- Times, 
ments made by the master and officers of the hospital ship Feb. 13, 
Asturias : I 9 I 5- 

Captain s Statement, Hospital Ship ' Asturias,' Havre, 
February 2, 1915 

At 4.15 P.M. on the ist February, with the P.M.O., I 
inspected ship, finishing at 5 P.M. Going towards the bridge 
from the main saloon, Mr. Fletcher, cadet, reported to me 
torpedo just fired at us passing astern. I at once went on 
the bridge, and upon the Second Officer confirming the state- 
ment that he observed the wash of a submarine two points 
on the starboard beam, I at once starboarded 3^ points, 
sending down to the engine-room instructions to give the 
ship all steam possible. After that until passing the lightship 
I made a zigzag course. 

Seeing a French destroyer on my port quarter, also one on 
my port bow, I sent a wireless message that a torpedo had 
been fired at me and missed ; there was also a fishing boat 
in the vicinity of the French destroyer on my port quarter. 

167 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Apart from the testimony of my officers, a number of people 
on board not only saw the course of the torpedo, but also 
observed the submarine following in our wake. It was a very 
light and clear evening, and at 5.15 broad daylight, > and in 
no possibility could the character of the ship be mistaken. 

CHARLES LAW, Master. 

Statement of Mr. Thomson, Second Officer, Hospital Ship 
' Asturias,' Havre, February 2, 1915 

At 5 P.M. on the ist February, whilst in charge of the 
bridge, the ship being N.N.W., fifteen miles from Havre light- 
ship, I observed a smooth in the water about two points 
abaft the starboard beam 500 yards away ; about 150 feet 
from this smooth I distinctly observed the track of a torpedo, 
which passed us close under our stern. 

On observing the torpedo I immediately called the atten- 
tion of Cadet Mr. Fletcher, who was on watch with me, and 
instructed him to inform the Commander, who arrived imme- 
diately and starboarded 3^ points, at the same time ordering 
all steam. I was then relieved by the Chief Officer. 

A. N. THOMSON, Second Officer. 

Statement of Mr. Fraser, Third Officer, Hospital 
Ship ' Asturias ' 

A few minutes after 5 P.M., on hearing that a torpedo had 
been fired at the ship, I took my glasses and went aft and 
could distinctly see the wash of the periscope of a submarine 
following astern until about 5.30, when he appeared to sheer 
off to starboard. Two French destroyers were active on each 
quarter following us into shoal water. There were a number 
of R.A.M.C. officers with me, who also saw the submarine. 

J. W. FRASER, Third Officer. 

Statement of Mr. Fletcher, Cadet, Hospital Ship 
'Asturias,' February 2, 1915 

Whilst on watch with the second officer on February i 
at 5 P.M. we had just sighted Cape La Heve twenty-one miles 
off, and I was laying off a bearing in the wheel-house, the 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Second Officer called to me: 'Come at once, a torpedo has 
been fired at us/ I observed a smooth on the water about 
two points abaft the starboard beam, and a track of a torpedo 
about thirty yards from it travelling towards the ship, and 
I could distinctly see the track passing astern. I at once 
went to the captain to report, whom I met coming towards 
the bridge, and reported same. 

E. I. FLETCHER, Cadet. 

Statement of Mr. Youlten, Cadet, Hospital Ship ' Asturias ,' 
Havre, February 2, 1915 

Hearing that a torpedo had been fired at us I ran on deck 
and saw a periscope of a submarine on the starboard quarter. 
I then went aft and could distinctly see the wash of a peri- 
scope in our own wash slightly on the starboard quarter. 
At 5.25 I lost sight of it ; we were increasing our distance all 
the time. I had no glasses with me. 

BASIL A. H. YOULTEN, Cadet. 



Washington, March 7. 

The German Embassy publishes a remarkable admission Times, 
of the attack on the hospital ship Asturias off Havre, evidently March 
received in a cablegram from Berlin. It runs as follows : 

' The Government is sorry to admit that the Asturias was 
attacked on February i, at 5 P.M. Looming up in the twilight, 
carrying the lights prescribed for ordinary steamers, the 
Asturias was taken for a transport carrying troops. The 
distinctive marks showing the character of the ship not being 
illuminated, they were only recognised after a shot had been 
fired. Fortunately the torpedo failed to explode, arid the 
moment the ship was recognised as a hospital ship every 
attempt at further attack was immediately given up. 



The following correspondence has passed between Lord Times, 

Robert Cecil, M.P., on behalf of the British Red Cross and St. Apr. 9, 

John's Ambulance, and Dr. T. J. Macnamara, M.P., Secretary I 9 I 5- 

169 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL- 

to the Admiralty, with reference to the attempt on the part 
of a German submarine to torpedo the hospital ship Asturias 
in the Channel on February i : 

March 23, 1915. 

DEAR MACNAMARA, On February 5 the British Red Cross 
Society protested to the International Comit6 of the Red Cross 
at Geneva against the attempt to torpedo the Asturias. I 
send you a copy of the protest, which was signed by Lord 
Lansdowne, the Hon. Arthur Stanley, and myself. 

You will remember that something was said about the 
matter in Parliament, and later on there was a report in the 
newspapers that the German Government had made some 
communication to the American Embassy at Washington, 
admitting and regretting the incident, and giving a very 
inadequate excuse that the Asturias was not recognised as a 
hospital ship. 

We have now received a letter from the International 
Comit^ (copy of which I enclose), asking in what form the 
excuses have been offered by Germany, and whether she admits 
that the attempted torpedoing of the ship was a violation of 
The Hague Convention. 

Before replying to it, this Society would be very glad to be 
quite sure that the facts as originally understood are in all 
respects accurate. We should also like to know whether the 
Americans have had official expression of regret by the German 
Government. Yours very truly, ROBERT CECIL. 

DEAR LORD ROBERT, In reply to your letter of the 
23rd inst., I send you copies of the Official Debates for Feb- 
ruary 3 (columns 89-91) and March 10 (columns 1,363 and 
x >364). These I think give the references to the matter in 
Parliament. 

I am not aware as to whether there has been any official 
expression of regret from the German Government, but you 
will remember that in the newspapers of March 8 a statement 
appeared as having been issued by the German Embassy at 
Washington, as follows : [For text see previous page.] 

As regards the statement that the Asturias was ' carrying 
the lights prescribed for ordinary steamers/ the testimony of 
the captain is that it was broad daylight ; that no lights were 
therefore showing ; that in no possibility could the character 
170 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of the ship be mistaken ; and that Cap la Heve was visible 
twenty-one miles away. 

As I told you on February 3 the vessel was painted white 
with a green band and red crosses. She was also at the time 
flying the Red Cross flag. You will no doubt remember that I 
spoke of the Red Crosses on her sides as being illuminated. 
They were not, I find, actually illuminated at that moment, 
because as I have already stated it was broad daylight. The 
Red Crosses have always been illuminated and reported at the 
same time as the mast head lights and side lights. Very 
faithfully yours, T. J. MACNAMARA. 



TURKISH ACCOUNT OF A SKIRMISH 
NEAR KURNA 

Constantinople. General Headquarters reports : 
In the region of Kurna a small party surprised two enemy K.V., 
battalions entrenched behind barbed wire during the night of Feb. 2, 
January 30, and inflicted considerable losses on them. On the I 9 I 5- 
following day the enemy attempted to land in the neigh- 
bourhood under cover of gunboats, but was thrown back, 
leaving behind numerous killed, among whom were a captain 
and a non-commissioned officer. 

ALLEGED SECRET ORDER OF THE ADMIRALTY 
RELATING TO THE HOISTING OF NEUTRAL 
COLOURS 

Berlin. According to a trustworthy source the following K.V., 
secret order of the English Admiralty has become known : Feb. 2, 

Owing to the appearance of German submarines in the I 9 I 5- 
English and Irish Channels all English merchant ships are at 
once to hoist neutral flags and to cover all distinctive marks 
such as port mark, name, etc. House flags are not to be 
carried. This order is to be kept secret. 



171 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Foreign Office, February 7. 

Times, The use of the neutral flag is, with certain limitations, well 

Feb. 8, established in practice as a ruse de guerre. 
I 9 I 5- The only effect in the case of a merchantman of wearing a 

flag other than her national flag is to compel the enemy to 
follow the ordinary obligations of naval warfare, and to satisfy 
himself as to the nationality of the vessel and of the character 
of her cargo by examination before capturing her and taking 
her into a Prize Court for adjudication. 

The British Government has always considered the use of 
British colours by a foreign vessel legitimate for the purpose 
of escaping capture. Such a practice not only involves no 
breach of international law, but is specifically recognised by 
the law of this country. 

In the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, it is enacted 
(Sec. 69 (i)) as follows : 

' If a person uses the British flag and assumes the British 
national character on board a ship owned in whole or in part 
by any persons not qualified to own a British ship, for the 
purpose of making the ship appear to be a British ship, the 
ship shall be subject to forfeiture under this Act, unless the 
assumption has been made for the purpose of escaping capture 
by an enemy or by a foreign ship of war in the exercise of some 
belligerent right. And in the instructions to British Consuls, 
1914, if is stated ' a ship is liable to capture if British character 
is improperly assumed except for the purpose of escaping 
capture/ As we have in practice not objected to foreign 
merchant vessels using the British merchant flag as a ruse for 
the purpose of evading capture at sea at the hands of a belli- 
gerent, so we should maintain that in the converse case a 
British merchant vessel committed no breach of international 
law in assuming neutral colours for a similar purpose, if she 
thought fit to do so. 

By the rules of international law, the customs of war and 
the dictates of humanity, it is obligatory upon a belligerent to 
ascertain the character of a merchant vessel and of her cargo 
before capture. Germany has no right to disregard this 
obligation. To destroy ship, non-combatant crew, and cargo, 
as Germany has announced her intention of doing, is nothing 
less than an act of piracy on the high seas. 

172 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

London, February 8, 1915. 

A Reuter telegram announces that passengers in the K.V. 
Lusitania, which reached Liverpool early yesterday morning, 
declare that, as the ship was approaching the Irish coast, a 
wireless telegram reached her from the Admiralty to the 
effect that she should hoist the American flag. Accordingly 
the ship sailed under American colours to Liverpool. 



DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 
Washington, February 10, 1915. 

AMERICAN AMBASSADOR, London : 

The Department has been advised of the Declaration of U.S.D.C. 
the German Admiralty on February fourth, indicating that 
the British Government had on January thirty-first explicitly 
authorised the use of neutral flags on British merchant vessels 
presumably for the purpose of avoiding recognition by German 
naval forces. The Department's attention has also been 
directed to reports in the press that the captain of the 
Lusitania, acting upon orders or information received from 
the British authorities, raised the American flag as his vessel 
approached the British coasts, in order to escape anticipated 
attacks by German submarines. To-day's press reports also 
contain an alleged official statement of the Foreign Office 
defending the use of the flag of a neutral country by a belli- 
gerent vessel in order to escape capture or attack by an 
enemy. 

Assuming that the foregoing reports are true the Govern- 
ment of the United States, reserving for future consideration 
the legality and propriety of the deceptive use of the flag of 
a neutral power in any case for the purpose of avoiding 
capture, desires very respectfully to point out to His Britannic 
Majesty's Government the serious consequences which may 
result to American vessels and American citizens if this 
practice is continued. 

The occasional use of the flag of a neutral or an enemy 
under the stress of immediate pursuit and to deceive an 
approaching enemy, which appears by the press reports to 
be represented as the precedent and justification used to 
support this action, seems to this Government a very different 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

thing from an explicit sanction by a belligerent government 
for its merchant ships generally to fly the flag of a neutral 
power within certain portions of the high seas which are 
presumed to be frequented with hostile warships. The formal 
declaration of such a policy of general misuse of a neutral's 
flag jeopardises the vessels of the neutral visiting those waters 
in a peculiar degree by raising the presumption that they are 
of belligerent nationality regardless of the flag which they 
may carry. 

In view of the announced purpose of the German Admiralty 
to engage in active naval operations in certain delimited sea 
areas adjacent to the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, 
the Government of the United States would view with anxious 
solicitude any general use of the flag of the United States by 
British vessels traversing those waters. A policy such as the 
one which His Majesty's Government is said to intend to 
adopt, would, if the declaration of the German Admiralty is 
put in force, it seems clear, afford no protection to British 
vessels, while it would be a serious and constant menace to 
the lives and vessels of American citizens. 

The Government of the United States, therefore, trusts 
that His Majesty's Government will do all in their power to 
restrain vessels of British nationality from the deceptive use 
of the flag of the United States in the sea area defined in the 
German declaration, since such practice would greatly en- 
danger the vessels of a friendly power navigating those waters 
and would even seem to impose upon the Government of 
Great Britain a measure of responsibility for the loss of 
American lives and vessels in case of an attack by a German 
naval force. 

Please present a note to Sir Edward Grey in the sense of 
the foregoing and impress him with the grave concern which 
this Government feels in the circumstances in regard to the 
safety of American vessels and lives in the war zone declared 
by the German Admiralty. 

You may add that this Government is making earnest 
representations to the German Government in regard to the 
danger to American vessels and citizens if the declaration of 
the German Admiralty is put into effect. 

BRYAN. 

174 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



AMERICAN EMBASSY, 
London, February 19, 1915. 

Sir Edward Grey has just handed me the following U.S.D.C. 
memorandum since your telegram to him was given to the 
press in Washington. I consented to his proposal to give 
this memorandum out for publication in Saturday morning 
newspapers. ' The memorandum communicated on the 
nth February calls attention in courteous and friendly terms 
to the action of the captain of the British S.S. Lmitania in 
raising the flag of the United States of America when approach- 
ing British waters, and says that the Government of the 
United States feel a certain anxiety in considering the possi- 
bility of any general use of the flag of the United States by 
British vessels traversing those waters since the effect of 
such a policy might be to bring about a menace to the lives 
and vessels of United States citizens. 

' It was understood that the German Government had 
announced their intention of sinking British merchant vessels 
at sight by torpedoes without giving any opportunity of 
making any provision for saving the lives of non-combatant 
crews and passengers. It was in consequence of this threat 
that the Lusitania raised the United States flag on her inward 
voyage arid on her subsequent outward voyage. A request 
was made by the United States passengers who were em- 
barking on board her that the United States flag should 
be hoisted presumably to ensure their safety. Meanwhile 
the memorandum from your Excellency had been received. 
His Majesty's Government did not give any advice to 
the company as to how to meet this request, and it is 
understood that the Lusitania left Liverpool under the 
British flag. 

' It seems unnecessary to say more as regards the Lusitania 
in particular in regard to the use of foreign flags by merchant 
vessels. The British Merchant Shipping Act makes it clear 
that the use of the British flag by foreign merchant vessels 
is permitted in time of war for the purpose of escaping 
capture. It is believed that in the case of some other nations 
there is a similar recognition of the same practice with regard 
to their flags and that none have forbidden it. It would 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

therefore be unreasonable to expect His Majesty's Govern- 
ment to pass legislation forbidding the use of foreign flags by 
British merchant vessels to avoid capture by the enemy. 
Now that the German Government have announced their 
intention to sink merchant vessels at sight with their non- 
combatant crews, cargoes and papers, a proceeding hitherto 
regarded by the opinion of the world not as war, but as 
piracy, it is felt that the United States Government could 
not fairly ask the British Government to order British 
merchant vessels to forgo the means always hitherto per- 
mitted of escaping not only capture but the much worse 
fate of sinking and destruction. Great Britain has always 
when neutral accorded to the vessels of other States at war, 
liberty to use the British flag as a means of protection against 
capture, and instances are on record when United States 
vessels availed themselves of this facility during the American 
Civil War. It would be contrary to fair expectation if now 
when the conditions are reversed, the United States and 
neutral nations were to grudge to British ships liberty to take 
similar action. The British Government have no intention 
of advising their merchant shipping to use foreign flags as 
general practice or to resort to them otherwise than for 
escaping capture or destruction. 

' The obligation upon a belligerent warship to ascertain 
definitely for itself the nationality and character of a mer- 
chant vessel before capturing it, and a fortiori before sinking 
and destroying it, has been universally recognised. If that 
obligation is fulfilled, hoisting a neutral flag on board a 
British vessel cannot possibly endanger neutral shipping, and 
the British Government hold that if loss to neutrals is caused 
by disregard of this obligation it is upon the enemy vessel 
disregarding it and upon the Government giving orders that 
it should be disregarded that the sole responsibility for injury 
to neutrals ought to rest/ 

AMERICAN AMBASSADOR, London. 



176 



)I5] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



PAY, PENSIONS, AND ALLOWANCES TO VARIOUS 
CLASSES OF NAVAL OFFICERS 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 3rd day of February L.G., 
1915. Feb.' 9, 

Present 
The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the zgth day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and provisions, 
as are from time to time directed by Order in Council : 

' And Whereas by Orders in Council dated the 8th 
March 1895, and the 5th March 1910, provision is made for 
the payment to Officers called into active service from the 
Reserved or Retired Lists in time of war or emergency of 
the pay and emoluments of their corresponding Ranks on 
the Active List, together with a bonus of twenty-five 
per cent, for every pound of the full pay earned by them, 
exclusive of allowances : 

' And Whereas this arrangement is found to be in- 
equitable in cases where an Officer's retired pay exceeds 
the full pay of his corresponding Rank on the Active 
List : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to authorise the continued payment of retired 
pay to Officers on the Reserved or Retired Lists called 
into active service in time of war or emergency, including 
the present hostilities, in cases where such retired pay 
exceeds the full pay of their corresponding Ranks on the 
NAVAL 3 M 177 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Active List, together with a bonus of twenty-five per cent, 
for every pound of retired pay received by them during 
the period of re-employment, exclusive of allowances. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in this proposal.' 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed. And the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 



L.G., At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 3rd day of February 

Feb. 9, I9I5< 

Present 
The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the zgth day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

1 Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas we consider it desirable that improve- 
ments should be made in the scales of pay, and in the 
conditions governing half pay, applicable to certain ranks 
of Officers of your Majesty's Navy and Royal Marines : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to sanction the proposals set forth in the annexed 
Schedule, with effect as from the ist January 1915. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in these proposals. 

178 



9*5] 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



' SCHEDULE. 
' REVISED RATES OF PAY FOR CERTAIN RANKS. 

' Officers, Royal Navy. 





Present. 


Proposed. 




A day. 


A day. 




s. d. 


s. d. 


' Lieutenant, R.N., on promotion 


10 


II 


after 4 years 


II 


12 


' Sub-Lieutenant . . . . . 


5 o 


7 6 


' Assistant Paymaster on promotion . 


5 o 


7 6 


after 2 years 


7 o 


7 6 



' NOTE. The above rates of pay to apply to Lieutenants and Sub- 
Lieutenants, R.N.R. and R.N.V.R., and to Assistant Paymasters, R.N.V.R., 
except Assistant Paymasters, R.N.V.R. serving in the Royal Naval Division 
who receive los. a day under Order in Council of iyth December 1914. 

' Royal Marine Officers entered prior to ist January 1912. 





Present. 


Proposed. 




A day. 


A day. 




s. d. 


s. d. 


' Lieutenant, R.M.A. or R.M.L.I., after 3 yrs. R.M.A. 


7 5 


8 6 


R.M.L.I. 


7 


8 6 


after 6 yrs., both 


9 o 


10 



' NOTE. Afloat pay in both cases to be the same as shore pay. 





Present. 


Proposed. 




A day. 


A day. 




s. d. 


s. d. 


' Captain, R.M.A. or R.M.L.I., under i yr., R.M.A. 


12 I 


12 6 


R.M.L.I. 


ii 7 


12 6 


after i yr., R.M.A. 


12 7 


12 6 


R.M.L.I. 


12 I 


12 6 



' NOTE. Afloat pay to be 125. 6d. a day under i year, and 135. a day over 
i year, as at present. Captains now in receipt of the rate of i2s. 7d. a day 
to retain it. 

179 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 
' Royal Marine Officers entered after ist January 1912. 



x 


Present. 


Proposed. 




A day. 


A day. 




s. d. 


s. d. 


' Probationary 2nd Lieutenants, after 2 years 


6 o 


7 6 


' Lieutenants, R.M., on promotion 


10 o 


II O 


' Captains, R.M., on promotion 


12 


12 6 



' Quartermasters, R.M. 





Present. 


Proposed. 




R.M.A. 


R.M.L.I. 


R.M.A. 


R.M.L.I. 




A day. 

s. d. 


A day. 

s. d. 


A day. 

s. d. 


A day. 

s. d. 


' Quartermasters, ^on appointment 
R.M., / after 5 years . 


9 6 

II O 


9 o 
10 6 


10 6 

12 


IO O 

ii 6 


10 . 


12 6 


12 O 


13 6 


13 o 


15 


14 o 


13 6 


15 o 


14 6 


20 . 


15 6 


15 


16 6 


16 o 



'Half Pay. 

1 Half pay for less than a month to be abolished for all 
Officers below the rank or relative rank of Captain, Royal 
Navy, except in case of prolonged sickness, for misconduct, 
or at an Officer's own request. This concession to apply 
also, under similar conditions, to Officers on the Retired, 
Reserved and Emergency Lists when re-employed/ 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into considera- 
tion, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, 
to approve of what is therein proposed. And the Right 
Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to 
give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 



180 



915] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 3rd day of February L.G., 
1915. Feb. 9, 

Present 
The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the 2gth day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas the highest rate of pay for Lieutenant- 
Commanders entered as Lieutenants or Sub-Lieutenants 
on the Supplementary List of your Majesty's Navy under 
Orders in Council bearing dates the 29th June 1895, and 
gth August 1898, is 145. a day (in addition to Messing 
Allowance of 2s. a day), being the highest rate in force for 
Lieutenants, Royal Navy, at the time of the above- 
mentioned Orders in Council : 

' And Whereas the highest rate of pay for Lieutenant- 
Commanders is now i6s. a day, this rate being payable 
after 6 years' seniority as Lieutenant-Commander : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to sanction the payment of full pay at the rate of 
i6s. a day (in addition to Messing Allowance of 2s. a day) 
to Lieutenant-Commanders of 6 years' seniority entered 
on the Supplementary List under the above-mentioned 
Orders in Council, to take effect from the ist January 



' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in this proposal/ 

181 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into considera- 
tion, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, 
to approve of what is therein proposed. And the Right 
Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to 
give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 



L.G., At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 3rd day of February 

Feb. 9, I<)*5- 

I915 ' Present 

The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the 27th day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and provisions 
as are from time to time directed by Order in Council : 

' And Whereas we consider it desirable that the Officer 
appointed for Wireless Telegraphy duties at Gibraltar 
should receive an allowance of is. a day for travelling 
expenses : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to sanction the grant of this allowance, with 
effect as from the 4th August 1914. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in this proposal.' 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into considera- 
tion, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, 
to approve of what is therein proposed. And the Right 
Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are to 
give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

182 



1915] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 3rd day of February L.G., 
1915. Feb. 9, 

Present I 9 I 5- 

The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the 25th day of January 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner, 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and pro- 
visions, as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And Whereas by your Majesty's Orders in Council, 
dated the igth day of July 1912, and the 2ist day of 
January 1914, provision is made for the payment of a 
Uniform Allowance of 50 to Acting Mates and Acting 
Mates (E) respectively, on passing a qualifying examina- 
tion, and being confirmed : 

' And Whereas the existing state of hostilities has 
rendered it necessary to employ Acting Mates and Acting 
Mates (E) as Mates and Mates (E) respectively without 
completing the usual course of training, and being con- 
firmed in rank : 

' And Whereas we are of opinion that in these circum- 
stances the usual Uniform Allowance granted on con- 
firmation should nevertheless be paid : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your 
Majesty may be graciously pleased, by your Order in 
Council, to sanction the payment, during the period of 
hostilities, of the usual Uniform Allowance of 50 to 
Acting Mates and Acting Mates (E) employed in the 
performance of duty as Mates and Mates (E) respectively 
prior to confirmation. 

' The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in this proposal/ 

183 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed. And the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 



ADMIRALTY COURTS-MARTIAL 

House of Lords, February 3, 1915. 

Hansard. j^e EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I beg to ask the noble 

Marquess the question standing in my name on the paper- 
namely, whether a court-martial has been held, or whether 
it is intended to hold a court-martial, in the case of any of 
His Majesty's ships that have been lost during the present 
war, and, if so, which ? 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : My Lords, the question which 
the noble Earl has placed on the paper is one which the 
Admiralty tell me they consider to be of great importance, 
and they have not been able to-day to collect all the data 
which would enable them to reply to it. The noble Earl's 
question is simple in itself, but there are questions of policy 
involved with reference to which it is desirable that the 
Admiralty should be fully informed as to the various prece- 
dents in the past. I have just heard from them that they 
expect to be in a position to answer the question to-morrow 
if the noble Earl would like to put it down for that day. 
There is, I see, a somewhat important subject for discussion 
to-morrow the Second Reading of the Defence of the Realm 
Consolidation Act (1914) Amendment Bill, standing in the 
name of Lord Parmoor. Therefore the noble Earl would 
perhaps prefer to put his motion down for Tuesday in next 
week. But if he decides to place it on the paper for to- 
morrow, I have no reason to suppose that the discussion of 
Lord Parmoor's Bill will keep us far into the night. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I do not propose to initiate 
any debate either in asking the question or on receiving the 
noble Marquess's answer, and therefore I will put the question 
down for to-morrow. 

184 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



House of Lords, February 4, 1915. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I rise to ask the Hansard. 
Lord Privy Seal whether a court-martial has been held, or 
whether it is intended to hold a court-martial, in the case of 
any of His Majesty's ships that have been lost during the 
present war, and, if so, which ? 

The LORD PRIVY SEAL and SECRETARY OF STATE FOR 
INDIA (The MARQUESS OF CREWE) : My Lords, in reply to 
the question of the noble Earl I have to inform him that 
only one court-martial has so far been held in the case of 
the loss of one of His Majesty's ships that is, the case of 
the auxiliary cruiser the Oceanic, which ran aground early 
in September on the coast of Scotland. As regards the 
intention of holding a court-martial in the case of any other 
ship, I am afraid I am not in a position to answer that 
question either in the negative or in the affirmative. The 
Admiralty are not able to give the noble Earl the information 
which he desires. I understand that on this occasion the 
noble Earl does not desire to do what so often happens in the 
case of questions in our House namely, to make this the 
foundation for further discussion. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : Not to-day. 

The MARQUESS OF CREWE : I gather that he proposes to 
do so on some future occasion. It may, therefore, be of 
some help both to him and to us if I say one or two words 
upon the general position taken up by the Admiralty. The 
noble Earl was quite right on a former occasion 1 in stating l [Seep. 54.] 
that the holding of a court-martial in the case of the loss of 
a ship has been in the past, although not an invariable, yet 
a general custom in the Navy. It represents, as I understand, 
rather a custom than a statutory obligation ; and it is a 
custom which, as one looks through the history of the past 
two hundred years, has somewhat tended to diminish in 
observance, although its observance has remained general 
that is to say, there were very few cases in the eighteenth 
century when courts-martial were not held, and there were 
rather more in the course of the nineteenth century in which 
it was not thought necessary to hold a court-martial. The 
Admiralty take the view that the conditions of warfare have 
changed in many respects so fundamentally that more occa- 

185 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

sions may now arise in which it is not necessary to hold a 
court-martial than was the -case previously. Obviously we 
cannot look into the minds of our predecessors, and what 
the view of the Board of Admiralty a hundred years ago 
would have been in the case of a ship sunk by a mine or by 
a torpedo from a submarine, it is of course entirely impos- 
sible to conjecture. The Admiralty regard those changed 
conditions as in some degree justifying a change of practice. 
They also in this present war lay emphasis on the fact that 
the holding of courts-martial during its continuance would 
in a great number of cases involve the attendance of a number 
of officers, some of them very prominent, who are importantly 
engaged elsewhere ; and that is a factor which, as the noble 
Earl will realise, has become more salient in naval warfare 
as conducted at present than could have been the case in 
the past. 

The general view which the Admiralty take and this 
may be of some assistance to the noble Earl in initiating a 
future discussion is that, where there is any question of a 
failure on the part of an officer to obey orders, to act with 
due sense of responsibility, or to take proper precautions, or 
in cases in which misbehaviour on the part of a crew or any 
portion of it is alleged to have led to disaster, it is advisable 
that a court-martial should be held ; but in cases where 
those considerations do not in any degree arise, speaking 
generally the Admiralty hold that a court-martial may not 
be necessary. It is important to remember, however, that 
there are a number of cases, in their opinion, in which Courts 
of Inquiry, as distinct from courts-martial, may be held with 
a view to elucidating the cause, very often the material cause, 
of particular disasters. And in stating their view that 
courts-martial may not in every case be necessary, the 
Admiralty desire to emphasise the difference between those 
courts and Courts of Inquiry. I do not think that this 
afternoon there would be any advantage in my pursuing the 
subject further. Therefore I will leave it there, taking it 
from the noble Earl that he desires to deal with the subject 
at some later date. 



186 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



SUEZ CANAL NOT CLOSED 

The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following Times, 
announcement : Feb - 3. 

With reference to reports which have appeared in the I915 
Continental Press to the effect that the Suez Canal had been 
closed, the Suez Canal Company has issued a statement 
which denies this, saying that the Canal is open to traffic as 
usual, subject to precautions to ensure the safety of vessels 
in transit. 

TURKISH ATTACK *ON SUEZ CANAL 

Cairo, February 4, 1915. 

An official communique summarises the events from Times, 
Tuesday night [February 2] until midnight last night as Feb > 5, 
follows : 

Toussoum post was attacked at 3 A.M. by the enemy's 
infantry, and at the same time a determined attempt was 
made under cover of heavy maxim fire to cross the Canal by 
means of pontoons and rafts. At daybreak the enemy were 
seen advancing. Their artillery fired on Toussoum and 
Serapeum, and was answered by our artillery and the fire from 
our ships. After a certain amount of fighting, including an 
advance from Serapeum, the enemy retired at 3.30 P.M. 

During the action eight officers and 282 men were made 
prisoners, and a large number of dead were left lying in front 
of our position. 

H.M.S. Hardinge was twice hit by shells, and ten men 
wounded. Our other losses were two officers and 13 men 
killed and 58 wounded, of which one officer and two men 
killed and one wounded belonged to the Egyptian Field 
Artillery, which gave valuable assistance. 

At the Ismailia ferry at daylight the enemy were found 
entrenching 700 or 800 yards from our posts. Two battalions 
fired on us with rifles. During the day there was intermittent 
fire, but no infantry attack, and no casualties on our side. 

At El Kantara our outposts were attacked between 5 and 
6 A.M. The enemy were driven off, leaving 21 killed and 25 
wounded, and 36 un wounded prisoners were left on our hands. 

Later there was a partial attack from the south, but the 

187 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

enemy were checked 1200 yards from our position, and eight 
more of their dead were found. 

Our casualties were one officer slightly wounded, four 
Indians killed, and 24 wounded. 

The total strength of the enemy's forces engaged seems to 
have numbered at least 12,000 men, with six batteries, but the 
invasion of Egypt has merely taJken the form of Turkish 
prisoners being brought to Cairo. 

The conduct of the troops, British, Indian, and Egyptian, 
was excellent. 

Constantinople, February 6. The Great General Staff 
reports : 

Our advanced guards have arrived in the regions east of 
the Suez Canal, and have driven back the English outposts 
towards the Canal. Actions which are still proceeding took 
place at the same time in the neighbourhood of Ismailia and 
Kantara. 

(Turkish Official) 

Constantinople, February g. 

The Ottoman army charged to deliver Egypt, by the grace 
of the Most High, approached the Suez Canal and the four 
British men-of-war which were there. It sank one, burned 
the other, damaged the third, and obliged the fourth to take 
to flight. A fifth British man-of-war anchored in a fright in 
the Suez Canal. Renter. 



K.D Constantinople, February 9. Headquarters reported yester- 

day as follows : 

The advanced guard of our army operating against Egypt 
has carried out a successful reconnoitring march through the 
desert, driven back the advanced posts of the English towards 
the Canal, and even crossed the Suez Canal with a few companies 
of infantry between Toussoum and Serapeum. In spite of the 
fire of the English cruisers and armoured trains, our troops kept 
the enemy busily occupied during the whole of the day, and took 
a full survey of his means of defence. An English cruiser was 
seriously damaged by our gun fire. Our advanced guard will 
188 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

maintain contact with the enemy and provide an intelligence 
service on the eastern bank of the Canal until our main force 
can advance to the attack. 

A part of our fleet has bombarded Yalta with good effect, 
and in another place sunk a Russian ship. 



In the course of the attempted attack on the Suez Canal c.O., 
by the Turkish Army on February 3, the two French warships Feb. 15, 
Requin and D' Entrecasteaux successfully contributed to the I 9 I 5 
defence of the Canal. The coast defence vessel Requin 
silenced the big Turkish guns and the cruiser D' Entrecasteaux 
dispersed an important group of the enemy. Neither vessel 
suffered any damage. 



NOTICE TO MARINERS 
(No. 84 of the year 1915) 
ENGLAND EAST COAST 

River Number Pilotage 

Mariners are hereby warned that, under the Defence of the L.G., 
Realm Regulations, 1914, the following instructions, respecting Feb. 4, 
Pilotage of the River Humber, are now in force : I 9 I 5 

Until further notice, the Outer Pilot Station of the Humber 
Pilotage District will be in the neighbourhood of the Bull 
Light-vessel. 

All vessels, irrespective of draught, size and nationality, 
bound to or from any place above Grimsby must be conducted 
by licensed Pilots over the whole or any part of the waters 
between Hull and the Outer Pilot Station. 

In the cases of British vessels employed in the Coasting 
Trade of the United Kingdom, of British fishing vessels, and 
of British vessels of less than six feet draught of water, if 
bound between Grimsby and the sea, pilotage by licensed pilots 
will not be insisted upon. 

When the Humber is closed to navigation, inward bound 
vessels must anchor in the neighbourhood of the Outer Pilot 

189 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Station, and wait there until navigation is reopened, and pilots, 
when necessary, are available. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, ^ih February 1915. 



DUTCH RIGHTS IN RHINE WATERS 

House of Commons, February 4, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. BIGLAND asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs 

whether he has information showing that prior to the outbreak 
of the war the Dutch Government had ceded to the German 
Government the Dutch rights in the waters of the Rhine ; and, 
if so, whether he will state the view of the British Government 
as to the effect of this treaty on the position of Holland as a 
neutral in the present war ? 

SIR E. GREY : The free navigation of the Rhine has been 
secured by three treaties : by Annex 16 of the Act of the 
Congress of Vienna, June 9, 1815 ; by the Treaty of March 
31, 1831, between Baden, Bavaria, France, Hesse, Nassau, 
the Netherlands, and Prussia ; and by the Treaty of October 
17, 1868, between France, Baden, Bavaria, Hesse, the 
Netherlands, and Prussia. These conventions are published 
in the State Papers. His Majesty's Government are aware of 
no other agreement affecting the rights of the riverain Powers. 

MIDSHIPMEN ON ACTIVE SERVICE 

ibid. SIR WILLIAM BULL asked the First Lord of the Admiralty 

whether, having regard to the fact that midshipmen in war- 
time work just as hard as any other members of the ship's 
company, and having regard to the reduction in the peoples' 
income at the present time. and to the concessions of free kit 
granted to military cadets by the War Office, he will consider 
the possibility of the State provision of the compulsory 
minimum of 50 a year pocket-money which is at present 
demanded from and paid by the parents of midshipmen on 
active service ? 
190 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : I regret that I do not see my way to 
recommending a general remission of the private allowance 
payable on behalf of midshipmen, but where real necessity 
exists the Board of Admiralty is prepared to give favourable 
consideration to applications for whole or partial relief. 

COAST PATROL 

MR. CATHCART WASON asked the First Lord of the Admir- ibid. 
alty if he can state the number of trawlers or steam drifters 
employed by the Admiralty in patrolling our coasts ; and 
whether, in view of the recent destruction of inoffensive 
merchantmen, he will consider the expediency of enlisting 
the services of a large number of such ships for the better 
protection of our commerce and for the destruction of sub- 
marines and aircraft ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : As regards the first part of the question, 
it is not in the public interest to give the information desired. 
As regards the second part, the Admiralty have always before 
them the importance of providing all possible protection for 
our commerce, and of taking all legitimate means of destroying 
hostile submarines and aircraft, and they adopt every measure 
which appears useful towards these ends. 

NAVAL OPERATIONS 

MR. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
whether the Fleet of which the Formidable was one was 
cruising without attendant destroyers, and, if so, why ; and 
whether this was the first occasion on which they had so 
cruised under a new admiral ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : I cannot undertake to discuss the conduct 
of naval operations during the progress of the war. 

NAVAL DEFENCE FOR CONVOYS 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the ibid. 
Admiralty whether, having regard to the fact that merchant 
vessels of slow speed have been destroyed by submarines, 
the Admiralty will provide naval defence for convoys in order 
to minimise the danger ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : Sir, all these matters receive careful 
attention in the proper quarters. 

191 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



THE WILHELMINA'S CARGO 

Washington, February 4. 

Count Bernstorff, the German Ambassador, acting on 
instructions from his Government, has suggested to the State 
Department that an American Consul should supervise the 
distribution of foodstuffs on the steamer Wilhelmina so as 
to ensure that they go to German civilians alone. Renter. 



Times, The following statement is issued by the Foreign Office : 

Feb. 5, Th e new German decree * makes it evident that all grain 

I9I 5- and flour is to pass under the control of the German Govern- 

1 ( See ment, and must, therefore, when imported be regarded as 
virtually consigned to the German Government or to autho- 
rities under their control. 

This creates a novel situation, and it is probable that if 
the destination and cargo of the Wilhelmina are as supposed, 
. the cargo will, if the vessel is intercepted, be submitted to a 
Prize Court in order that the new situation created by the 
German decree may be examined and a decision reached 
upon it after full consideration. 

There is no question of taking any proceedings against 
the vessel, and the owners of the vessel will be indemnified 
for any delay caused to it, and the shippers of the cargo 
compensated for any loss caused to them by the action of 
the British authorities. 

There is no truth whatever in the statement made in the 
Press that it has been decided that other such consignments 
will be seized, together with the vessels, without compensa- 
tion to neutrals, for no decision has yet been taken to depart 
from previously existing rules or practice. 

The apparent intention, however, of the German Govern- 
ment to sink merchant ships by submarine without bringing 
them into port or providing accommodation for their crews, 
and regardless of loss of civilian lives, and the attempt to 
effect this even against a hospital ship, has raised very 
seriously the question whether Great Britain should adopt 
in retaliation more stringent measures against German trade. 
It is recognised that when any such decision to this effect is 
192 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

reached, due care must be taken not to inflict loss upon 
neutral ships which have sailed before any warning has been 
given or the decision announced. 



A telegram from our correspondent at Falmouth states Times, 
that the cargo of the Wilhelmina has been seized, and will be Feb. 12, 
brought before a Prize Court. I 9 I 5 

It is stated the vessel has received orders for a port in the 
Bristol Channel. It is not known when she will sail. 

The Wilhelmina is an American vessel on a voyage from 
New York to Hamburg with a cargo of food shipped by an 
American firm, and consigned to an American citizen in 
Germany. The shippers stated that the food was intended 
for civilians in Germany, and not for military purposes. 
After the vessel had cleared from New York the German 
Government promulgated a decree by which flour and corn 
were taken under official control. 



Washington, February n. 

The State Department has decided that the Wilhelmina 
case must be allowed to go to the Prize Court, because of the 
contention raised that the German decree appropriating the 
grain supply justifies the seizure. The owners of the cargo, 
and perhaps the Wilhelmina s owners also, will be repre- 
sented by counsel. The American Ambassador will be 
instructed to watch the progress of the case. Renter. 



House of Commons, February 15, 1915. 

SIR JOHN LONSDALE asked if any decision has been arrived Hansard. 
at with regard to the cargo of the steamship Wilhelmina ? 

MR. PRIMROSE : After considering the special circum- 
stances of this cargo and its destination, it was settled to 
submit the cargo to the decision of the Prize Court, and 
there is no question of taking proceedings against the vessel 
itself. There is a report in the Press of possible negotiations 
for the sale of the cargo to the International Commission for 
relief of distress in Belgium, and if this is confirmed the 
decision come to would be reconsidered. 



NAVAL 3 N 193 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE UNITED 
STATES RELATING. TO THE CASE OF THE 
WILHELMINA 

The Secretary of State to Ambassador W. H. Page 

(Telegram.) Department of State, 

Washington, February 15, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. The Department notes that you have been informed by 

the British Government that the American steamer Wilhelmina 
has been sent to Prize Court, but is not yet unloaded. The 
Government of the United States, of course, has no intention 
of interfering with the proper course of judicial procedure 
in the British prize courts, but deems it proper to bring to 
the attention of the British Government information which 
has been received in relation to the character and destination 
of the cargo and to point out certain considerations prompting 
the supposition that the seizure may not be justified. 

This Government is informed that the W. L. Green Com- 
mission Company, an American corporation organised in 1891, 
which in the past has made extensive shipments of goods to 
Germany, is the sole owner of the cargo, which consists 
entirely of foodstuffs consigned to the W. L. Green Commis- 
sion Company, Hamburg, and that the Company's manager, 
now in Europe, has instructions to sell the cargo solely to 
the civilian population of Hamburg. A copy of the ship's 
manifest has been submitted to this Government, accom- 
panied by a sworn statement from the Company's manager, 
in which he represents that he was instructed to proceed to 
Germany to dispose of the cargo to private purchasers in 
that country, and not to any belligerent Government nor 
armed forces of such Government, nor to any agent of a 
belligerent Government or of its armed forces. 

According to well-established practice among nations, 
admitted, as this Government understands, by the Govern- 
ment of Great Britain, the articles of which the Wilhelmina s 
cargo is said to consist are subject to seizure as contraband 
only in case they are destined for the use of a belligerent 
government or its armed forces. The Government of the 
United States understands that the British authorities consider 
194 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the seizure of the cargo justified on the ground that a recent 
order of the Federal Council of Germany, promulgated after 
the vessel sailed, required the delivery of imported articles 
to the German Government. The owners of the cargo have 
represented to this Government that such a position is 
untenable. They point out that, by a provision of the order 
in question as originally announced, the regulations in relation 
to the seizure of food products are made inapplicable to such 
products imported after January thirty-one, nineteen fifteen. 
They further represent that the only articles shipped on the 
Wilhelmina which are embraced within the terms of these 
regulations are wheat and bran, which constitute about 
fifteen per centum of the cargo as compared with eighty-five 
per centum consisting of meats, vegetables, and fruits. The 
owners also assert that the regulations contemplate the dis- 
position of foodstuffs to individuals through municipalities ; 
that municipalities are not agents of the Government, and 
that the purpose of the regulations is to conserve the supply 
of food products and to prevent speculation and inflation of 
prices to non-combatants. 

The German Government has addressed a formal com- 
munication to the Government of the United States in 
relation to the effect of the decree issued by the German 
Federal Council, and this Government deems it pertinent to 
call to the attention of the British Government a material 
portion of this communication, which is as follows : 

' i. The Federal Council's decision concerning the seizure 
of food products, which England alleges to be the cause of 
food products shipped to Germany being treated as contra- 
band, bears exclusively on wheat, rye, both unmixed and 
mixed with other products, and also wheat, rye, oats, and 
barley flour. 

' 2. The Federal Council makes an express exception in 
section forty-five of the order. Section forty-five provides 
as follows : The stipulations of this regulation do not apply 
to grain or flour imported from abroad after January 
thirty-one. 

' 3. Conjunctively with that saving clause the Federal 
Council's order contains a provision under which imported 
cereals and flours would be sold exclusively to the muni- 
cipalities or certain specially designated organisations by the 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

importers. Although that provision had for its object simply 
to throw imported grain and flours into such channels as 
supply the private consumption of civilians and, in conse- 
quence of that provision, the intent and purpose of the 
Federal Council's order, which was to protect the civilian 
population from speculators and engrossers, were fully met, 
it was nevertheless rescinded so as to leave no room for doubt. 

' 4. My Government is amenable to any proposition 
looking to control by a special American organisation under 
the supervision of the American Consular officers, and, if 
necessary, will itself make a proposition in that direction. 

' 5. The German Government further calls attention to 
the fact that municipalities do not form part of or belong to 
the Government but are self-administrative bodies, which 
are elected by the inhabitants of the Commune in accordance 
with fixed rules, and therefore exclusively represent the 
private part of the population and act as it directs. Although 
those principles are generally known and obtain in the United 
States as well as in England itself, the German Government 
desired to point out the fact so as to avoid any further 
unnecessary delay. 

1 6. Hence it is absolutely assured that imported food 
products will be consumed by the civilian population in 
Germany exclusively.' 

It will be observed that it is stated in this communication, 
which appears to confirm the contentions of the cargo owners, 
that a part of the order of the German Federal Council relating 
to imported food products has now been rescinded. 

This Government has received another communication 
from the German Government giving formal assurance to 
the Government of the United States that all goods imported 
into Germany from the United States directly or indirectly, 
which belong to the class of relative contraband, such as 
foodstuffs, will not be used by the German army or navy or 
by Government authorities, but will be left to the free con- 
sumption of the German civilian population, excluding all 
Government purveyors. 

If the British authorities have not in their possession 
evidence, other than that presented to this Government as 
to the character and destination of the cargo of the Wilhelmina, 
sufficient to warrant the seizure of this cargo, the Government 
196 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of the United States hopes that the British Government will 
release the vessel together with her cargo and allow her to 
proceed to her port of destination. 

Please communicate with the British Government in the 
sense of the foregoing. 

BRYAN. 

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State 

(Telegram.) American Embassy, 

London, February 19, 1915. 

Sir Edward Grey has just handed me the following U.S.D.C. 
memorandum. Since your telegram to him was given to the 
Press in Washington, I consented to his proposal to give this 
memorandum out for publication in Saturday morning's 
newspapers : 

MEMORANDUM 

The communication made by the United States Ambas- 
sador in his note to Sir Edward Grey of the sixteenth instant 
has been carefully considered, and the following observations 
are offered in reply : 

' 2. At the time when His Majesty's Government gave 
directions for the seizure of the cargo of the steamship 
Wilhelmina as contraband they had before them the text of 
the decree made by the German Federal Council on the 
twenty-fifth January, under Article forty-five of which all 
grain and flour imported into Germany after the thirty-first 
January was declared deliverable only to certain organisations 
under direct government control or to municipal authorities. 
The vessel was bound for Hamburg, one of the free cities of 
the German Empire, the government of which is vested in 
the municipality. This was one of the reasons actuating His 
Majesty's Government in deciding to bring the cargo of the 
Wilhelmina before the Prize Court. 

' 3. Information has only now reached them that by a 
subsequent decree, dated the sixth February, the above 
provision in Article forty-five of the previous decree was 
repealed, it would appear for the express purpose of rendering 
difficult the anticipated proceedings against the Wilhelmina. 
The repeal was not known to His Majesty's Government at 
the time of detention of the cargo, or indeed until now. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FE 

' 4. How far the ostensible exception of imported supplies 
from the general Government monopoly of all grain and flour 
set up by the German Government may affect the question of 
the contraband nature of the shipment seized is a matter 
which will most suitably be investigated by the Prize Court. 

' 5. It is, however, necessary to state that the German 
decree is not the only ground on which the submission of the 
cargo of the Wilhelmina to a Prize Court is justified. The 
German Government have in public announcements claimed 
to treat practically every town or port on the English east 
coast as a fortified place and base of operations. On the 
strength of this contention they have subjected to bombard- 
ment the open towns of Yarmouth, Scarborough, and Whitby, 
among others. On the same ground, a number of neutral 
vessels sailing for English ports on the east coast with cargoes 
of goods on the German list of conditional contraband have 
been seized by German cruisers and brought before the 
German Prize Court. Again, the Dutch vessel Maria, having 
sailed from California with a cargo of grain consigned to 
Dublin and Belfast', was sunk in September last by the 
German cruiser Karlsruhe. This could only have been 
justified if, among other things, the cargo could have been 
proved to be destined for the British Government or armed 
forces and if a presumption to this effect had been established 
owing to Dublin or Belfast being considered a fortified place 
or a base for the armed forces. 

' 6. The German Government can not have it both ways. 
If they consider themselves justified in destroying by bom- 
bardment the lives and property of peaceful civil inhabitants 
of English open towns and watering places, and in seizing .and 
sinking ships and cargoes of conditional contraband on the 
way thither, on the ground that they were consigned to a 
fortified place or base, a fortiori His Majesty's Government 
must be at liberty to treat Hamburg, which is in part pro- 
tected by the fortifications at the mouth of the Elbe, as a 
fortified town, and a base of operations and supply for the 
purposes of Article thirty-four of the Declaration of London. 
If the owners of the cargo of the Wilhelmina desire to question 
the validity in international law of the action taken by order 
of His Majesty's Government, they will have every oppor- 
tunity of establishing their case in due course before the 
198 



DOCUMENTARY -HISTORY NAVAL 

Prize Court, and His Majesty's Government would, in this 
connection, recall the attention of the United States Govern- 
ment to the considerations put forward in Sir Edward Grey's 
note to Mr. Page of the tenth instant as to the propriety of 
awaiting the result of Prize Court proceedings before diplo- 
matic action is initiated. It will be remembered that they 
have from the outset given a definite assurance that the 
owners of the Wilhelmina, as well as the owners of her cargo, 
if found to be contraband would be equitably indemnified. 

' 7. There is one further observation to which His 
Majesty's Government think it right, and appropriate in the 
present connection, to give expression. They have not, so 
far, declared foodstuffs to be absolute contraband. They 
have not interfered with any neutral vessels on account of 
their carrying foodstuffs, except on the basis of such foodstuffs 
being liable to capture if destined for the enemy forces or 
governments. In so acting they have been guided by the 
general principle, of late universally upheld by civilised 
nations, and observed in practice, that the civil populations 
of countries at war are not to be exposed to the treatment 
rightly reserved for combatants. This distinction has to all 
intents and purposes been swept away by the novel doctrines 
proclaimed and acted upon by the German Government. 

'8. It is unnecessary here to dwell upon the treatment 
that has been meted out to the civil population of Belgium, 
and those parts of France which are in German occupation. 
When Germany, long before any mines had been laid by 
British authorities, proceeded to sow mines upon the high 
seas, and, by this means, sunk a considerable number not 
only of British but also of neutral merchantmen with their 
unoffending crews, it was, so His Majesty's Government held, 
open to them to take retaliatory measures, even if such 
measures were of a kind to involve pressure of the civil 
population not indeed of neutral states but of their 
enemies. They refrained from doing so. 

' 9. When, subsequently, English towns and defenceless 
British subjects, including women and children, were deliber- 
ately and systematically fired upon and killed by ships flying 
the flag of the Imperial German Navy, when quiet country 
towns and villages, void of defences, and possessing no 
military or naval importance, were bombarded by German 

199 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

airships, His Majesty's Government still abstained from 
drawing the logical consequences from this form of attack 
on defenceless citizens. Further steps in the same direction 
are now announced, and in fact have already been taken, by 
Germany. British merchant vessels have been torpedoed at 
sight without any attempt being made to give warning to 
the crew, or any opportunity being given to save their lives, 
a torpedo has been fired against a British hospital ship in 
daylight, and similar treatment is threatened to all British 
merchant vessels in future as well as to any neutral ships 
that may happen to be found in the neighbourhood of the 
British Isles. 

' 10. Faced with this situation, His Majesty's Government 
consider it would be altogether unreasonable that Great 
Britain and her allies should be expected to remain indefinitely 
bound, to* their grave detriment, by rules and principles of 
which they recognise the justice if impartially observed as 
between belligerents, but which are at the present moment 
openly set at defiance by their enemy. 

' ii. If, therefore, His Majesty's Government should here- 
after feel constrained to declare foodstuffs absolute contra- 
band, or to take other measures for interfering with German 
trade, by way of reprisals, they confidently expect that such 
action will not be challenged on the part of neutral states by 
appeals to laws and usages of war whose validity rests on 
their forming an integral part of that system of international 
doctrine which as a whole their enemy frankly boasts the 
liberty and intention to disregard, so long as such neutral 
states cannot compel the German Government to abandon 
methods of warfare which have not in recent history been 
regarded as having the sanction of either law or humanity.' 

PAGE. 

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State 

(Telegram.) American Embassy, 

London, April 8, 1915. 

U.S.D.C. The Prime Minister has just handed me the following, 

which I have communicated to Hayes and Brooking, who 
strongly recommend its acceptance by their principals : 

' His Majesty's Government share the desire of the 

200 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

United States Government for an immediate settlement of 
the case of the Wilhelmina. This American ship laden with 
foodstuffs left New York for Hamburg on January 22nd. 
She called at Falmouth of her own accord on February gth, 
and her cargo was detained as prize on February nth. 
The writ instituting Prize Court proceedings was issued on 
February 27th, and claimed that the cargo should be con- 
demned as contraband of war. No proceedings were taken 
or even threatened against the ship herself, and in the ordi- 
nary course the cargo would have been unloaded when seized, 
so that the ship would be free to leave. The owners of the 
cargo, however, have throughout objected to the discharge 
of the cargo, and it is because of this objection that the ship 
is still at Falmouth with the cargo on board. 

' His Majesty's Government have formally undertaken 
that even should the condemnation of the cargo as contra- 
band be secured in the Prize Court they would none the less 
compensate the owners for any loss sustained in consequence 
of the ship having been stopped and proceedings taken 
against the cargo. 

' It was understood at the time that the proceedings in 
the Prize Court would be in the nature of a test case, the 
decision in which would govern the treatment of any subse- 
quent shipments of food supplies to Germany in similar 
circumstances. Since then the situation has, however, 
materially changed by the issue of the Order in Council of 
March n, 1915, and the measures taken thereunder which 
prevent further supplies being sent from America to Germany, 
whether contraband or not. 

' In these circumstances there is no longer any object in 
continuing the judicial proceedings in the case of the Wilhel- 
mina ; for it can no longer serve as a test case, and it is really 
agreed that the owners of the cargo, even if proved to have 
no claim, are to be treated as if their claim was good. Nothing 
therefore remains but to settle the claim on proper and just 
conditions, and this would, in the opinion of His Majesty's 
Government, be secured most expeditiously and with the 
least inconvenience to all parties by an agreement between 
the Crown and the claimants for the disposal of the whole 
matter. His Majesty's Government accordingly propose that 
such an agreement be arrived at on the following terms : 

201 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

" His Majesty's Government having undertaken to compen- 
sate the claimants by paying for the cargo seized on the 
basis of the loss of the profit the claimants would have made 
if the ship had proceeded in due course to Hamburg, and by 
indemnifying them for the delay caused to the ship so far 
as this delay has been due to the action of the British autho- 
rities, all proceedings in the Prize Court shall be stayed, on 
the understanding that His Majesty's Government buy the 
cargo from the claimants on the above terms. The cargo 
shall be discharged and delivered to the proper officer of the 
Crown forthwith. The sum to be paid shall be assessed by a 
single referee nominated jointly by the Ambassador of the 
United States of America and His Majesty's Principal Secretary 
of State for Foreign Affairs, who shall certify the total amount 
after making such inquiries as he may think fit, but without 
formal hearing or arbitration." His Majesty's Government 
would be grateful if the United States Ambassador would 
inform the claimants of the above proposal at his early con- 
venience and obtain their acceptance. PAGE/ 



ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON CONGESTION IN 
BRITISH PORTS 

Times, The President of the Board of Trade has appointed an 

Feb. 5, Advisory Committee, consisting of members nominated by 
the authorities of some of the principal docks in Great Britain, 
to consider and recommend the adoption by the various dock 
authorities concerned, either separately or in co-operation, of 
such measures as appear best calculated to remove or diminish 
the congestion in the docks and to deal with the traffic of the 
ports in the public interest in the most expeditious and 
advantageous manner possible. 

The names of the members of the Committee are as 
follows : 

Lord Inchcape, G.C.M.G., K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E. (Chairman). 

Lord Devonport, Mr. J. G. Broodbank, and Mr. H. T. 
Moore (London). 

Sir Helenus R. Robertson and Mr. Alfred Chandler 
(Liverpool). 
202 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Sir H. A. Walker (Southampton). 

Sir Sam. Fay (Immingham). 

Mr. E. C. Geddes (Hull). 

Mr. W. J. Noble (Newcastle-upon-Tyne). 

Mr. P. J. Pringle (Leith). 

Mr. J. Hannay Thompson (Dundee). 

Mr. D. Shields (Glasgow). 

Mr. Ernest Latimer (Manchester). 

Mr. C. S. Denniss (Cardiff), arid 

Mr. D. Ross Johnson (Bristol). 

Sir Frederick G. Dumayne -will act as Secretary of the 
Committee. 

Any communications on the subject should be addressed 
to the Secretary of the Committee at the Board of Trade, 
Whitehall Gardens. 

GERMANY DECLARES BRITISH WATERS A 
MILITARY AREA 

Berlin, February 4. 

1. The waters round Great Britain and Ireland, including Times, 
the entire English Channel, are hereby declared a military Feb. 5, 
area. From February 18 every hostile merchant ship found I 9 I 5- 
in these waters will be destroyed, even if it is not always 
possible to avoid thereby the dangers which threaten the crews 

and passengers. 

2. Neutral ships also incur danger in the military area 
because, in view of the misuse of neutral flags ordered by the 
British Government on January 31 and the accidents of naval 
warfare, it cannot always be avoided that attacks intended to 
be made on enemy ships may also involve neutral ships. 

3. Traffic northwards around the Shetland Islands, in the 
east part of the North Sea, and a strip of at least thirty sea 
miles in breadth along the coast of Holland is not endangered. 

VON POHL, Chief of the Admiral Staff. 

DECLARATION OF GERMAN GOVERNMENT ON ENG- 
LAND'S VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 

Since the beginning of the present war Great Britain has Times, 
carried on a mercantile warfare against Germany in a way that Feb - 9 

203 I 9 I 5- 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

defies all the principles of international law. It is true that 
the British Government has announced in a number of decrees 
the London Declaration concerning naval warfare to be 
binding to its naval forces, but in reality she has renounced 
the Declaration in its most important particulars, although 
her own delegates at the London Conference on naval warfare 
had recognised its conclusions to be valid as international law. 
The British have put a number of articles in the list of con- 
traband which are not, or at most are only indirectly, useful 
for military purposes, and therefore, according to the London 
Declaration as well as according to the universally recognised 
rules of international law may not be designated as contraband. 
She has further actually abolished the distinction between 
absolute and relative contraband, inasmuch as she has sub- 
jected to capture all articles of relative contraband intended 
for Germany without any reference to the harbour in which 
they are to be unloaded or to the hostile or peaceful use to 
which they are to be put. She does not even hesitate to 
violate the Paris Declaration, as her naval forces have seized 
on neutral ships German property that was not contraband. 
In violation of her own decrees concerning the London 
Declaration she has further, through her naval forces, taken 
from neutral ships numerous Germans liable to military 
service, and she has made of them prisoners of war. Finally 
she has declared the entire North Sea to be an area of war, 
and if she had not made impossible the passage of neutral 
shipping through the sea between Scotland and Norway, she 
has rendered it so difficult and dangerous that she has to [word 
missing] a blockade of neutral coasts and neutral ports, in 
violation of all international laws. 

All these measures have the obvious purpose, through the 
illegal paralysation of legitimate neutral measures, not only 
to strike at the German military strength, but also at the 
economic life of Germany, and finally, through starvation, 
doom the entire population of Germany to destruction. The 
neutral Powers have generally acquiesced in the steps taken 
by the British Government. Especially, they have not 
succeeded in inducing the British Government to restore the 
German individuals and property seized in violation of inter- 
national law. In certain directions they have also aided the 
British measures which are irreconcilable with the freedom of 
204 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the sea in that they have, obviously under the pressure of 
England, hindered by export and transit embargoes the transit 
of wares for peaceful purposes in Germany. The German 
Government has in vain called the attention of neutral Powers 
to the fact that it must face the question of whether it can any 
longer persevere in its hitherto strict observance of the rules 
of the London Declaration if Great Britain were to continue 
its course and the neutral Powers to continue to acquiesce in 
these violations of neutrality to the detriment of Germany. 
For her violations of international law Great Britain pleads 
the vital interests which the British Empire has at stake, and 
the neutral Powers seem to satisfy themselves with theoretical 
protests. Therefore, in fact, they accept the vital interests 
of belligerents as sufficient excuse for every method of 
warfare. 

Germany must now appeal to the same vital interests. To 
its regret it therefore sees itself forced to military measures 
aimed at England in retaliation against the English procedure. 
Just as England has designated the area between Scotland and 
Norway as an area of war, so Germany now declares all the 
waters surrounding Great Britain and Ireland, including the 
entire English Channel, as an area of war, thus proceeding 
against the shipping of the enemy. For this purpose, beginning 
from February 18, 1915, it will endeavour to destroy every 
enemy merchant ship that is found in this area of war without 
its always being possible to avert the peril that this threatens 
persons and cargoes. Neutrals are therefore warned against 
further entrusting crews and passengers and wares to such 
ships. Their attention is also called to the fact that it is 
advisable for their ships to avoid entering this area, for even 
though the German naval forces have instructions to avoid 
violence to neutral ships in so far as they are recognisable, in 
view of the misuse of neutral flags ordered by the British 
Government and the contingencies of naval warfare their 
becoming victims of an attack directed against enemy ships 
cannot always be averted. At the same time it is especially 
noted that shipping north of the Shetland Islands, in the 
eastern area of the North Sea, and in a strip of at least 
thirty sea miles in width along the Netherland coasts, is not 
in peril. 

The German Government gives such early notice of these 

205 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

measures that hostile as well as neutral ships may have time 
to adopt their plans accordingly. Germany expects that the 
neutral Powers will show no less consideration for the vital 
interests of Germany than for those of England, and will aid 
in keeping their citizens and the property of the latter from 
this area. This is the more to be expected as it must be to the 
interests of the neutral Powers to see this destructive war end 
as soon as possible. 

BERLIN, February 4, 1915. 

OPERATIONS IN EAST AFRICA 

K.D., Among detailed events of the war should be mentioned the 

April 19, following : At Wanga there was an affair of outposts during 
I 9 I 5- which Rifleman Bossart was badly wounded. The detach- 

ment at Fort Schirati won a success on January I7th. The 
enemy losses consisted of four Europeans, two Askaris dead, 
and nine Europeans and an unknown number of Askaris 
wounded. Eight mules, many cartridges and much baggage 
were captured. On January 22nd the English cruiser Astrcea 
fired twenty-one rounds at the customs-house on Kwale Island, 
and on February ist, 27 rounds at Kiwindje without hitting 
anything. On February 6th, an English cruiser bombarded 
Kisiwani. Early on February 6th, the steamer Adjutant, 
captured formerly by the English," was, during a reconnoitring 
cruise at the mouth of the Rufiji, unmanageable and driven 
ashore after a sharp action. The crew, one officer, 21 men, 
and two natives, were made prisoners. On board the Adjutant 
one man was killed and one badly wounded ; on the German 
side there were no casualties, in spite of a heavy bombardment 
by the Hyacinth. According to private intelligence, four 10.2 
centimetre and two 4.7 centimetre guns with ammunition 
fell into our hands. The Hyacinth was also hit, and retired at 
full speed. North of Kifumbiro, an English detachment, 40 
men strong, was surprised by the Boch (Bock ?) detachment. 
The enemy fled after a short resistance, leaving 17 dead, 
including five Indians. There were no losses on the German 
side. After destroying the Schirati buildings, the English 
evacuated the Boma Schirati, which they had strongly 
fortified, on February 3rd, and went to Waringu. Schirati 
has again been occupied by our troops. 
206 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

BLACK SEA OPERATIONS 

(Official) 

Petrograd, February 7. 

In the Black Sea our destroyers bombarded Khopa. The Times, 
cruiser Breslau arrived on Saturday at Batum, and fired Feb. 8, 
twenty shots without result at our destroyers, which were I915 * 
manoeuvring there, but they were harmless. After two shots 
had been fired by the fortress the Breslau made off. 

GERMANY'S WARNING TO NEUTRAL SHIPS 

Amsterdam, February 13. 

Communique by German Legation at The Hague : Times, 

Since Gernlany-, following the British example, declared Feb - 1 5 
as a war zone from February i8th English and Irish waters, 
Great Britain has declared as war ports all British ports, and 
has herself justified the use of neutral flags on merchant 
vessels. Moreover, according to reports from a trustworthy 
source, a great number of British merchantmen have been 
armed in order to destroy 'the German submarines by shells 
or to sink them by ramming them. Thus these ships lose 
their character of merchant ships, and become war vessels. 

Germany is again obliged, therefore urgently to warn all 
neutral ships not to enter English coast waters after Febru- 
ary i8th, as from this date the German Admiralty will prose- 
cute the war with all means against British war ports and 
the British armed merchant fleet. Neutral ships which are 
then still within the war zone run the same risks as if they 
pursued a course through the middle of sea battles between 
Germany and Great Britain, the place and date of which 
cannot be made known, and for these risks Germany cannot 
take the responsibility. 

The route around Scotland owing to the depth of the 
waters cannot be endangered by mines. There as well as 
in the waters of the North Sea, with the exception of British 
waters and German bays, neutral shipping will not be en- 
dangered by the measures of the German Admiralty. 

207 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Hansard. 



l [See 
Naval i, 
p. 92.] 

2 [See 
Naval i, 
P. 352.] 



DECLARATION OF LONDON 

House of Commons, February 8, 1915. 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister whether 
the Government have made any modification or changes in 
the Declaration of London from its original form ; if so, will 
he state what these changes are ; whether the Declaration of 
London, with or without its modifications, has the authority 
of international law ; whether any nations have accepted its 
terms as a new code of naval warfare ; if so, will he state the 
names of these nations ; and whether the British are using 
the Declaration of London or certain clauses .of it as a tempo- 
rary code during the present war ? 

MR. PRIMROSE : By Order in Council of 2Oth August, 1 and 
ZQth October, I9I4, 2 which have been published, certain 
modifications were announced subject to which His Majesty's 
Government were prepared to adopt the Declaration of 
London during the present hostilities. The Declaration has 
not been ratified, and has therefore not the same authority 
as a universally ratified code of law. In view of recent 
German announcements of an intention to disregard the laws 
and customs of the sea, further modifications in British prac- 
tice may be necessitated. 



RETIRED NAVAL OFFICERS 

ibid. LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 

Admiralty whether retired military officers called up for 
service during the war receive their full pension in addition 
to the pay of their rank ; whether retired naval officers called 
up for service during the war receive only 25 per cent, of 
their retired pay in addition to the pay of their rank ; and, 
if so, whether the Board of Admiralty will issue instructions 
for retired officers of the Navy to be treated in the same 
manner as retired military officers when called up for service 
during the war ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The answer to the first part of the 
question is, I understand, in the affirmative. As regards the 
second part, the general rule is that retired naval officers 
called out for service during war receive the full pay and 
208 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

allowances of their rank on the retired list together with a 
bonus of 25 per cent, calculated on their full pay without 
allowances, their retired pay being suspended. Owing to the 
practice in the naval service regarding the grant of a step in 
rank on the retired list, which in the majority of cases confers 
a considerable financial benefit on re-employment, it is not 
proposed to alter existing regulations. 

INTERNED STEAMERS 

MR. JovNSON-HiCKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
how many enemies' interned steamers have been put or are 
being put into the coasting trade ; and whether the Admiralty 
is exacting the highest rates prevailing in the market for 
these boats ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Thirty vessels are being used in the 
coasting trade out of thirty-six. The remainder are either 
unsea worthy or being employed for other purposes. The 
freight at which they are chartered is the current freight of 
the day for the voyage. The result of the action of the 
Admiralty has been to reduce the freights from the Tyne, for 
instance, from 135. 6d. to us. 

MR. JoYNSON-HiCKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty 
whether the Admiralty is letting enemies' interned steamers 
to shipowners and demanding from them considerably higher 
rate of pay than the Admiralty is itself paying the same 
shipowners for the use of their boats which have been com- 
mandeered ; and whether the rates which have been charged 
for the interned ships are being accumulated for the benefit 
of the alien enemy when the war is over ? 

DR. MACNAMARA: The Admiralty is not letting the 
enemies' interned ships to shipowners, but is running them 
for Government account. The freights earned are paid into 
the Exchequer. The ultimate disposal of the fund so raised 
is not yet decided upon, but it will not go to the enemy 
owners of the vessels. 

WARRANT ENGINEERS' PROMOTION 

MR. BARNES asked the grounds on which promotion is ibid. 
refused to warrant engineers, Royal Naval Reserve, in view 
of the number of commissions now being given to engineers 
NAVAL 3 o 209 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

who are not in the Reserve ; and whether these warrant 
engineers may apply for temporary commissions in the Navy 
or Merchant Service ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The* rank of warrant engineer was 
created in 1903 for the purpose of providing a permanent 
reserve of warrant officers for the Engineer branch of the 
Royal Navy. In this capacity they are a valuable reserve, 
as they supply the want most felt in the engineering depart- 
ment when a sudden expansion of the Fleet becomes neces- 
sary. Temporary commissions in the Royal Naval Reserve 
have, as a rule, only been granted to engineers taken up with 
their vessels for service in the Fleet, and these officers do not 
serve in regular ships of war. These appointments are in no 
way permanent, and terminate when the ship in which the 
officers are serving pays off. 

PRIZE MONEY (ABOLITION) 

House of Commons, February 8, 1915. 

Hansard. SIR CLEMENT KiNLOCH-CooKE asked the First Lord of the 

Admiralty whether he could now make a statement regarding 
the new scheme of poundage promised by the Government as 
a consequence of the abolition of prize money ? 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether the question of prize money for the Navy 
still remains in abeyance ; whether the Fleet have received 
any benefit up to date for the large amount of enemy's ship- 
ping (nearly 100,000 tons) which has been accounted for ; and, 
if not, whether he will make some communication to the 
House on this question ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will, if I may, answer this question 
and No. 43 standing in the name of the noble Lord the Member 
for Portsmouth together. The question of prize money has 
been receiving close consideration since the outbreak of 
hostilities, and certain conclusions as to the basis of distribu- 
tion have been taken by the Board of Admiralty. But the 
hon. member will recognise that under modern conditions 
the subject is more complicated than it has been in the past. 
I need scarcely assure the hon. member that the whole matter 
continues to receive the closest attention of the Government. 
The question of making periodic advances to the Fleet has 
210 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

been discussed from time to time, but there are very great 
difficulties in the way, and I am afraid that I can hold out no 
hope that such ad interim distributions will be possible. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Will there be no distribution of 
prize money until the war is over ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I think that may be so. There are great 
difficulties in the way. I would like to consult my advisers 
on the matter. 

NAVAL TRANSPORT SERVICE 

MR. CATHCART WASON asked the First Lord of the Admir- ibid. 
alty if he will consider whether the time has arrived when the 
captains and officers of merchantmen employed on transport 
service should have temporary Royal Naval Reserve com- 
missions conferred on them, not only for the purpose of 
defence, but also to enable them to deal effectively with in- 
subordination among the crew, especially considering the 
percentage of aliens among them ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The question has already been fully 
considered by the Admiralty, but I am advised that the grant 
of commissions would not effect the object in view. 

MR. CATHCART WASON : If the right hon. gentleman is 
unable to accept the suggestion in question, will he give the 
officers referred to a badge to show that they are employed in 
His Majesty's service ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will consider that, but as the crews 
are not under the Naval Discipline Act, my hon. friend will 
realise that it would not attain the object which he suggests 
on the paper. 

ADMIRALTY SWIMMING COLLAR 

MR. FALLE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is ibid. 
aware that the German sailor is provided with an efficient 
life-saving waistcoat ; if he is aware that our men are only 
provided with a kind of dog-collar, calculated only to assist 
in drowning any man using it ; if he will make proper pro- 
vision in this direction for our men, and whether he can say 
if any expert opinion, other than that of the manufacturer, 
as to the use and suitability of these collars was obtained 
before purchase by the Admiralty ? 

211 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : Certain statements have appeared in 
the Press in regard to the life-saving appliances in use in the 
German Navy. His Majesty's ships are normally provided 
with life-saving appliances 'sufficient to provide for the full 
complement of the ship. The Admiralty swimming collar 
was introduced as the most ready means of providing a 
personal equipment to be always worn or carried on the 
person which, while not encumbering the wearer in the per- 
formance of his duty, would give effective aid to a swimmer. 
As such, the evidence goes to show that it has answered its 
purpose, and been the means of saving many lives. I may 
remark that the collar was not introduced as the design of one 
manufacturer, but after consultation with representatives 
of leading firms, some of whom were experts in life-saving 
appliances. It was considered to be the best form of appli- 
ance that could be supplied quickly in the large numbers 
required. Since the introduction of the collar, the Admiralty 
have continued to devote constant consideration to the subject, 
with the result that it is hoped to issue improved appliances 
immediately. 

MR. FALLE : Can the right hon. gentleman give me the 
approximate cost of these collars ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I cannot off-hand, but I will tell the 
hon. gentleman if he likes to know. 

CASUALTIES ON MERCHANT SHIPS 
(COMPENSATION) 

House of Commons, February 9, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. STEWART asked the President of the Board of Trade 

whether he can now make any announcement as regards 
compensation being granted in the case of those captains and 
officers of merchant ships killed or injured through the opera- 
tions of the war ; and whether, if such compensation is to 
be granted, it will be made retrospective as from the begin- 
ning of the war ? 

The PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (MR. RUNCI- 
MAN) : A scheme has been prepared by the Board of Trade 
and the War Risks Associations for the payment of com- 
pensation in the case of all persons employed on merchant 
ships insured under the War Risks Insurance Scheme who 
212 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

are killed or injured through warlike operations and who are 
not already covered by the Workmen's Compensation Act. 
This scheme, which I hope will be completed and put in 
operation very shortly, will date back to the beginning of 
the war. 

MR. PETO : Will the scheme include compensation for 
loss of kit owing to the ship being sunk by submarine or 
otherwise ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : I do not think it is intended to cover 
loss of kit. 

INCREASE IN THE NAVY PERSONNEL 

A Supplementary Estimate for men in the Navy was issued Times, 
as a Parliamentary White Paper last night. The number of Feb - 9> 
additional men asked for is 32,000. T 9*S- 

This number represents the probable excess beyond the 
numbers already noted for the year 1914-15 : 

All Ranks. 
Original Estimate ...... 151,000 

Supplementary Estimate, August 5, 1914 1 . . 67,000 l [See 
Supplementary Estimate now presented . . 32,000 Naval i, 

Revised total .... 250,000 



BLACK SKA OPERATIONS 

(Official) 

Petrograd, February 9. 

Yesterday at 7 A.M., while our fleet was at sea, the coast- Times. 
guards between Sebastopol and Yalta sighted the German Feb. 10, 
cruiser Breslau, which drew in to Yalta at about eight o'clock, I 9 I 5- 
fired several shots on the town, and then steamed away. 
The German shells damaged four shops and the Hotel de 
Russie, but no persons were killed or wounded. 

As a reply to the bombardment of Yalta our cruisers were 
despatched to Trebizond, which they bombarded the same 
day at four in the afternoon, directing their fire on an eight- 
gun battery there. They also sank an enemy steamer which 
was lying fully laden in the port. Near Cape Yeros our ships 

213 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

sank another steamer laden with foodstuffs, and a Turkish 
schooner. 

Petrograd, February 10. 

Times, On the 8th inst. our torpedo-boat destroyers in the Black 

Feb. 12, s ea bombarded three enemy batteries at Trebizond, destroyed 

I 9 I 5 two bridges in the region of Platana, and a third west of 

Rize. In the course of these operations they again sank 

more than fifty sailing vessels of the enemy. 

THE GOEBEN 

Athens, February 9. 

Times, The following message from Mytilene is published here : 

Feb. 10, The Turks, under the direction of German officers, are 

I 9 I 5- actively engaged in fortifying the coast of Asia Minor facing 

Chios and Mytilene. 

The Goeben, which has been completely repaired, cruises 
night and day in the Bosporus, accompanied by a destroyer. 
Reuter. 

NOTICE TO MARINERS 

L.G., (No. ioi of the year 1915) 

Feb. 12, 

I9I5> CAUTION WHEN APPROACHING BRITISH PORTS 

PART I 

Closing of Ports 

1 [See Former Notice. No. i of 1915 ; 1 hereby cancelled. 

P- Z 3j (i) My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having 

taken into consideration the fact that it may be necessary to 
forbid all entrance to certain ports of the Empire, this is to 
give notice that on approaching the shores of the United King- 
dom, or any of the ports or localities of the British Empire, 
referred to in Part III. of this Notice, a sharp look-out should 
be kept for the signals described in the following paragraph, 
and for the vessels mentioned in paragraph (5), Part II., of 
this Notice, and the distinguishing and other signals made 
by them. In the event of such signals being displayed, the 
port or locality should be approached with great caution, as 
it may be apprehended that obstructions may exist. 
214 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

(2) If entrance to a port is prohibited, three red vertical 
lights by night, or three red vertical balls by day, will be 
exhibited in some conspicuous position, in or near to its 
approach, which signals will also be shown by the vessels 
indicated in paragraph (5), Part II., of this Notice. 

If these signals are displayed, vessels must either proceed 
to the position marked ' Examination Anchorage ' on the 
Admiralty charts and anchor there, or keep the sea. 

(3) At all the ports or localities at home or abroad referred 
to in Part III. of. this Notice, searchlights are occasionally 
exhibited for exercise. 

Instructions have been given to avoid directing movable 
searchlights during practice on to vessels under way, but 
mariners are warned that great care should be taken to keep 
a sharp look-out for the signals indicated in paragraph (2) 
above, when searchlights are observed to be working. 



PART II 

Examination Service 

(4) In certain circumstances it is also necessary to take 
special measures to examine vessels desiring to enter the ports 
or localities at home or abroad, referred to in Part III. of this 
Notice. 

(5) In such case, vessels carrying the distinguishing flags 
or lights mentioned in paragraph (7) will be charged with the 
duty of examining ships which desire to enter the ports and of 
allotting positions in which they shall anchor. If Government 
vessels, or vessels belonging to the local port authority, are 
found patrolling in the offing, merchant vessels are advised to 
communicate with such vessels with a view to obtaining in- 
formation as to the course on which they should approach 
the Examination Anchorage. Such communication will not 
be necessary in cases where the pilot on board has already 
received this information from the local authorities. 

(6) As the institution of the Examination Service at any 
port will never be publicly advertised, especial care should 
be taken in approaching the ports, by day or night, to keep 
a sharp look-out for any vessel carrying the flags or lights 
mentioned in paragraph (7), and to be ready to ' bring to ' 

215 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

at once when hailed by her or warned by the firing of a gun 
or sound rocket. 

In entering by night any of'the ports mentioned in Part III. 
serious delay and risk will be avoided if four efficient all-round 
lamps, two red and two white, are kept available for use. 

(7) By day the distinguishing flags of the Examination 
Steamer will be a special flag (white and red horizontal sur- 
rounded by a blue border) and a blue ensign. 

Also, three red vertical balls if the port is closed. 



GPCCIAL FLAG 




By night the steamer will carry : 

(a) Three red vertical lights if the port is closed. 

(b) Three white vertical lights if the port is open. 

The above lights will be carried in addition to the ordinary 
navigation lights, and will show an unbroken light around the 
horizon. 

(8) Masters are warned that, before attempting to enter 
any of these ports when the Examination Service is in force, 
they must in their own interests strictly obey all instructions 
given to them by the Examination Steamer. In the absence 
of any instructions from the Examination Steamer they must 
proceed to the position marked ' Examination Anchorage ' 
on the Admiralty Charts and anchor there, or keep the sea. 

Whilst at anchor in the Examination Anchorage, Masters 
are warned that they must not lower any boats (except to 
avoid accident), communicate with the shore, work cables, 
move the ship, or allow any one to leave the ship, without 
permission from the Examination Steamer. 

(9) In case of fog, Masters are enjoined to use the utmost 
care, and the Examination Anchorage itself should be ap- 
proached with caution. 

(10) Merchant vessels, when approaching ports are especi- 
216 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ally cautioned against making use of private signals of any 
description, either by day or night ; the use of them will 
render a vessel liable to be fired on. 

(n) The pilots attached to the ports will be acquainted 
with the regulations to be followed. 



PART III 



Ports or Localities Referred to 



United Kingdom 



Alderney 

Barrow 

Barry 

Belfast 

Berehaven 

Blyth 

Clyde 

Cromarty 

Dover 

Falmouth 

Firth of Forth 

Guernsey 

Hartlepool 

Harwich 

Jersey 



Esquimalt 
Halifax 



Canada 



Indian Ocean 



Aden 
Bombay 
Calcutta 
Colombo 



Hong Kong 



China Sea 



Lough Swilly 
Milford Haven 
Newfiaven 
Plymouth 
Portland 
Portsmouth 
Queenstown 
River Humber 
Mersey 

Tay 

Tees 
Thames 

Tyne 
Scapa Flow 
Sheerness 



Quebec 



Mediterranean 
Gibraltar Malta 



Karachi 
Madras 
Mauritius 
Rangoon 

Singapore 



217 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



[FEB. 



Durban 
Sierra Leone 

Adelaide 
Brisbane 
Fremantle 
Melbourne 



Africa 
Australia 



Tasmania 
Hobart 



Simons Bay 
Table Bay 

Newcastle 
Sydney 
Thursday Island 



Auckland 
Otago 

Bermuda 



New Zealand 



West Indies 



PART IV 



Port Lyttelton 
Wellington 

Port Royal, Jamaica 



Sweeping Operations 

H.M. vessels are constantly engaged in sweeping opera- 
tions off ports in the United Kingdom. 

Whilst so engaged, they work in pairs connected by a wire 
hawser, and are consequently hampered to a very considerable 
extent in their manoeuvring powers. 

With a view to indicating the nature of the work on which 
these vessels are engaged, they will show the following signals : 

A black ball at the foremast head and a similar ball at the 
yardarm, or where it can best be seen, on that side on which 
it is dangerous for vessels to pass. 

For the public safety, all other vessels, whether steamers 
or sailing craft, must keep out of the way of vessels flying this 
signal, and should especially remember that it is dangerous 
to pass between the vessels of a pair. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 

London, qth February 1915. 
218 



1915] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



RANK AND EMOLUMENTS OF OFFICER AT HEAD 
OF NAVAL TRAINING SERVICE 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the loth day of February L.G., 
1915. Feb. 10, 

Present- I915 ' 

The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 

WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the 3rd day of February 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval or 
Marine Force to a person being or having been an Officer, 
Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such manner 
and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and provisions 
as are from time to time directed by Order in Council : 

' And whereas we consider it desirable to confer on the 
Captain selected to supervise the Training Service of your 
Majesty's Navy the rank of Commodore, First Class, and 
to grant him a consolidated salary of 1200 a year, to- 
gether with Table Money at the rate of 305. a day pay- 
able when absent on inspection duties : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your Majesty 
may be graciously pleased, by your Order in Council, to 
sanction the rank and emoluments of this Officer accord- 
ingly, temporarily during the period of hostilities, with 
effect as from the ist January 1915. 

'The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in these proposals/ 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed. And the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

219 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



[FEB. 



BRITISH STEAMER CHASED BY SUBMARINE 

Amsterdam, February n. 

The British steamship Laertes arrived at Ymuiden this 
morning, having been attacked last night in the North Sea by 
a German submarine, which was supposed to be U 2. 

Captain Propert, of the Laertes, who arrived this evening 
at Amsterdam in order to make a deposition before the British 
Consul, resolutely declined, on instructions from the owners, 
to make any statement for publication. He said, however, 
that his crew consisted of 50 men, of whom 23 were Chinese. 
The rest were British. The Laertes was bound from Java to 
Liverpool with cargo of spices, tobacco, etc., and was proceed- 
ing to Amsterdam when a hostile submarine sought to stop the 
ship. 

The submarine pursued but did not overtake the ship. 
She discharged a torpedo, which, however, went wide, and 
also fired machine-guns, bullets from which are preserved by 
the captain of the Laertes as proof of the attack. 

The Laertes is a vessel of 4,500 tons, and belongs to Messrs. 
A. Holt and Co.'s well-known Ocean Line. 

Later. 

Although Captain Propert refused to relate the incidents 
of his exciting encounter, certain facts have leaked out which 
seem to be well established. Evening was approaching when 
the Laertes was summoned to stop by a German submarine, 
believed to be U 2. Captain Propert, who, of course, was 
fully aware of the German Declaration and the risks incurred 
in the passage, paid no heed to the signal. He was flying no 
flag at the time, but, putting on full steam, he hoisted the 
Dutch flag. The submarine thereupon pursued the Laertes. 
At one period of the chase she seems to have approached as 
near as 500 yards to the vessel. Captain Propert, knowing 
the limitations of submarines, outwitted his pursuer by 
steering an irregular course, putting his helm alternately to 
starboard and port. 

This zigzag course completely baffled the German boat, 
which then discharged a torpedo. Captain Propert saw it 
approaching, its track betrayed by a long line of bubbles on 
220 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the surface of the sea, and dexterously altered his course. This 
manoeuvre enabled the Laertes to avoid the projectile, which 
passed harmlessly by her. 

Then something seems to have gone wrong with the 
submarine's mechanism, for her chase of the Laertes stopped 
when she was about 500 yards from that vessel, which proceed- 
ing on her way was able to elude her pursuer. 

The Laertes, still keeping the submarine under the closest 
observation, was surprised to see her enveloped in steam, 
apparently in difficulties. This was the last view the Laertes 
had of her pursuer. 



The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following Times, 
announcement : Feb. 15, 

Captain William Henry Propert, of the steamship Laertes, I 9 I 5- 
having been granted a temporary commission as lieutenant in 
the Royal Naval Reserve as from the loth February 1915, the 
King has been graciously pleased to award him the 
Distinguished Service Cross for his gallant and spirited 
conduct in command of his unarmed ship when exposed to 
attack by the gun-fire and torpedo of a German submarine on 
the loth inst. 

The Admiralty has conveyed to Captain Propert and the 
officers and men under his command an expression of high 
appreciation of their conduct, and has bestowed upon each 
officer a gold watch. A complimentary grant of 3 has also 
been made to every member of the crew. This exceptional 
recognition is intended to mark the example set by this 
merchant vessel. 



NAVAL MISSION TO TURKEY 

House of Commons, February 10, 1915. 

MR. KING asked the First Lord of the Admiralty when Hansard. 
the Naval Mission to Turkey was withdrawn ? 

The FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (MR. CHURCHILL) : 
The Naval Mission was withdrawn from Turkish service on 
the I3th September 1914, and actually left Constantinople 
on the 1 7th September. 

221 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

IMPERIAL OTTOMAN DOCKS AND ARSENALS 

COMPANY 

House of Commons, February 10, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. KING asked whether the Imperial Ottoman Docks 

and Arsenals Company continued after 4th August to supply 
armaments and munitions of war to the Turkish Government ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : I am informed that the company sup- 
plied no armaments or munitions of war to the Turkish 
Government after the 4th August. The company merely 
continued to carry out its contractual engagements at Con- 
stantinople for the repair of ships until the outbreak of 
hostilities between this country and Turkey, when all the 
British employes were withdrawn. 

MR. KING : Can the right hon. gentleman say anything 
about the plant of this company which was at Constantinople 
at the outbreak of the war ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : No doubt the plant has passed to 
Turkey for the time being. 

ENEMY SHIPS CAPTURED 

ibid. MR. FELL asked the number and tonnage of enemy ships 

which have been captured and are in British waters ; if any 
of these ships are suitable for commercial purposes ; and if 
it is proposed to use them at once for the purpose of carrying 
grain to this country from the River Plate ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : Thirty-six vessels captured from the 
enemy, with a total gross tonnage of 56,766, and seventy- 
three enemy vessels detained, with a total gross tonnage of 
93,354, are now in ports of the United Kingdom. Of these, 
all steam vessels that are fit for sea and are not employed on 
Government service, are engaged in the ordinary trade of the 
country. 

ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE 

ibid. MR. PETO asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether 

he will consider the desirability of using his influence with 
the shipowners in order that those officers of the Royal Navy 
Reserve who are now in active naval service, more especially 
those who were called out on the outbreak of the war, will 
222 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

not lose seniority in the positions in the merchant service 
which they have perforce relinquished and that they will 
be reinstated in these positions on the conclusion of the 
war? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : We feel confident that the prospects of officers 
of the mercantile marine will not be allowed to suffer owing 
to their being on active service during war, and I do not 
anticipate that any representation to shipowners will be 
necessary. 



TRAMP STEAMERS (MILITARY TRANSPORT) 

MR. HUME- WILLIAMS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
whether he will consider the possibility, in cases where the 
Government are using what are commonly known as tramp 
steamers for the purposes of military transport, of providing 
such steamers with boats or other life-saving appliances 
sufficient to cover, in case of disaster, not only the crew but 
also those who are being carried ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The hon. gentleman may rest assured 
that the questions he raises have been fully considered and 
dealt with by the Board. 



GERMAN SUBMARINES 

MR. WATT asked how many submarines Germany possessed ibid. 
at the beginning of the war ; how many of these have since 
been lost or destroyed ; and how many new submarines 
have been launched by Germany since the beginning of 
August ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : As stated in returns already published 
to the House, shortly before the outbreak of war there were 
twenty-eight completed German submarines, and an addi- 
tional sixteen were either under construction or had been 
authorised. Further, six submarines were stated to be under 
construction in Germany for foreign Powers, namely, one for 
Norway and five for Austria-Hungary. Since the outbreak 
of war no information on this subject has been published or 
authorised by the German Government. 

223 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Hansard. 

1 [See 
Naval i, 
p. 200.] 



ibid. 



ibid. 



H.M.S. FISGARD II 

House of. Commons, February 10, 1915. 

MR. FALLE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is 
aware that when His Majesty's ship Fisgard II was lost on 
1 7th September last 1 the crew and dockyard hands on board, 
that is, those who were saved, lost all their kit and possessions, 
and if it is proposed to give new kits, etc., to these men or to 
compensate them in money ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The crew and dockyard hands lost all 
the effects they had on board when His Majesty's ship 
Fisgard II was lost on iyth September last. The crew have 
received compensation in kind in respect of their regulation 
kits. The examination of their claims, and those of the dock- 
yard hands, for personal effects lost is now nearly completed, 
and compensation will shortly be granted in money. 

TRAWLERS 

MR. HERBERT CRAIG asked the Financial Secretary to the 
War Office the number of trawlers that have been hired by 
the War Office to serve as examination vessels ; and whether 
he can give the House any information as to the circum- 
stances under which the owners of trawlers in the service of 
the War Office are receiving more than four times the amount 
of the monthly rate of hire received by the owners of exactly 
similar trawlers requisitioned for the service of the Admiralty ? 

MR. BAKER : Two trawlers only are at present hired by 
the War Office as examination vessels. The conditions of 
the hiring and the services provided under the agreement 
differ so greatly from those in the case of the Admiralty that 
no fair comparison of the rates can be made. 

NAVY SEPARATION ALLOWANCES 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether Royal Fleet Reserve men and Royal 
Naval Reserve men serving in the R.F.A. Petroleum are 
allowed to make out allotments to their wives, thus allowing 
the wives to claim separation allowance ; and if so, whether 
any allotments have been declared by these men and separa- 
tion allowances paid ? 
224 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : The scheme of Navy separation allow- 
ances extends only to naval ratings, Marines and Reservists, 
borne on the books of His Majesty's ships and paid at naval 
rates of pay. All men serving in the R.F.A. Petroleum 
receive mercantile rates of pay and consequently, although 
the full facilities for declaring allotments are open to them, 
separation allowance is not issuable in respect of them. 

SECRET WIRELESS STATIONS 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

MR. GEORGE TERRELL asked the Home Secretary whether Hansard. 
the Government are satisfied that they have control over every 
wireless station in this country capable of sending wireless 
messages to the enemy ; and if not, whether he will consider 
the advisability of publishing such particulars of a wireless 
installation and the method of working it, as will enable the 
general public to assist the Government by searching for 
secret stations. 

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (MR. HOBHOUSE) : My right 
hon. friend has asked me to reply to his question, as it is 
primarily one for the Post Office, which however acts in co- 
operation with the Home Office, Admiralty, and War Office. 
The Government are satisfied that the steps taken to ensure 
the detection of illicit wireless stations are adequate and that 
nothing would be gained by invoking the assistance of the 
general public in the manner suggested. Certain members of 
the public who have the necessary qualifications are already 
assisting the Government in the matter. I may perhaps draw 
the hon. Member's attention to a notice issued by the 
Admiralty on the subject which appeared in the Press on the 
4th November. (See Naval 2, p. 28.) 

INSURANCE POLICIES (WAR RISKS) 

MR. PETO asked the President of the Board of Trade ibid. 
whether, though the different life insurance offices have agreed 
to waive the imposition of a war risk premium in respect to 
life policies held by those now engaged in His Majesty's Naval 
and Military Forces, they are imposing an additional premium 
of two guineas per cent, in the case of life insurance policies 
held by the captains and officers of vessels engaged by the 
NAVAL 3 P 225 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Government for transport duty and other services of great 
importance, where, in fact, the personal risk is considerably 
less ; and if so, whether he will consider the desirability of the 
Government intervening in this matter ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : I understand that the life insurance companies 
are asking for an additional premium of 3, 35. per cent, per 
annum for new policies and 2, 2s. per cent, per annum for 
existing policies in the case of officers and others serving in 
vessels chartered by the Admiralty. It is not quite accurate 
to say that they are waiving the additional premium for those 
engaged in His Majesty's Naval and Military Forces. The 
exemption does not apply to members of the Royal Navy and 
Royal Fleet Reserve, nor to the Regular Army and Army Re- 
serve, unless already insured at an all-risk rate. The additional 
premium demanded of those not so insured is, I understand, 
usually 5, 55. per cent, per annum. The Life Offices Associa- 
tion and the Associated Scottish Life Offices Association have 
recommended that the premiums should be waived in the case 
of the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Naval Volunteer 
Reserve, the Territorial Force, and the new levies raised for 
the war only. The matter referred to by the hon. member 
has already been brought to the notice of the Admiralty, who 
are considering the advisability of approaching the companies 
on the subject. 

COAL CARGOES 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. WARDLE asked the President of the Board of Trade 

whether chartering agents of the Government have recently 
accepted freights on the open market for interned or captured 
German steamers to load coals at East Coast ports for London 
at the rate of us. per ton and upwards, such steamers still 
being chartered for similar business, while steamers hitherto 
regularly engaged in conveying coals for London have been 
requisitioned and loaded with gas coals for ports on the South- 
West Coast of France ; and, if so, whether he will state how 
this method of dealing with tonnage will increase the supply 
and reduce the price of coal in London ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : The reply to the first part of the question 
is in the affirmative. For the answer to that part of the 
226 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

question which refers to the Admiralty, my hon. friend should 
address the Admiralty. 

NAVAL CASUALTIES (JUDICIAL INQUIRY) 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE asked the First Lord of the ibid. 
Admiralty whether the custom in the Navy with regard to 
holding a judicial inquiry following on the destruction of or 
serious damage to a warship has been discontinued ; and, 
if so, will he give the reasons that have led to such a course 
being taken ? 

The FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (MR. CHURCHILL) : 
The Board of Admiralty consider that it is not possible to 
lay down a rule on this subject in view of modern conditions. 
Each case must be judged on its merits, and the Board must 
exercise a complete discretionary power. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE : Are we to understand that each 
case has been heard on its merits, and no case has arisen for 
any judicial inquiry ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : Yes, sir. 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : Can the right hon. gentleman say 
exactly what difference modern conditions of war make in 
this respect ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : The conditions of modern war are 
altogether different from former wars. The losses which take 
place owing to mines and submarine^ are quite different from 
any losses that occurred in former wars. That has a bearing 
on the question of courts-martial, for the losses of ships in 
former wars nearly always involved an act of surrender, 
whereas nowadays a ship is destroyed and there is no question 
of the capture of the ship. That is only one of many con- 
siderations for naval experts. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE : Will the right hon. gentleman 
consider the advisability of making a further statement to the 
House on the subject ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : I believe I am to bring in Navy Esti- 
mates next week, and these matters can be discussed then. 

VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister, ibid. 
having regard to the fact that the German authorities have 

227 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

wantonly broken the naval code of warfare contained in the 
Declaration of Paris, The Hague Conventions, and the 
Declaration of London, and. in other ways have broken the 
laws and customs of war, whether the British Government 
will now place all food and raw material used to foster German 
industries on the list of absolute contraband of war 
immediately ? 

THE PRIME MINISTER : His Majesty's Government are 
considering, as the noble Lord is aware, the question of 
adopting more stringent measures against German trade, in 
view of the flagrant defiance by the enemy of the rules of 
warfare. I hope shortly to be able to make an announce- 
ment as to what these measures may be. 

NAVY BOOTS (BRITISH AND FOREIGN LEATHER) 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

Hansard. SIR CLEMENT KiNLOCH-CooKE asked the First Lord of the 

Admiralty whether he is aware that since 1911 till within a 
few months ago the naval boot was made almost entirely of 
German or foreign material, and will he explain why the 
Admiralty were so anxious to serve the interests of German 
and other foreign leather manufacturers at the expense of the 
British manufacturers ; whether a wearing test was furnished 
by the Admiralty when it was proved that the British material 
was in every way equal, if not superior, to the German or 
other foreign material ; and whether, in spite of this fact, 
the Admiralty still continue using the German and other 
foreign material ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Throughout the period mentioned in 
the first part of the question it has been stipulated in Ad- 
miralty boot contracts that the whole of the sole leather 
shall be of British manufacture. Contractors have been at 
liberty to use either British or foreign leather for the uppers, 
provided it was equal in quality to the sealed patterns. Since 
July 1912, two sealed patterns have been exhibited and issued 
together, namely, one with upper of British leather, and one 
with upper of foreign leather of equal quality. Thus British 
tanners of upper leather have had an equal opportunity with 
foreign tanners. At the request of the trade a six months' 
trial was made of the wearing qualities of a certain number 
of boots with uppers of British tanned leather in comparison 
228 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

with a similar number of boots with uppers of foreign tanned 
leather, but owing to the impossibility of equalising the con- 
ditions of wear, the results could not be otherwise than 
inconclusive. So far as they went, they did not indicate any 
appreciable difference between British and foreign upper 
leather. As regards the last sentence in this question the 
hon. gentleman will probably see on reflection that it would 
be quite impossible to meet our needs at this time if restric- 
tions as to sources of supply were insisted upon. 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether in November last, the Admiralty received 
a deputation from the Light Leather Federation ; whether 
that deputation asked the Admiralty to remove the German 
sealed standard pattern and to allow the specification to read 
that the Navy boots shall be made both of sole leather of 
British manufacture and of upper leather of British manu- 
facture ; what was the reply given ; whether the German 
sealed pattern was then and there removed ; and, if not, 
has it now been removed and at what date ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The answers to the first two parts of 
the question are in the affirmative. The pattern with 
German upper leather, previously exhibited and issued with 
the other sealed pattern of English upper leather, was with- 
drawn immediately after the deputation had requested that 
step to be taken. The reply given on the other point referred 
to was that the question of stipulating for British upper 
leather, in addition to British sole leather, was one which 
could not be settled without further consideration. The 
present position I have already explained. 

MR. CHAMBERLAIN : What is the reason for making a 
distinction between sole leather and upper leather ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I think it is a question of durability, 
but I should like notice of the question. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty whether he can now see his way to grant an all- 
British specification for naval boots ; and whether he will 
consult with the Government on the justice of an assurance 
being given to British leather manufacturers that, if new 
plant be put down and the price adjusted to meet the 
Admiralty requirements, they will be secured in their position 
by the continued use of British material for naval boots ? 

229 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : I think the points raised in this ques- 
tion will be found to have been answered in the two previous 
replies. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE : Are we to understand that the 
Lords of the Admiralty do not see their way to grant this 
request ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : At the present time we have, of course, 
to get supplies from the best sources available ; we do not 
want soldiers to go barefooted to the fight. 

MR. PETO : Has not the right hon. gentleman come to 
any decision as to the policy he will adopt after the present 
war is over ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I have said that the question will be 
considered ; in the meantime, I think we might as well post- 
pone the fiscal controversy till we have beaten the Germans. 

LOSS OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS BULWARK, 
GOOD HOPE, AND MON MOUTH 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. PRETYMAN asked the Secretary to the Admiralty 

whether pensions have been awarded to the widows and 
children of officers who lost their lives through the destruc- 
tion of His Majesty's ship Bulwark on Scale B, whereas those 
pensions in the loss of the Good Hope and Monmouth were on 
Scale A ; whether the same discrimination has been shown 
in the case of dependants on the men of the lower deck who 
lost their lives on these ships ; if not, whether officers and 
men can be similarly treated ; will he say whether the scale 
of pensions for widows of marine officers is now lower than 
that of widows of naval officers of the same relative rank ; 
and, if so, whether this inequality can now be removed ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The hon. and gallant member is cor- 
rect in his assumption that pensions on Scale B have been 
awarded in the case of the officers who lost their lives in the 
Bulwark and on Scale A in the case of the officers of the 
Good Hope and Monmouth. Under present regulations the 
higher scale is only applicable where officers are killed in 
. action or die as the result of wounds received in action, but 
the question whether the scale can be extended to cases such 
as the Bulwark is at present under consideration. There is 
230 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

only one scale in the case of petty officers and men. The 
last part of the question, which doubtless has reference to 
the fact that certain marine officers when embarked hold 
higher relative rank than when ashore, is under consideration. 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE : Do the payments under Scale B 
come out of naval funds or out of the Greenwich Hospital 
Funds ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I imagine all these payments come out 
of the naval funds. 

MR. PRETYMAN : When does the right hon. gentleman 
expect some decision to be arrived at, for till it is there are 
these widows receiving these very much smaller payments, 
and there is a great sense of injustice ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : With regard to the petty officers and 
men of the Bulwark the hon. and gallant gentleman may 
know that they are on the war scale. In respect of the 
officers, they are on Scale B not so good a scale because 
of the terms of the Regulations. I can assure the hon. and 
gallant gentleman that personally I have great sympathy 
with the suggestion that they should be on Scale A, and I 
will at any time exercise what influence I can to secure that 
result. 

GERMAN RAIDERS 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister whether ibid. 
His Majesty's Government will, for the future, treat German 
raiders from the air and sea when captured as pirates, and 
publicly hang them for the murder of women and children 
in undefended places, when proved guilty of that crime after 
trial by court-martial, instead of treating them as honour- 
able foes ? 

The PRIME MINISTER : I am not prepared to make any 
general statement. Each case as it comes must be decided 
on its merits. 

AIRSHIP RAIDS 

MR. FELL asked why the Zeppelin airships which traversed ibid. 
Norfolk recently were not fired at by the numerous forces 
stationed there ; if there was ample opportunity for warning 
these forces of their passage and probable return so that an 
organised attack could be made upon them ; and if the same * 
immunity is to be afforded them on their next attack ? 

231 



Hansard. 



ibid. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

MR. TENNANT : It is obviously undesirable to make any 
detailed statement in answer to this question. It must not 
be assumed that, if fast-movijig aircraft pass over places from 
which they cannot be effectively attacked and enjoy .im- 
munity from attack, the same good fortune will necessarily 
attend attacks directed against places where persons other 
than unprotected civilians are either present or can proceed. 

MR. FELL : Are the orders of the War Office that these 
aircraft are not to be fired at ? 

MR. TENNANT : I do not think it desirable to make public 
the orders of the War Office. 

MINE-SWEEPERS (PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES) 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

MR. TICKLER asked the ' First Lord of the Admiralty if 
he will recommend the payment of the same separation 
allowances and pensions to the wives and dependants of the 
men serving on mine-sweepers as are payable to men in the 
Royal Navy ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Navy separation allowance is payable 
only in respect of Naval ratings, Marines and Reservists 
borne on the books of His Majesty's ships and paid at Naval 
rates of pay. In the case of any men employed on mine- 
sweepers who fulfil these conditions the allowance would be 
paid, but the majority of the men so employed are in receipt 
of mercantile rates of pay which are usually found to exceed 
the pay of separation allowance of corresponding Naval 
ratings. Pensions and allowances to widows and dependants 
of men serving on mine-sweepers are paid under Naval Regu- 
lations, where the men during their lives were Naval ratings 
or Reservists, borne on ships' books and in receipt of Naval 
rates of pay ; and under the scheme framed under the 
Injuries in War (Compensation) Act, 1914, where the men 
were not Naval ratings or Reservists and received Civil rates 
of pay. 

HAGUE CONFERENCE, 1907 (CONVENTIONS 
RATIFIED) 

MR. DENNISS asked the Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs if he can now state which of the Conventions concluded 
232 



1915] DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

at the Second Peace Conference held at The Hague in 1907 
have been ratified by the Government of Great Britain and 
Ireland, and which of them, severally, have been ratified by 
the other Powers engaged in the present War and other Great 
Powers of the world. 

SIR EDWARD GREY : The information asked for by the 
hon. member is as follows : 

Conventions, etc., signed at the Second Peace Conference 
at The Hague, iSth October 1907 

No. i. Convention for the Pacific Settlement of Inter- 
national Disputes. 

No. 2. Convention respecting the Limitation of the 
Employment of Force for the Recovery of Contract Debts. 

No. 3. Convention relative to the Opening of Hostilities. 

No. 4. Convention concerning the Laws and Customs of 
War on Land. 

No. 5. Convention respecting the Rights and Duties of 
Neutral Powers and Persons in War on Land. 

No. 6. Convention relative to the Status of Enemy 
Merchant Ships at the Outbreak of Hostilities. 

No. 7. Convention relative to the Conversion of Merchant 
Ships into Warships. 

No. 8. Convention relative to the Laying of Automatic 
Submarine Contact Mines. 

No. 9. Convention respecting Bombardments by Naval 
Forces in time of War. 

No. 10. Convention for the Adaptation of the Principles 
of the Geneva Convention to Maritime War. 

No. n. Convention relative to Certain Restrictions on 
the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Maritime War, 

No. 12. Convention relative to the Establishment of an 
International Prize Court. 

No. 13. Convention respecting the Rights and Duties of 
Neutral Powers in Maritime War. 

No. 14. Declaration prohibiting the Discharge of Pro- 
jectiles and Explosives from Balloons. 

233 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



TABLE OF RATIFICATIONS OF, AND ADHESIONS TO, THE 
CONVENTIONS SIGNED AT THE HAGUE PEACE CON- 
FERENCE, 1907 





I. 


2. 


3- 


4* 


5- 


6. 


7- 


8. 


9- 


xo. 


ii. 


12. 


13- 


14- 


i. Great Britain 
3. Russia . 
2. France . 
4. Japan. . 

6QprHia 


R 
R 
RX 


R 
R 
R 

R 


R 
R 
R 
R 


R 
RX 
R 
RX 


n 

R 
R 


A 

R 
R 


R 
R 
R 
R 


RX 

RX 
R 


RX 
R 
RX 
RX 


_ 

R 
R 
R 


R 

R 
R 





R 
R 

RX 


R 
































5. Belgium . 
8. Germany 
9. Austria- Hungary 


R 

R 
R 


R 

R 


R 
R 
R 


R 
RX 
RX 


R 
R 
R 


R 
RX 
R 


R 
R 
R 


R 
RX 
R 


R 
RX 
R 


R 
R 
R 


R 
R 
R 


__ 


R 
RX 
R 


R 


ii. United States 

19 Tt'llv 


RX 


RX 


R 


R 


R 


~" 





R 


R 


R 


R 





AX 


R 

































R= Ratified. X = Ratification of adhesion, subject to reserve. A= Adhered. 

[For the text of the Conventions here numbered 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ii, 13, 
see Appendix to Naval i.] 

COMPENSATION TO SEAMEN 

House of Commons, February n, 1915. 

Hansard. LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the President of the 

Board of Trade if he has arrived at any decision on the recom- 
mendation of Sir H. Acton Blake to the Chief Industrial 
Commissioner that seamen of the mercantile marine should 
receive reasonable compensation for loss of kit in the cases of 
vessels molested by the enemy ; and if he is prepared to extend 
the principle to the losses of effects sustained by masters and 
officers of interned British ships or of vessels captured and sunk 
by enemy cruisers since the outbreak of war, for which there is 
no recompense ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : I understand that the recommendation 
referred to in the question was intended for the consideration 
of the parties concerned in the Liverpool inquiry, and not of 
His Majesty's Government. The Board of Trade are, however, 
. prepared to give special facilities for insuring at a reasonable 
rate of premium the effects of masters, officers, and seamen for 
moderate amounts against war risks, provided that there is a 
prospect of those concerned availing themselves of a scheme 
234 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which has this object in view. The Board are at present 
in communication with representatives of Associations of 
Masters, Officers, and Seamen upon this subject. 



LICENSED WATERMEN 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the ibid. 
Admiralty why licensed watermen specially enlisted for 
examination duties between St. Helens and the Horse Fort 
at Portsmouth are not allowed separation allowance ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The scheme of Navy separation 
allowance extends only to naval ratings, Marines and 
Reservists, borne on the books of His Majesty's ships and paid 
at naval rates of pay. The licensed watermen alluded to 
are paid at mercantile rates, and, consequently, separation 
allowance is not issuable in respect of them. 



INTERNED ALIEN PRISONERS 
(PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR) 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister whether ibid. 
there are three large ships lying in Portsmouth Harbour 
containing about 4000 interned alien enemies ; whether these 
alien enemies can have a full view of the proceedings in 
Portsmouth Dockyard and Harbour as well as of all signals 
made ; whether other matters useful to the enemy could be 
observed by these prisoners ; whether any of these prisoners 
have been released since their arrival at Portsmouth ; if so, 
how many ; and whether he can see his way to remove such 
a danger from the precincts of our first naval port and arsenal ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : The objections to prison ships lying in 
Portsmouth Harbour are admitted, though I am informed 
that, owing to the precautions taken, the amount of informa- 
tion that can be acquired by observation is not likely to be of 
any value. Owing to the large number of prisoners that had 
to be dealt with at short notice by the military authorities, 
no other arrangement at the time was possible, but steps are 
being taken to find other accommodation with as little delay 
as possible. From information supplied to me by the War 
Office, it appears that 351 prisoners have been released. 

235 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FBI 

AIR RAIDS ON BELGIAN COAST 

Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty made the following an- 

Feb. 13, nouncement last night : 

I 9 I 5- During the last 24 hours, combined aeroplane and sea- 

plane operations have been carried out by the Naval Wing in 
the Bruges, Zeebrugge, Blankenberghe, and Ostend districts, 
with a view to preventing the development of submarine bases 
and establishments. 

Thirty-four naval aeroplanes and seaplanes took part. 

Great damage is reported to have been done to Ostend 
Railway Station, which, according to present information, 
has probably been burnt to the ground : the railway station at 
Blankenberghe was damaged, and railway lines were torn up 
in many places. Bombs were dropped on gun positions at 
Middlekerke, also on the power station and German mine- 
sweeping vessels at Zeebrugge, but the damage done is 
unknown. 

During the attack the machines encountered heavy banks 
of snow. 

No submarines were seen. 

Flight Commander Grahame- White fell into the sea off 
Nieuport, and was rescued by a French vessel. 

Although exposed to heavy gun-fire from rifles, anti- 
aircraft guns, mitrailleuses, etc., all pilots are safe. Two 
machines were damaged. 

The seaplanes and aeroplanes were under the command 
of Wing Commander Samson, assisted by Wing Commander 
Longmore and Squadron Commanders Porte, Courtney, and 
Rathborne. 

Main Headquarters, Berlin, February 12. 

K-V- After a long interval hostile warships yesterday appeared 

again off the coast. Enemy airmen dropped bombs on Ostend, 
but no military damage was done by them. 



Paris, February 14. 

Times, It is officially announced that French seaplanes from- 

Feb. 15, Dunkirk station successfully bombarded during last week 
*9i5. 236 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

German military buildings and bodies of troops at Zeebrugge, 
as well as the railway station at Ostend. 



The Secretary of the Admiralty communicates the follow- Times, 

ing extract from De Tijd (February 22, 1915) : Mar - 1 

1915. 
The Raid of the British Airmen. 

Sluis, February 21. 

The general opinion of the public is, that the raid of the 
British airmen was intended rather to obtain a moral effect, 
than to cause material damage. I was of the same opinion, 
until what I saw with my own eyes, and what I learnt from 
very reliable sources, made me change my mind. Besides the 
thirteen soldiers killed, and the thirty-five wounded in the 
Blankenberghe tram, and the submarine badly damaged at 
Zeebrugge, several batteries along the coast have greatly 
suffered, and a large number of guns have been totally 
destroyed. At Knocke, one officer and seven men were killed, 
as well as many artillerymen. The bombs did not kill any 
civilian, nor touch any house. 



NOTICE TO MARINERS 

(No. 108 of the year 1915) L.G., 

~ 



ENGLAND EAST COAST 
River Number Pilotage 
Former Notice (No. 84 of 1915) 1 hereby cancelled. 1 [See 

Mariners are hereby warned that, under the Defence of 
the Realm Regulations, 1914, the following instructions, 
respecting Pilotage of the River Humber, are now in force : 

Until further notice, the Outer Pilot Station of the Humber 
Pilotage District will be in the neighbourhood of the Bull 
Light-vessel. 

All vessels proceeding into or out of the Humber must be 
navigated by way of Hawke and Sunk roads, passing to the 
northward of the Bull Light-vessel. 

237 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

All vessels, irrespective of draught, size and nationality, 
bound to or from any place above Grimsby must be conducted 
by licensed Pilots over the whole or -any part of the waters 
between Hull and the Outer Pilot Station. 

In the cases of British vessels employed in the Coasting 
Trade of the United Kingdom, of British fishing vessels, and 
of British vessels of less than six feet draught of water, if 
bound between Grimsby and the sea, pilotage by licensed 
pilots will not be insisted upon. 

When the Humber is closed to navigation, inward bound 
vessels must anchor in the neighbourhood of the Outer Pilot 
Station, and wait there until navigation is reopened, and pilots, 
when necessary, are available. 

Authority. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
By Command of their Lordships, 

J. F. PARRY, Hydrographer. 

Hydrographic Department, Admiralty, 
London, 13^ February 1915. 



MERCHANT SHIPS (WAGES) 

House of Commons, February 15, 1915. 

MR. PETO asked the President of the Board of Trade 
whether his attention has been drawn to the recent increases 
in the pay of seamen and firemen ; whether these increases 
have been demanded on account of the war, and after being 
declined by the shipowners were conceded under pressure ; 
and whether, having regard to the fact that the captains and 
officers of merchant ships have made no demands in this way, 
he will, in view of the importance of their services to the 
country at the present juncture and the profitable nature of the 
shipping trade, recommend their case to the shipowners 
generally for greater monetary consideration than they are at 
present receiving ? 

The PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (MR. RUNCIMAN) : 
I am aware that increased wages are being paid to seamen, 
and, no doubt, the conditions of war have been a factor in the 
matter. As regards both the wages of seamen and the pay of 
masters and officers, the matter seems to me to be primarily 
one for arrangement between the parties concerned. 
238 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



LOSS OF H.M.S. FORMIDABLE 

SIR JOHN LONSDALE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
if he is aware that on the 3ist December, the night before 
the loss of His Majesty's ship Formidable, lights were observed 
at sea off Shoreham, and in a house on the sea-front at Hove 
flashlights were seen ; was any report made by the police or 
the Coastguard of these incidents ; 'and was any inquiry 
instituted ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : Full records are kept of all reports of signalling 
round the coast, and inquiries are made without delay. If 
the hon. member will forward details of the case to which he 
refers, it can then be ascertained whether the case has already 
been inquired into. 

SIR J. LONSDALE : Will the right hon. gentleman inquire 
whether there are any yachts or motor boats at Shoreham 
owned by alien enemies or by Germans who have been 
naturalised ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will make inquiries. 



TRAWLERS (RATE OF HIRE) 

MR. HERBERT CRAIG asked the Financial Secretary to ibid. 
the War Office whether the rate of hire for each of the trawlers 
hired by the War Office to serve as examination vessels is 
approximately 650 per month ; whether he is aware that 
exactly similar trawlers are requisitioned for the service of 
the Admiralty at 100 per month ; whether he is aware that 
the. monthly charges borne by the owners of the War Office 
trawlers, from which the owners of the Admiralty trawlers 
are relieved, are estimated at about 200 ; and whether any 
investigation is being made into the circumstances under 
which the owners of trawlers in the service of the War Office 
are receiving more than four times the net amount received 
by the owners of exactly similar trawlers requisitioned for 
the service of the Admiralty ? 

MR. BAKER : The rate of hire in each case is approxi- 
mately as given, but, as I stated in a reply to a previous 

239 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

1 [See question, 1 no exact comparison can be made, nor can 200 

p. 224.] be accepted as an estimate of the extra monthly charges on 

the owners of the War Office trawlers. Future terms are 

under consideration in connection with the approaching 

termination of the present agreements. 

MIDSHIPMEN (ADMIRALTY REGULATIONS) 

House of Commons, February 15, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. FACET asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether 

he can take steps to remove or lessen the hardship borne by 
the parents of midshipmen now serving in His Majesty's 
ships who are compelled by the Admiralty's Regulations to 
pay 50 a year for the privilege of allowing their sons to 
fight for the country ; and whether he can state what pro- 
portion of the 50, paid in advance half-yearly, is returned 
to the parents in the event of the midshipman being killed 
on active service ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : As I stated in reply to the hon. member 
^ See for Hammersmith on the 4th instant, 1 1 regret that I do not 
p. 191.] see my way to recommending a general remission of the 
private allowance payable on behalf of midshipmen, but 
where real necessity exists the Board of Admiralty is pre- 
pared to give favourable consideration to applications for 
whole or partial relief. With regard to the last part of the 
question, in the cases of midshipmen killed on active service, 
any sums deposited in advance in respect of a period subse- 
quent to the date of death are returned to the guardians 
upon the closing of the private allowance accounts of the 
officers concerned. 

GERMAN RAIDS (DAMAGE) 

ibid. MR. FERENS asked the Prime Minister whether, in the 

event of damage arising from further raids by the enemy, 
compensation would be granted as in the case of Scar- 
borough, etc. ? 

The PRIME MINISTER (MR. ASQUITH) : As I recently stated, 
I am not prepared to give any general undertaking as regards 
future events. Each case will be considered on its merits. 
240 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

SUPPLY NAVY ESTIMATES, 1915-16 
MR. CHURCHILL'S STATEMENT 

Order for Committee read. ibid. 

The FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (MR. CHURCHILL) : I 
beg to move, ' That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair/ 

After the outbreak of war my noble friend Lord Kitchener, 
the Secretary of State for War, had to create an Army eight 
or ten times as large as any previously maintained or even 
contemplated in this country, and the War Office has been 
engaged in vast processes of expansion, improvisation and 
development entirely without parallel in military experience. 
Thanks, however, to the generous provision made so readily 
for the last five years by the House of Commons for the 
Royal Navy, no such difficulties or labours have confronted 
the Admiralty. On the declaration of war we were able to 
count upon a Fleet of sufficient superiority for all our needs 
with a good margin for safety in vital matters, fully mobilised, 
placed in its war stations, supplied and equipped with every 
requirement down to the smallest detail that could be fore- 
seen, with reserves of ammunition and torpedoes up to and 
above the regular standard, with ample supplies of fuel and 
oil, with adequate reserves of stores of all kinds, with com- 
plete systems of transport and supply, with full numbers of 
trained officers and men of all ratings, with a large surplus of 
reserved and trained men, with adequate establishments for 
training new men, with an immense programme of new con- 
struction rapidly maturing to reinforce the Fleet and replace 
casualties, and with a prearranged system for accelerating 
that new construction which has been found to yield satis- 
factory and even surprising results. 

I would draw the attention of the House in illustration 
to only three particular points. First of all, ammunition. If 
hon. members will run their eye along the series of figures 
for Vote 9, in the last five or six years, and particularly 
during the latter years, they will see an enormous increase 
in the vote. In time of peace one gets little credit for 
such expenditure, but in time of war we thank God it 
has been made. Then, Sir, oil. Most pessimistic prophecies 
were made as to the supply of oil, but no difficulty has been 
NAVAL 3 Q 24** 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

found in practice in that regard. The estimates which we 
had formed of the quantity of oil to be consumed by the 
Fleet in war proved to be much larger than our actual con- 
sumption. On the other hand, there has been no difficulty 
whatever in buying practically any quantity of oil. No 
single oil ship has been interfered with on passage to this 
country. The price of oil to-day is substantially below what 
it was when I last addressed the House on this topic. Indeed 
we have found it possible to do what we all along wished to 
do, but hesitated to decide upon, on account of all the gloomy 
prophecies and views which were entertained we have found 
it possible to convert the Royal Sovereign to a completely oil 
fuel basis, so that this ship equally with the Queen Elizabeth 
will enjoy the great advantages of liquid fuel for war purposes. 
Then as to manning. No more widespread delusion 
existed than that although we might build ships we could 
never find men to man them. In some quarters of this 
country the idea was fostered that when mobilisation took 
place ships could not be sent fully manned to sea ; but when 
mobilisation did take place we were able to man, as I told the . 
House we should be able to, every ship in the Navy fit to 
send to sea. We were able to man a number of old ships 
which we did not intend to send to sea, but which, after being 
repaired and refitted, were found to have the possibility of 
usefulness in them. We were able to man in addition 
powerful new vessels building for foreign nations for which 
no provision had been made. We were able to man an 
enormous number several score of armed merchantmen 
which had been taken up and have played an important 
part in our arrangements for the control of traffic and trade. 
We were able to provide all the men that were necessary for 
the Royal Naval Air Service which never existed three years 
ago, which is already making a name for itself, and which 
has become a considerable and formidable body. We were 
able to keep our training schools full to the very brim so as 
to prepare a continual supply of drafts for the new vessels 
which are coming on in such great numbers, and over and 
above that we were able, without injury to any of these 
important interests, to supply the nucleus of instructors and 
trained men to form the cadres of the battalions of the Royal 
Naval Division which have now reached a respectable total 
242 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

and which have developed an efficiency which enables them 
to be counted on immediately as a factor in the defence of 
this country, and very soon as an element in the forces which 
we can use overseas. 

We have never been a military nation, though now we 
are going to take a hand in that. We have always relied for 
our safety on naval power, and in that respect it is not true 
to say we entered on this War unprepared. On the contrary, 
the German Army was not more ready for an offensive war 
on a gigantic scale than was the British Fleet for national 
defence. The credit for this is due to the House, which, 
irrespective of party interests, has always by overwhelming, 
and in later years unchallengeable majorities, supported the 
Government and the Minister in every demand made for 
naval defence. Indeed, such disputes as we have had from 
time to time have only been concerned with the margin of 
superiority, and have turned on comparatively small points 
respecting them. For instance, we have discussed at enor- 
mous length what percentages of Dreadnought superiority 
would be available in particular months in future years, 
and we have argued whether the Lord Nelsons should be 
counted as Dreadnoughts or not. The House of Commons as a 
whole has a right to claim the Navy as its child and as the 
unchanging object of its care and solicitude ; and now after 
six months of war, with new dangers and new difficulties 
coming into view, we have every right to feel content with 
the results of our labour. Since November, when I last had 
an opportunity of speaking to the House on naval matters, 
two considerable events have happened the victory off the 
Falkland Islands, and the recent successful cruiser action 
near the Dogger Bank. Both of these events are satisfactory 
in themselves, but still more are they satisfactory in their 
consequences and significance, and I shall venture to enlarge 
upon them and hang the thread of my argument upon them. 
The victory off the Falklands terminated the first phase of 
the Naval War by effecting a decisive clearance of the German 
flag from the oceans of the world. The blocking in of the 
enemy's merchantmen at the very outset and the consequent 
frustration of his whole plans for the destruction of our 
commerce, the reduction of his base at Tsingtau, the expul- 
sion of his ships from the China Sea by Japan, the hunting 

243 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

down of the Konigsberg and the Emden, the latter by an 
Australian cruiser, were steps along the path to the goal 
finally reached when Admiral von Spec's powerful squadron, 
having been unsuccessfully though gallantly engaged off 
Coronel, was brought to action and destroyed on 8th December 
by Sir Doveton Sturdee. Only two small German cruisers 
and two armed merchantmen remain at large of all their 
formidable preparations for the attack on our trade routes, 
and these vessels are at present in hiding. During the last 
three months that is to say, since Parliament rose on the 
average about 8000 British vessels have been continuously 
on the sea, passing to and fro on their lawful occasion. There 
have been 4465 arrivals at and 3600 sailings from the ports 
of the United Kingdom. Only nineteen vessels have been 
sunk by the enemy, and only four of these vessels have been 
sunk by above-water craft. That is a very remarkable result 
to have been achieved after only a few months of war. I 
am sure, if we tfad been told before the war that such a 
result would be so soon achieved, and that our losses would 
be so small, we should not have believed it for a moment. 
I am quite sure, if the noble Lord whom I see in his place 
(Lord Charles Beresford), who has always felt, and quite 
legitimately, anxiety for the trade routes and the great diffi- 
culty of defending them if he had been offered six months 
ago such a prospect, he would have said it is "too good to 
be true. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : Hear, hear. 

MR. CHURCHILL : Certainly the great sailors of the past, 
men of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, would have 
been astounded. During those two great wars, which began 
in 1793 and ended, after a brief interval, in 1814, 10,871 
British merchant ships were captured or sunk by the enemy. 
Even after the decisive battle of Trafalgar, when we had the 
undisputed command of the sea so far as it can be tactically 
and strategically attained, the loss of British ships went on 
at a rate of over 500 ships a year. In 1806, 519 ships were 
sunk or captured that is, the year after Trafalgar ; in 1807, 
559 ; in 1808, 469 ; in 1809, 571 ; and in 1810, 619. Our 
total losses on the high seas in the first six months of the war, 
including all ships other than trawlers engaged in mine- 
sweeping including all ships, including losses by mines and 
244 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

vessels scuttled by submarines our losses in the whole of 
that period are only sixty- three. Of course, we must always 
be on the look-out for another attempt by the enemy to harass 
the trade routes. Although the oceans offer rather a bleak 
prospect to the German cruisers, and the experience of their 
consorts is not encouraging, the Admiralty must be fully 
prepared for that possibility, and we shall be able to meet 
any new efforts with advantages and resources incomparably 
superior to those which were at our disposal at the beginning 
of the war. The truth is that steam and telegraphs have 
enormously increased, as compared with sailing days, the 
thoroughness and efficiency of superior sea power. Coaling, 
communications, and supplies are vital and constant needs, 
and once the upper hand has been lost they become opera- 
tions of almost insuperable difficulty to the weaker navy. 
Credit is due to our outlying squadrons and to the Admiralty 
organisation by which they have been directed. It must 
never be forgotten that the situation on every sea, even the 
most remote, is dominated and decided by the influence of 
Sir John Jellicoe's Fleet lost to view amid the northern 
mists, preserved by patience and seamanship in all its strength 
and efficiency, silent, unsleeping, and, as yet, unchallenged. 

The command of the sea which we have thus enjoyed has 
not only enabled our trade to be carried on practically without 
interruption or serious disturbance, but we have been able to 
move freely about the world very large numbers of troops. 
The Leader of the Opposition 1 in a speech which he made the l [Mr- 
other night 2 I do not at all quarrel with the moderate and Bonar 

2 [The following is the passage above referred to : ' I can assure the Prime 
Minister that I have heard from I cannot tell how many sources, friends of 
my own connected with the shipping trade, of ships that are lying idle for 
weeks and months. I will give the right hon. gentleman two examples, 
from friends of mine who are shipowners, of two different ships. I could 
give the names, but I am not sure that my friends would like me to do so, 
because they might think that the Admiralty would not be so fond of them 
in making contracts in the future. One ship was sent to the North to coal 
our Fleet. She discharged all her coal cargo except four hundred tons. 
She was then sent to Liverpool. My friend said he did not know what it 
was to do, but he supposed it was to discharge the coal. She lay there for 
a while, but did not discharge the coal. She then went to Cardiff, and 
loaded another cargo of coal, with the four hundred tons still in her. Any 
one with any idea at all of the way business is done will realise what that 
means. The other case is going on at this moment. A big ship has been 

245 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FEB. 

temperate tone of his criticism quoted a letter of a shipowner 
as applied to the Admiralty Transport Department, in which 
the word f incapacity ' occurred. Of all the words which could 
be applied to the Admiralty Transport Department no word 
could be more unsuitable than the word ' incapacity/ I am 

foing to give the House a figure which has no military signi- 
cance because so many uncertain factors are comprised 
within the total, but which is an absolutely definite figure so 
far as the work of the Admiralty Transport Department is 
concerned. We have now moved by sea, at home and abroad, 
including wounded brought back from the front, including 
Belgian wounded, including Belgian and French troops, moved 
here and there as circumstances required, often at the shortest 
possible notice, with constant changes of plan, across oceans 
threatened by the enemy's cruisers and across channels 
haunted by submarines, to and fro from India and Egypt, 
from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, (Shina, South Africa, 
from every fortress and Possession under the Crown, approxi- 
mately 1,000,000 men without, up to the present, any accident 
or loss of life. If that is ' incapacity ' I hope there will be an 
inexhaustible supply of that quality. The credit for these 
arrangements lies very largely with the head of the Admiralty 
Transport Department, Mr. Graeme Thomson one of the 
discoveries of the war, a man who has stepped into the place 
when the emergency came, who has formed, organised, and 
presided over performances and transactions the like of which 
were never contemplated by any State in history. Indeed, so 
smoothly and unfailingly has this vast business, the like of 
which has not been previously witnessed, been carried through, 
that we have several times been compelled to remind the 

lying up in the North for more than a month ; two hundred tons only have 
been taken out of her, and my friend, who wrote only this week, said that 
he had no idea how much longer she would be kept idle. He used these 
words I would not quote them if I did not think there was some justifica- 
tion for them : 

' " It all turns on the simple position that many of the men who are 
trying to handle tilings do not know what they are doing, and it seems an 
awful shame to throw the country's money away as it is being done. 
Freights amongst us are still booming, to which, of course, I could have no 
objection ; but there is very little satisfaction in making money out of the 
present difficulty when one thinks of the incapacity which is the cause of 
it." 'Hansard, Feb. n, 1915.] 
246 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

soldiers whom we serve, and I now think it right to remind the 
House, that, after all, we are at war. 

We are at war with the second Naval Power in the world. 
When complaints are made that we have taken too many 
transports or armed too many auxiliary cruisers, or made use 
of too many colliers or supply ships, I must mention that fact. 
The statement that the Admiralty have on charter, approxi- 
mately, about one-fifth of the British Mercantile Marine 
tonnage is correct. With that we discharge two duties, both 
of importance at the present time : first, the supply, fuelling, 
and replenishing with ammunition of the Fleets ; second, 
the transport of reinforcements and supply of the Army in 
the field, including the return of wounded. It must be 
remembered in regard to the Fleet that we have no dock- 
yard or naval port at our backs, and that the bases we are 
using during the war have no facilities for coaling from the 
shore. We are not like the Germans, living in a great naval 
port at Wilhelmshaven, on which 15^000,000 or 16,000,000 
has been spent. Rosyth is not finished, and will not be 
available for some time. Everything, therefore, required to 
keep the Fleet in being supplies, stores, and, above all, fuel 
has to be not only carried but kept afloat in ships. What 
are called the ' afloat reserves ' the great mobile reserves of 
fuel and stores maintained at the various bases used by the 
Fleet are those which are fixed by the War Staff and approved 
by the Board of Admiralty after consultation with the 
Commander-in-Chief. When those amounts have been 
fixed the Transport Department have no choice but to 
supply them. It is necessary that there should be sufficient 
colliers to enable all the Fleet units at a particular base to 
coal simultaneously with a maximum rapidity twice over 
within a short interval, and extensive naval movements at 
high speed may at any moment necessitate this being put to 
the test. After two such coalings there must still be sufficient 
coal available for unforeseen contingencies, including delays 
in bringing further supplies through storm or foggy weather, 
or hostile operations leading to the closing of particular areas 
of water, or through the temporary suspension of coaling in 
South Wales, through damage to docks, railways, bridges, pits, 
or other local causes. 

We cannot possibly run any risk of having the Fleet 

247 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

rendered immobile. We must make assurance doubly sure. 
The life of the State depends upon it, and it follows, having 
always to be ready for a great emergency, with all the Fleet 
steaming at once continuously for days together having 
always to be ready for that, it follows that during periods of 
normal Fleet movements the reserves of coal are often and 
necessarily turned over slowly, and colliers may in consequence 
remain at the bases for considerable periods. That is our 
system. The fact, therefore, that particular vessels are 
noticed by shipowners to be kept waiting about for long 
periods is no sign of mismanagement or incapacity on the 
part of the Admiralty, but it is an indispensable precaution 
and method without which the Fleet could not act in a time 
of emergency. The position at every home coaling base is 
telegraphed to the Admiralty nightly, and of every ship, and 
a tabulated statement is issued the same night. This state- 
ment is issued as the basis for comprehensive daily criticism, 
with a view to securing the highest possible economy com- 
patible with -and subject to the vital exigencies of war. So 
much for the Fleet and its supply and its coaling. 

With regard to the Army, it should be remembered that 
we are supplying across the sea, in the teeth of the enemy's 
opposition, an Army almost as large as the Grand Army of 
Napoleon, only vastly more complex in organisation and 
equipment. We are also preparing other Armies still larger 
in number. I do not know on what day or what hour the 
Secretary of State for War will ask the Admiralty to move 
20,000 or it may be 40,000 men. It may be at very short 
notice. He does not know, until we tell him, how we shall 
move them, by what route or to what ports. Plans are 
frequently changed on purpose at the very last moment ; it 
is imperative for the safety of our soldiers and the reinforce- 
ment of our Armies and the conduct of the war. We have 
at the present moment a powerful and flexible machinery 
which can move whole armies with celerity wherever it is 
desired in a manner never before contemplated or dreamt of, 
and I warn the House most solemnly against allowing grounds 
of commercial advantage or financial economy to place any 
hampering restriction or impediment upon these most difficult 
and momentous operations. Careful and prudent adminis- 
tration does not stop at the outbreak of war. Everything in 
248 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

our power will be done to enforce it and avoid extravagance. 
We shall therefore welcome the advice of business men on 
points where they can help us. Gradually, as we get more 
and more control of the situation, higher economy in some 
respects may be possible, but military and naval requirements 
must be paramount, rough and ready although their demands 
often are, and they must be served fully at the cost of all other 
considerations. I am afraid that I cannot hold out any hope 
of any immediate reduction in the tonnage required by the 
Admiralty. 

More than a month ago, before these matters were at all 
ventilated in public, noticing the rise in freights, I directed the 
Fourth Sea Lord to hold an inquiry into the whole use of 
merchant ships taken by the Admiralty, including, particu- 
larly, transports, colliers and supply ships, but after the 
most stringent scrutiny and consultation with the admirals 
afloat, it was not found possible to make any appreciable 
reduction, and, indeed, since the ist January the require- 
ments of the Admiralty have actually increased. That is 
indeed only to be expected, as the size of the Fleet and 
the general scale of the military operations both grow con- 
tinually. I am going into this subject a little at length 
because it is, I understand, to be the subject of a Motion 
later on in the evening, and I should ask for myself the 
indulgence of the House to attend to other business of a 
pressing nature, and leave the conduct of that debate in 
the hands of my right hon. friend the Financial Secretary. 
To sum up, then, the retention of a large number of full colliers 
and ammunition ships in attendance on the Fleet is a naval 
necessity. The retention of a large number of troop transports 
is a military necessity. In either case ships may be, and have 
frequently been, required at an hour's notice for urgent service 
which might be vital to the success of our operations. Coal 
must be ready afloat for the Fleet and troopships must be 
ready for the men, and no amount of business management, 
however excellent it may be, will get over that fact. It seems 
to me also, from reading the debate which took place the other 
night, that the impression existed in the House that the re- 
quisitioning of vessels at the outbreak of war was done 
recklessly and without consideration to the results to the 
commerce of the country. The number of ships taken up on 

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the outbreak of war was so enormous, the requirements were 
so varied, and the need so urgent, that every ship or vessel in 
port at the moment was 'taken. Discrimination, save in 
isolated instances, was therefore impossible. 

It may be said that discrimination could have been 
exercised later. So far as possible this has been, and is being, 
done, but it must be remembered first that it is generally less 
disturbing to commerce to retain vessels to whose absence 
business conditions have been adjusted than to return them 
to their owners and take up fresh ships. Secondly, many 
vessels have been specially fitted for their work by the Govern- 
ment, and to fit others to replace them means delay and 
further congestion to docks and work. Also, while substitutes 
are being fitted, as the first ship cannot be released until the 
substitute is ready, two ships will be off the market during 
the period of refitting. Thirdly, it is militarily inconvenient 
to dispose of ships which the naval and military service have 
become used to handle, and whose officers and crews have 
learnt to do this special work. I can well understand that 
there may be some discontent among shipowners at present 
in consequence of Admiralty requisitions. Complaints are 
made that these requisitions are not fair as between shipowner 
and shipowner, and that all the tonnage of one line is taken and 
all the tonnage on another is left alone, and it is held to be a 
grievance when the Admiralty take the tonnage. But in other 
wars Admiralty business has been keenly sought after by 
shipowners. At the beginning of this war shipowners were 
only too glad to get their ships taken by the Government 
owing to the uncertainty of the naval situation and the 
possibility that ordinary cargoes would not be forthcoming. 
But now a change has taken place. The naval situation is 
assured for the present, and the requisitioning powers exercised 
under the Royal Proclamation have enabled the Admiralty 
to insist on rates of hire which, though they give a handsome 
profit to the shipowner, are very much less than can now be 
gained in the open market. The Admiralty rates are now a 
half or a third below the market rates, and cannot, of course, be 
expected to be popular with shipowners, although the market 
rates are enormously higher than they were at the time of the 
South African War. We are now paying 135. to 175. per gross 
ton per month compared with 2OS. to 355. so paid in the early 
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part of the South African War. Hence these complaints, and 
hence this talk of incapacity in certain quarters. I feel it my 
duty to defend the Admiralty Transport Department. I 
must, however, say that the general body of shipowners have 
loyally met the Government and have been content often and 
often to charter ships to us at rates very much below the 
market. The Admiralty is deeply indebted to the shipowning 
world in general for all the aid and co-operation which we have 
received, and we regard the closest union and good will between 
the Admiralty and the mercantile marine as indispensable at 
the present time. 

I have said that the strain in the early months of the war 
has been greatly diminished now by the abatement of distant 
convoy work and by the clearance of the enemy's flag from 
the seas and oceans. There were times when, for instance, 
the great Australian convoy of sixty ships was crossing the 
Pacific, or the great Canadian convoy of forty ships, with its 
protecting squadrons, was crossing the Atlantic, or when the 
regular flow of large Indian convoys of forty and fifty ships 
sailing in company was at its height, both ways, when there 
were half a dozen minor expeditions being carried by the Navy, 
guarded and landed at different points and supplied after 
landing ; when there was a powerful German cruiser squadron 
still at large in the Pacific or the Atlantic, which had to be 
watched for and waited for in superior force in six or seven 
different parts of the world at once, and when, all the time, 
within a few hours' steam of our shores there was concentrated 
a hostile fleet which many have argued in former times was 
little inferior to our own ; and when there was hardly a Regular 
soldier left at home and before the Territorial Force and the 
New Armies had attained their present high efficiency and 
power there were times when our naval resources, con- 
siderable as they are, were drawn out to their utmost limit, 
and when we had to use old battleships to give strength to 
cruiser squadrons, even at the cost of their speed, and when we 
had to face and to accept risks with which we did not trouble 
the public, and which no one would willingly seek an oppor- 
tunity to share. But the victory at the Falkland Islands 
swept all these difficulties out of existence. It set free a large 
force of cruisers and battleships for all purposes ; it opened 
the way to other operations of great interest; it enabled a 

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much stricter control and more constant outlook to be 
maintained in Home waters, and it almost entirely freed the 
outer seas of danger. That was a memorable event, the relief 
and advantage of which will only be fully appreciated by those 
who have full knowledge of all that has taken place, and will 
only be fully appreciated by those who not only knew, but felt, 
what was going forward. 

Now, I come to the battle cruiser action on the Dogger 
Bank. That action was not fought out, because the enemy, 
after abandoning their wounded consort, the Blucher, made 
good their escape into waters infested by their submarines and 
mines. But this combat between the finest ships in both 
navies is of immense significance and value in the light which 
it throws upon rival systems of design and armament, and upon 
relative gunnery efficiency. It is the first test we have ever 
had, and, without depending too much upon it, I think it is 
at once important and encouraging. First of all it vindicates, 
so far as it goes, the theories of design, and particularly of big 
gun armament, always identified with Lord Fisher. The 
range of the British guns was found to exceed that of the 
German. Although the German shell is a most formidable 
instrument of destruction, the bursting, smashing power of 
the heavier British projectile is decidedly greater, and this 
is the great thing our shooting is at least as good as theirs. 
The Navy, while always working very hard no one except 
themselves knows how hard they have worked in these years- 
have credited the Germans with a sort of super-efficiency in 
gunnery, and we have always been prepared for some surprises 
in their system of control and accuracy of fire. But there is a 
feeling, after the combat of 24th January, that perhaps our 
naval officers were too diffident in regard to their own pro- 
fessional skill in ginnery. Then the guns. While the 
Germans were building n-inch guns we built 12-inch and 
13-inch guns. Before they advanced to the 12-inch gun we 
had large numbers of ships armed with the 13.5. It was said 
by the opposite school of naval force that a smaller gun fires 
faster and has a higher velocity, and therefore the greater 
destructive power and Krupp is the master gunmaker of 
the world and it was very right and proper to take such a 
possibility into consideration. Everything that we have 
learnt, however, so far shows that we need not at all doubt the 
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wisdom of our policy or the excellence of our material. The 
1 3. 5-inch gun is unequalled by any weapon yet brought on the 
scene. Now we have the 15-inch gun, with which the five 
Queen Elizabeths and the five Royal Sovereigns are all armed, 
coming into line, and this gun in quality equals the 13. 5-inch 
gun, and is vastly more powerful and destructive. 

There is another remarkable feature of this action to 
which I should like to draw the attention of the House. I 
mean the steaming of our ships. All the vessels engaged 
in this action exceeded all their previous records without 
exception. I wonder if the House and the public appreciate 
what that means. Here is a squadron of the Fleet which 
does not live in harbour, but is far away from its dockyards 
and which during six months of war has been constantly at 
sea. All of a sudden the greatest trial is demanded of their 
engines, and they all excel all previous peace-time records. 
Can you conceive a more remarkable proof of the excellence 
of British machinery, of the glorious industry of the engine- 
room branch, or of the admirable system of repairs and 
refits by which the Grand Fleet is maintained . from month 
to month and can, if need be, be maintained from year to 
year in a state of ceaseless vigilance without exhaustion. 
Take the case of the Kent at the Falklands. The Kent is an 
old vessel. She was launched thirteen years ago, and has 
been running ever since. The Kent was designed to go 
23^ knots. The Kent had to catch a ship which went con- 
siderably over 24^ knots. They put a pressure and a strain 
on the engines much greater than is allowed in time of peace, 
and they drove the Kent 25 knots and caught the Niirnberg 
and sank her. It is my duty in this House to speak for the 
Navy, and the truth is that it is sound as a bell all through. 
I do not care where or how it may be tested ; it will be found 
good and fit and keen and honest. It will be found to be 
the product of good management and organisation, of sound 
principle in design and strategy, of sterling workmen and 
faithful workmanship and careful clerks and accountants and 
skilful engineers, and painstaking officers and hardy tars. 
The great merit of Admiral Sir D. Beatty's action is that 
it shows us and the world that there is at present no reason 
to assume that, ship for ship, gun for gun, and man for man, 
we cannot give a very good account of ourselves. It shows 

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that at five to four in representative ships because the 
quality of the ships on either side is a very fair representation 
of the relative qualities of 'the lines of battle the Germans 
do not think it prudent to engage, that they accepted without 
doubt or hesitation their inferiority, that they thought only 
of flight just as our men thought only of pursuit, that they 
were wise in the view they took, and that if they had taken 
any other view they would, unquestionably, have been 
destroyed. That is the cruel fact, which no falsehood and 
many have been issued no endeavour to sink by official 
communiques vessels they could not stay to sink in war, 
would have obscured. 

When, if ever, the great Fleets draw out for general battle 
we shall hope to bring into the line a preponderance, not only 
in quality, but in numbers, which will not be five to four, 
but will be something considerably greater than that. There- 
fore, we may consider this extra margin as an additional 
insurance against unexpected losses by mines and submarine, 
such as may at any moment occur in the preliminaries of a 
great sea battle. It is for these important reasons of test 
and trial that we must regard this action of the Dogger Bank 
as an important and, I think I may say, satisfactory event. 
The losses of the Navy, although small compared with the 
sacrifices of the Army, have been heavy, We have lost, 
mainly by submarine, the lives of about 5500 officers and 
men, and we have killed, mainly by gun fire, an equal number, 
which is, of course, a much larger proportion of the German 
forces engaged. We have also taken, in sea fighting, 82 
officers and 934 men prisoners of war. No British naval 
prisoners of war have been taken in fighting at sea by the 
Germans. When they had the inclination they had not the 
opportunity, and when they had the opportunity they had 
not the inclination. For the loss of these precious British 
lives we have lived through six months of this War safely 
and even prosperously. We have established for the time 
being a command of the sea such as we had never expected, 
such as we have never known, and our ancestors had never 
known at any other period of our history. There are those 
who, shutting their eyes to all that has been gained, look 
only at that which has been lost, and seek to dwell they 
are not a very numerous class unduly upon it. We are 
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urged to hold a court-martial in every case where a ship is 
lost in action, and to hear the talk in some quarters one 
would suppose that the loss of a ship by mine or submarine 
necessarily involved a criminal offence. 

MR. CHAMBERLAIN : No, no. 

MR. CHURCHILL : Not in the quarters which the right 
hon. gentleman frequents perhaps. One would suppose that 
it involves a criminal offence for which somebody should be 
brought to book. The Admiralty have lately given careful 
consideration to this question. No doubt the precedents 
both in peace and war favour, though they do not enjoin, the 
holding of a court-martial when ships are lost or captured, 
but the circumstances and conditions of modern naval warfare 
are entirely different from all previous experience. In old 
wars the capture or destruction of ships was nearly always 
accompanied by an act of surrender which was a proper and 
very necessary subject for investigation by court-martial. 
But mines and submarines, especially submarines, create 
conditions entirely novel, presenting to naval officers problems 
of incomparable hazard and difficulty. In these circumstances 
a court-martial would frequently be inappropriate in our 
judgment, and often even harmful. Losses by mine and 
submarine must frequently be placed on the same footing 
as heavy casualties on land. They cannot be treated as 
presumably involving a dereliction of duty or a lack of 
professional ability. Thirdly, the speed and skill of modern 
operations, and the continuous demands on the attention of 
the Admiralty and on the services of naval officers, especially 
officers of high rank, make the actual holding of courts- 
martial very difficult and inconvenient. Energy ought not 
to be consumed in investigations and discussions of incidents 
beyond recall, but should be concentrated on new tasks and 
new difficulties. Nothing could be worse for the Navy or 
the Admiralty than for public attention or naval attention 
to be riveted on half a dozen naval causes celkbres which 
would give opportunities for most acrimonious and contro- 
versial discussions, about which you may be perfectly certain 
two opinions would always remain at the close. When a 
clear case of misconduct or failure in duty can be presumed, 
a court-martial may be necessary. When technical or special 
matters are raised which it is desirable to elucidate with a 

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view to precautions being taken to prevent similar accidents 
in the future, Courts of Inquiry have been and will be 
assembled, but in all these matters, I must respectfully 
claim, on behalf of the Board of Admiralty, an absolute 
discretionary power with regard to holding courts-martial, 
or Courts of Inquiry, or the removal without trial of officers 
who have forfeited the confidence of the Board, or the pub- 
lication of particular information on particular incidents. I 
ask the House, on behalf of the Board, for their confidence 
and support during the war in this respect. I would especi- 
ally deprecate anything being done which tends to make 
officers, whether afloat or at the Admiralty, play for safety 
and avoid responsibility for positive action. 

Losses have to be incurred in war, and mistakes will 
certainly be made from time to time. Our Navy keeps the 
sea ; our ships are in constant movement ; valuable ships 
run risks every day. The enemy is continually endeavouring 
to strike, and from time to time accidents are inevitable. 
How do you suppose the battle-cruiser squadron of Sir David 
Beatty was where it was when the action of 24th January 
took place ? How many times is it supposed that the 
squadrons of the Grand Fleet, the cruiser and battle squad- 
rons, have been patrolling and steaming through the North 
Sea, always exposed to risk by mine and torpedo before at 
last they reaped their reward ? If any mood or tendency 
of public opinion arises, or is fostered by the newspapers, or 
given countenance to in this House which makes too much 
of losses, even if they are cruel losses, and even if it may be 
said that they are in some respects avoidable losses, even 
then I say- you will have started on a path which, pressed to 
its logical conclusion, would leave our Navy cowering in its 
harbours instead of ruling the seas. When I think of the 
great scale of our operations, the enormous target we expose, 
the number of ships whose movements have to be arranged 
for, of the novel conditions to which I have referred, it is 
marvellous how few have been our losses, and how great 
the care and vigilance exercised by the admirals afloat and 
by the Admiralty Staff, and it appears to me, and it will 
certainly be regarded by those who study this war in history, 
as praiseworthy in the highest degree. 

The tasks which lie before us are anxious and grave. We 
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are, it now appears to be, the object of a kind of warfare 
which has never before been practised by a civilised State. 
The scuttling and sinking at sight, without search or parley, 
of merchant ships by submarine agency is a wholly novel 
and unprecedented departure. It is a state of things which 
no one had ever contemplated before this war, and which 
would have been universally reprobated and repudiated before 
the war. But it must not be supposed because the attack 
is extraordinary that a good defence and a good reply cannot 
be made. The statutes of ancient Rome contain no provision 
for the punishment of parricides, but when the first offender 
appeared it was found that satisfactory arrangements could 
be made to deal with him. Losses no doubt will be incurred, 
but of that I give full warning but we believe that no 
vital injury can be done. If our traders put to sea regularly 
and act in the spirit of the gallant captain of the merchant 
ship Laertes, 1 whose well-merited honour has been made public * [See 
this morning, and if they take the precautions which are P- 221.] 
proper and legitimate, we expect that the losses will be 
confined within manageable limits, even at the outset, when 
the enemy must be expected to make his greatest effort to 
produce an impression. 

All losses can, of course, be covered by resort on the part 
of shipowners to the Government insurance scheme, the rates 
of which are now one-fifth of what they were at the outbreak 
of war. On the other hand, the reply which we shall make 
will not perhaps be wholly ineffective. Germany cannot be 
allowed to adopt a system of open piracy and murder, or 
what has always hitherto been called open piracy and murder 
on the high seas, while remaining herself protected by the 
bulwark of international instruments which she has utterly 
repudiated and defied, and which we, much to our detriment, 
have respected. There are good reasons for believing that 
the economic pressure which the Navy exerts is beginning 
to be felt in Germany. We have to some extent restricted 
their imports of useful commodities like copper, petrol, rubber, 
nickel, manganese, antimony, which are needed for the efficient 
production of war materials, and for carrying on modern war 
on a great scale. The tone of the German Chancellor's recent 
remarks, and the evidences of hatred and anger against this 
country which are so apparent in the German Press, encourage 

NAVAL 3 R 257 



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us to believe that this restriction is proving inconvenient. 
We shall, of course, redouble our efforts to make it so. So 
far, however, we have not attempted to stop imports of food. 
We have not prevented neutral ships from trading direct 
with German ports. We have allowed German exports in 
neutral ships to pass unchallenged. The time has come when 
the enjoyment of these immunities by a State which has, as 
a matter of deliberate policy, placed herself outside of all 
international obligations must be reconsidered. A further 
declaration on the part of the allied Governments will 
promptly be made which will have the effect for the first time 
of applying the full force of naval pressure to the enemy. I 
thank the House for the attention with which they have 
listened to me. The stresses and strains of this war are not 
imperceptible to those who are called on to bear a part in the 
responsibility for the direction of the tremendous and terrible 
events which are now taking place. They have a right to 
the generous and indulgent judgment and support of their 
fellow countrymen, and to the goodwill of the House of 
Commons. We cannot tell what lies before us, or how soon 
or in what way the next great developments of the struggle 
will declare themselves, or what the state of Europe and 
the world will be at its close. But this, I think, we can 
already say, as far as the British Navy is concerned, that 
although no doubt new dangers and perplexities will come 
upon us continuously and anxiety will make its abode in our 
brain, yet the danger and anxiety which now are advancing 
upon us will not be more serious or more embarrassing than 
those through which we have already successfully made our 
way. For during the months that are to come the British 
Navy and the sea power which it exerts will increasingly 
dominate the general situation, will be the main and unfailing 
reserve of the allied nations, will progressively paralyse the 
fighting energies of our antagonists, and will, if need be, 
even in default of all other favourable forces, ultimately by 
itself decide the issue of the war. 

MR. BONAR LAW : Let me first get out of the way the 
reference which the right hon. gentleman made to some 
remarks of mine with regard to the employment of some of 
our ships by the Admiralty. I am very far from complaining 
of the reference which has been made by the right hon. gentle- 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

man. He is not generally peaceful when he is attacked, and 
I recognise that the temper in which he approached it to-day 
is significant of the general frame of mind with which the 
House approaches all these questions, and I personally am 
not going to introduce heat where he has introduced none. 
The right hon. gentleman, however, entirely misunderstood 
the whole basis of the case which I was trying to put before 
the House of Commons. The very last thing in the world 
which I should do would be to suggest that the servants of 
the Admiralty, or the Civil servants of any Department of 
the Government, are inefficient. I believe, as I have always 
believed, that our Civil Service is the best in the world, and 
that it is as good to-day as it has ever been. That is not 
my position. All my complaint was that to men work is 
given to do which from their past, I think, they are incapable 
of performing adequately, while there are others who might 
be available who would be capable of doing that work. I do 
not suggest that it has been incompetently done, from the 
point of view of getting the troops transported or the supplies 
carried. Every word of the right hon. gentleman seemed to 
me to be a confirmation of the kind of complaint which I 
made. They will take care that they will have the ships 
when they are wanted, but the real ground of complaint is 
that proper care, by men who understand the business, is 
not taken to make sure that more ships are not kept idle 
than are required without any lessening of the efficiency. 
This is the first essential in a case of the kind. I am not 
going into this again, but I shall read one other extract from 
the Shipowners Gazette. The right hon. gentleman is quite 
wrong in thinking that the shipowners are complaining 
because they are suffering. It is the other way. As a class 
they are gaining by what is happening, and they are gaining 
immensely. This is the case to which I have referred. If the 
right hon. gentleman wishes I will give the name, but I 
will not state it here. It is in reference to a steamer which 
can carry 4500 tons. It states : ' This steamer has been 
lying about different places in the North of Scotland since 
the 8th November, and, according to our last communication 
received from the master, dated the 8th February, at that 
time she had still uoo tons on board/ In other words, she- 
had still on the 8th February, uoo tons of cargo to discharge, 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of a total which did not exceed 4500 tons. In other words, 
this ship had been lying about doing nothing for three or 
four months. 

MR. CHURCHILL : Really the right hon. gentleman, if I 
may say so with great respect, does not understand the 
facts. The fact that the ship had been waiting about doing 
nothing does not mean that she was not usefully employed. 
She has been carrying a portion of the indispensable fixed 
floating reserve of coal which is kept continually available at 
the different bases. If she was not carrying it, some other 
ship would have had to be carrying it. The whole of these 
ships, coal ships, ammunition ships and supply ships, are 
always waiting about until a sufficient quantity of the com- 
modity in question has been accumulated, and is maintained 
regularly in a floating position. 

MR. BONAR LAW : With all respect, the right hon. gentle- 
man does not understand my position. Does any one 
suggest that, if proper arrangements were made, a ship 
carrying 4000 tons would be allowed to lie idle for three 
months, when a ship carrying 1000 tons would equally have 
been available, and could equally have been taken and used 
for the purpose for which this larger ship was employed ? 
There is no use in discussing the matter, but I am perfectly 
certain that if the right hon. gentleman, instead of doing 
what every man would do in his place and defending the 
action of his Department, would have a return taken of the 
actual movements of a certain number of these ships and of 
what they have been doing day by day since the Government 
took them, and if he would consult with some competent 
shipowner as a result of that investigation, and then try to 
remedy the defect, he would, without any loss of efficiency, 
save this country an immense sum of money. However, we 
are dealing with much more important subjects than that. 
To win the war is more important than to win it cheaply. 
The right hon. gentleman has made an extremely interesting 
speech, to which the House has listened with great satisfaction 
and with great sympathy. I remember the speech made by 
1 [See him towards the end of the first half of this session l and, as 
Naval 2, it seems to me, there is an entirely different atmosphere now 
PP ft? I9 ~ surrounding the Navy from that which existed then. During 
the first period of the war there was a feeling not so much 
260 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of anxiety perhaps, but of doubt and uncertainty, as to the 
Navy. That was due, of course, entirely to some isolated 
incidents which had not been favourable to us. I have 
. referred to some of them before. Perhaps they may be 
referred to again in this debate, but I shall not allude to them 
beyond saying this, that some of them and I am sure the 
right hon. gentleman will agree with me when the proper 
time comes, must be examined and must be discussed in 
this House, and perhaps must be criticised. But that feeling 
of uncertainty was never shared by me, and I said so in 
this House at the time. In considering the work of the 
Navy, not from the point of view of its effect on the Govern- 
ment, but from that of the position with regard to the nation, 
we have to look, not to isolated incidents, but to its work as 
a whole, and perhaps the best way for us to realise how 
successful is that work is to do what was done by the right 
hon. gentleman, to cast our minds back to the period before 
the war and to consider what were the dangers which then 
seemed to threaten us in the event of an outbreak of war. 

The right hon. gentleman has referred to them. There 
were two. There was the danger of interference with our 
commerce. I think every one would have felt I certainly 
did before the war broke out that that was a very real 
danger, for if at that time we had received word that ships 
were being sunk or captured before we had the knowledge 
that our supremacy at sea was secure, it would have had an 
effect on the people of this country very much greater than 
similar incidents would have now. We are now threatened, 
as the right hon. gentleman has reminded us, with a new 
form of this kind of pressure. I was pleased to hear that 
he is not alarmed. No doubt the attempt will be made. I 
think that if it could have been made effectively it would 
have been made already, and I do not think that we have 
any reason to be greatly alarmed ; and I am sure of this, that 
if the result is to compel us to exercise more firmly our sea 
pressure on the enemy the result will be nothing but advan- 
tage to the Allies. The other great danger and it was a 
far more vital one was that, inasmuch as we all knew that 
when war came it would come unexpectedly to us, but 
arranged by our enemies, the German fleet, which is an 
extraordinarily powerful weapon, which was kept constantly 

261 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

in its full force ready for war, would catch us when we were 
divided, and, by fighting part of our Fleet, might do some- 
thing to bring about a greater equality between the naval 
forces of the two countries. Both of these dangers, in my 
opinion, were averted by the promptitude with which the 
Admiralty mobilised our Fleet and placed it, I believe even 
before mobilisation was complete, in its war station, so as 
to prevent an attack upon our Fleet in parts, or even the 
escape of German cruisers to prey upon our commerce. That 
is a great achievement, and must be considered by us in 
regard to the work that is done by our Navy. 

But in this war, as in every war in which we have been 
engaged since sea power was ours, the work of the Navy is 
to-day silent work. The right hon. gentleman referred in 
a striking phrase to the silence of the Navy. It is indeed 
unbroken except by the guns of the ships and the pen of the 
right hon. gentleman, both perhaps necessary, but especially 
the guns. There is something, as it seems to me, in the 
silence with which this work is done which ought to touch 
our imagination. For six months our great battle Fleet, its 
movements, its very position, the hopes and fears of those 
who control it, have all been shrouded in obscurity. We 
knew nothing of it. For a moment the veil was broken when 
the units of the Fleet swooped down upon the enemy in the 
South Atlantic and avenged and more than avenged the 
previous disaster in the Pacific. It was broken again in an 
action in the North Sea, and in both cases the lifting of the 
veil has not only given new confidence to the people of this 
country, but has shown that, when the time comes that the 
enemy are prepared to face our Fleet in part or in whole, 
the result will not be in doubt. As regards these raids they 
were not pleasant to the people of this country. It was not 
nice to think that German battleships could come and 
bombard defenceless towns and get away again without being 
touched. The last time they found that that was a risk 
which carried some danger, and perhaps it will not be so 
soon repeated. But if the Germans had any object at all in 
these raids, beyond desperation and the feeling that they 
must do something to justify the existence of their fleet, it 
was to tempt us to divide our forces. so as to give an oppor- 
tunity of attacking them in isolated positions. Certainly it 
262 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

has not had that effect, and it will never have it. I remem- 
bered, and I turned up this morning a saying of Nelson which 
shows how completely in essence, in spite of all the changes, 
the problem of naval power remains the same. He said this 
more than 100 years ago : ' Our great reliance is on the 
vigilance and activity of our cruisers at sea, any reduction 
in the number of which, by applying them to guard our ports 
and beaches, would, in my judgment, tend to our destruction/ 
That is as true to-day as it was then, and the work of the 
Navy is to be ready for the time when the fleet of the 
Germans is prepared to meet us. I should like to say a 
word or two about the subject of courts-martial. I entirely 
disagree, so far as I understood him, with everything the 
right hon. gentleman said on this subject. I think he looked 
upon it entirely from the wrong point of view. It is the fact, 
as he has admitted, that during the whole of our past history 
courts-martial have been held. The right hon. gentleman 
seemed to think that to hold a court-martial was to condemn 
in advance the officer who had done something. It really is 
nothing of the kind. The use of the court-martial is quite 
as much to defend the honour of the man who has done 
something as to condemn him, and I do not follow the argu- 
ment of the right hon. gentleman. He says that if an 
officer knows that he is liable to that sort of thing it will 
make him timid, and make him play for safety, and make 
our fleets cower under forts. What is the position under 
the right hon. gentleman's arrangement ? The officer is still 
subject to the arbitrary action of the Admiralty. That is 
just as great a danger, and it may easily be a far greater 
danger than open examination in court-martial. I really 
cannot understand the ground on which the practice has 
been abandoned. The right hon. gentleman said, you 
cannot have a court-martial as to a submarine disaster with 
advantage. Why ? If the damage inflicted by a sub- 
marine were an act of God which no precaution could guard 
against, then there would be something in the claim of the 
right hon. gentleman. Courts-martial have always been 
held upon ships which run aground, and if it be true, as I 
believe it is, that the danger from submarines can be guarded 
against by proper precautions, then surely there is more 
need, rather than less, for courts-martial being held, in order 

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to see whether every available precaution was taken to 
guard against the danger. There is something else I should 
like to say. , I entirely agree with the right hon. gentleman 
that in a time of stress the Admiralty must have absolute 
power to dismiss any man whom they think incompetent, or 
even if they think they have a better man, though the first 
is not incompetent, to dismiss him without giving any reason. 
In no other way will you get efficiency, and nobody, in my 
opinion, can be too ruthless in such a position, and I would 
be the last to condemn the Admiralty, even if they made a 
mistake and dealt unjustly with some man, provided I knew, 
as I do, that in making these changes their one object was to 
secure the best man to do the work required. That is true. 

But how is that affected by holding courts-martial in such 
cases as I have pointed out ? It is better to speak frankly in 
all these cases, but I think it is even in the interests of the 
Admiralty that these courts-martial should be held. Rumours 
have reached me I give them no credence whatever, and they 
must have reached the right hon. gentleman himself that 
some of these disasters are due to direct instructions from the 
Admiralty itself, and it has even been said I do not believe 
it for a moment that this is one reason why courts-martial are 
not being held. I say let them return to the old custom, and 
they will get rid of that kind of thing. I am not going to 
speak too dogmatically about subjects which I admit I only 
partially understand. There may be reasons why this course 
should not continue to be adopted ; but this I say, we have not 
got them yet. I said the other day that at a time like this the 
powers of a dictatorship must be given to the Government. I 
think that is right. That is the only way in time of danger 
that we can do the business of the nation. But with the best 
intentions dictators are apt to get to love their powers, and one 
of the evils of a dictatorship is secrecy. Where it is necessary 
let us have it, but if it is not necessary let us so far as possible 
stick to the old custom, where publicity has hitherto done no 
harm, and let us remember it was justified not only by the 
experience of years and years of peace, but was justified by 
experience in the Long War, which was as dangerous to this 
country as the war in which we are engaged. 

What are the real problems which lie before us ? I quoted 
the words of Nelson a short time ago, and anybody who thinks 
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about this war must be struck by the resemblance between 
the conditions under which we are asserting our sea power 
to-day and the conditions under which we asserted it one 
hundred years ago. The problems are really the same. Sir 
John Jellicoe for six months has been doing the same work in 
precisely the same way as it was done by Nelson when he lay 
oft Toulon. The Germans are fighting on the sea in precisely 
the same way as the French fought against us. They are 
fighting a defensive war, which must be very galling to them, 
for it is not their method of carrying on operations on land, 
and it has resulted in the loss of the whole of their commerce. 
It is a most difficult kind of war for us to deal with. It requires 
above everything else, patience. It necessitates that so long 
as an immense fleet is in being, with its great efficiency in 
gunnery, the main duty of our Fleet is to keep itself together, 
ready to attack it the moment it shows itself. The dangers 
are the same to-day as they were a hundred years ago. One 
of these dangers was the attitude of neutral Powers. Sea 
power inevitably irritates neutral States in a way that the 
exercise of military power on land never could do. That was 
a great danger to our ancestors. They faced it, even to the 
extent of having a league of neutral Powers against them in 
Europe, and to the extent, which can never happen to us, I 
believe, of being involved in a war with America. So far, in 
connection with that danger, we have been helped by the 
clumsiness and brutality of the methods of our enemies, for 
any neutral State which feels itself aggrieved has only to ask 
itself this question : After what we have seen of the way in 
which the laws of war by sea and land have been disregarded 
by the Germans, what would be the position of neutral countries 
if the case were reversed, and sea power were in the hands, not 
of Great Britain, but of Germany ? We have got to think of 
all this. I do not suggest for a moment that we should not 
pay the strictest attention, and the strongest regard even, to 
the interests and susceptibilities of neutrals, and we must 
respect their rights. But we are engaged in a life and death 
struggle. The weapon by which we hope to bring this war to 
a close is sea power, and no Government would be justified in 
giving up a single one of the rights which that sea power gives 
in the war in which we are now engaged, I think history may 
repeat itself again. Napoleon tried to delay the decision of 

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sea power for I do not know how many years. He was driven 
by sea pressure to hazarding at last. The same reasons which 
compelled Napoleon to take that step will, I think, have the 
same effect to-day, and they are stronger to-day, for Napoleon 
had only pressure by sea and our enemies are feeling the 
pressure by land. I think it not only possible but probable 
that that pressure may ultimately, will ultimately, compel 
the German Emperor to risk his Navy in a sea fight. The 
sooner the better, and, though in this war there is neither a 
Nelson nor a Napoleon, I think if the opportunity comes there 
will be another Trafalgar. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : The right hon. gentleman 
the First Lord of the Admiralty has made a most remarkable 
speech, and a speech well suited to a most remarkable crisis 
in our history. At the end of his speech the right hon. 
gentleman called attention to a fact, about which my right 
hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition has also spoken, and 
that is as to how it would be possible to end this war as soon 
as that can be done. The suggestion made by the right hon. 
gentleman that the Government are considering whether 
they will not do away with all those treaties, such as the 
Declaration of London, the Declaration of Paris, and The 
Hague Conference, so far as Germany is concerned, would no 
doubt put the economic question on a far tighter strain on 
Germany, both as to the right of search and as to examining 
goods in neutral ships. But if I may venture to suggest to 
the right hon. gentleman the best way to bring the matter 
about is to recognise that we have Allies. ' We ' is always 
stronger than 'I.' If we had a Note sent from France, from 
Russia, from Japan, and Great Britain, to say that we who 
are all equally concerned in ending this war, and are all 
equally concerned in stopping any supply whatever that 
could benefit Germany, then I do not think that we should 
have any trouble with the neutral Powers. I do not think we 
should have any trouble with the United States where we do 
know there is a large section of Germans and Irish who dislike 
the English, and dislike the English having command of the 
sea, although that gives the freedom of the sea to all. I do 
think it would be a very excellent idea if we could present a 
Joint Note, all of us being equally interested to end this war, 
from the four Allies. I do not think that has been done yet, 
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and I would recommend it to the right hon. gentleman merely 
to think of. 

As to the right hon. gentleman's remarks in his most 
interesting speech, I agree in the main with everything he 
said ; nearly everything he said. The action of the Fleet has 
simply been magnificent. There they are with their silent 
vigil they are always on the look out. Nothing could have 
been better than the explanation of the right hon. gentleman 
of what the officers and men have been doing. There they are 
at sea always ready, engines always ready, bunkers always full, 
as far as they can be, and not one minute in which they may 
not be ordered out at full speed, and not one minute in which 
they may not be attacked. I say that the officers and men of 
the Fleet have maintained the splendid traditions of the past. 
With the forces they have had at their disposal they have 
saved us from invasion. They have maintained the freedom 
of the seas for everybody except our enemies, and they have 
spared us in this country all the agonies of France and Belgium. 
I think the right hon. gentleman will agree that no Govern- 
ment has ever before, since this war has commenced, been so 
loyally supported as the present Government has been by the 
Opposition. We want to help the Government to help to 
finish the war. But the Prime Minister the other day, very 
wisely I thought, invited criticism. I propose to refer to 
certain incidents. The right hon. gentleman himself has 
referred to them, but he does not take the same view of those 
incidents as I do and as a great number of other people (Jo. 
They produced catastrophes involving loss of life of a very 
large number of officers and men. I hope in the remarks that 
I am going to make that I shall keep the subject within discreet 
and patriotic lines. Fair criticism is what I want to make. 
I think there are certain disquieting facts that call for investi- 
gation. The reasons for my criticism are as follows: I 
maintain that the catastrophes that occurred, and I am 
merely speaking of submarine catastrophes and nothing else, 
were quite preventable, and I also say that most of the risks 
run that caused those catastrophes had no real, no definite, 
object in them whatever. My criticism is mainly to prevent 
a recurrence of them. 

The right hon. gentleman was perfectly right in saying 
that you must run risks in war. Of course you must.* 

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Either the Admiralty or an Admiral would be perfectly 
justified in losing a whole . squadron of Dreadnoughts and 
sending them deliberately to their doom in order to win the 
action for the rest of the Fleet, and the officers and men would 
cheerfully undertake that order and do their best, although 
they knew it was certain death. We have lost by submarine 
attack the Hogue, the Aboukir, the Cressy, the Hermes, the 
Hawke, and the Formidable. I only take those six ships 
because they are ships with large ships' companies and ships 
that ought to have been defended by screens. The right hon. 
gentleman rather astonished me by saying that we had lost 
over 5000 men by submarines. 

MR. CHURCHILL : Mainly by submarines. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : I took it we had lost between three 
and four thousand by submarines. Speaking of losses, the 
Admiralty issued an Order after three cruisers had been lost 
that other cruisers or ships in the vicinity were not to proceed 
to the rescue of the men who were lost in a ship mined or 
torpedoed. There was some discussion about this matter in 
the Press. It seems an unnatural Order, but to seamen and 
men accustomed to the sea, it is a very wise Order. May I 
give the House an experience. There is not a captain hardly 
in the Service that has not a moment of intense anxiety as to 
what he should do in these circumstances. A man falls over- 
board in a gale of wind, and you will always get volunteers to 
man a cutter, it does not matter what gale the wind is blowing. 
The question is, is the captain justified in manning the boat 
with twelve men, an officer and a coxswain, that is fourteen 
men in all, in order to try and save the man overboard when 
the chances are that it is almost certain he will lose the other 
fourteen men ? It is a terrible moment, we have all expe- 
rienced it, and you are obliged to sacrifice the other man. 
I think the Admiralty Order is perfectly right, that when a 
ship is in company with a vessel that is mined or torpedoed, 
that no company ships are to go to her rescue. I think that 
requires explanation in the country, because there has been 
a good deal of discussion about that Order. With regard to 
the losses by the submarines, I maintain with regard to those 
six ships that the losses were unwarrantable, avoidable and 
preventable, and that there was no adequate compensation, or 
could not have been any adequate compensation, for the risks 
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run. It is due to the relatives and dependants that there 
'should have been an inquiry and a court-martial. A court- 
martial ought to have been held to find out who was to blame 
for what they considered, and I consider, preventable disasters. 
I got a great number of letters from the relatives and 
dependants of those men lost by the submarine incidents, and 
the majority of them put this question, ' We consider so and 
so was murdered as he had no chance in a fair fight and the 
accident was preventable.' What does the Admiralty say 
about this ? I find fault with the right hon. gentleman and 
the Admiralty that all we have ever heard was that those ships 
were of no military value. Why put them in and why put 
officers in them ? It is very poor consolation and, I think, an 
unfeeling and unmerited remark. There was no sentiment 
of respect paid to the memory of one of those officers or men 
who went to their death under those circumstances. I think 
it would have been more in consonance 

MR. CHURCHILL : It is quite untrue to say that. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : The right hon. gentleman says it 
is not true. I never meant to make an untrue statement, but 
I never saw in the public Press a single sentence with regard to 
the loss of those men except that the ships were of no military 
value. Perhaps the right hon. gentleman will tell me what it 
was. 

MR. CHURCHILL : I will send you the statement. 1 * [See 

LORD C. BERESFORD : I am not only saying that. I have Naval i, 
had frequent letters to say that that is all that anybody has PP- 26 9-70 
received about them. In the remarks that I am making I 
hope nobody will think that I am going to criticise the Admirals. 
Nobody has a right to criticise the Admirals in any adverse 
way, because remember they have no right of reply. We have 
every right to criticise the authority which must be para- 
mountly responsible for anything that occurs to the Fleet. 
If such matters as I refer to are not cleared up, there is no 
doubt that we shall be in danger of the officers and men of 
the Fleet losing their confidence in the authority which is 
absolutely necessary in war time. I would remind the right 
hon. gentleman also that on the occasion of the loss of the 
cruisers, the Hermes and the Hawke, not one of us said a word 
of criticism on those occasions, We do not want to criticise, 
we want to help the Admiralty all we can, but when you get 

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an occurrence such as the Formidable, in which a whole 
squadron is risked, and one ship (the Formidable) was lost 
and another was hit, and I am not saying anything of advantage 
to the enemy or anything that everybody does not know, 
when we get those occurrences it is the bounden duty of 
people in this House to call attention to those things, mainly 
with the object that they should not occur again. What I 
want to know is this : Did the Admiralty, after the loss of 
the Hogue, the Aboukir, and the Cressy, the Hermes and the 
Hawke, give orders that no squadron or single ship should 
proceed to sea unless they proceeded at speed or had proper 
screens and torpedo boats ? That is what the country wants 
to know. Remember this, that the submarine is considerably 
overrated, if what the right hon. gentleman himself described 
as proper and obvious precautions and care are taken. If 
the proper care is not taken the submarine is a most fatal and 
novel weapon of naval warfare. A single ship or a squadron 
should go at speed at sea, and both should be accompanied by 
the proper quota and units of torpedo-boat destroyers and small 
craft. I should like to explain why. 

When a submarine comes up to the surface she has to look 
about. The first thing she will see will probably be a destroyer. 
It very often happens that the destroyer sees the submarine 
before the submarine sees the destroyer. The submarine has 
to look into its reflector, but the destroyer has most of its men 
on deck, and there are thirty or forty pairs of eyes level with 
the horizon. A cruiser has four, five, or six sets of signallers on 
the bridge. Directly a submarine comes up the destroyer 
signals to the cruiser, the cruiser alters her helm, zigzags 
about, and goes off at full speed. The submarine, when it 
sees a destroyer, will go down for its own safety. The whole 
position is altered. It is not a very speedy weapon of warfare 
in getting its sight on a ship. It is most problematical whether 
it will ever get a ship at speed, and it will not get a ship which 
has its proper quota of destroyers and small craft. Let me 
prove that. We have despatched hundreds of thousands of 
troops to the Continent ; the water was full of submarines, 
the ships went at speed. We have had two actions off 
Heligoland ; the water was full of submarines, and not only 
did the ships go at speed, but they had their full quota of small 
craft and destroyers. A more glaring example is the bombard- 
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ment of Zeebrugge, where the ships were often stationary ; the 
water was full of submarines, there was the full quota of small 
craft and destroyers, and not one ship was hit. In manoeuvres 
I have often been attacked by torpedo-boat destroyers. You 
can often see the torpedo fired, and you have only to put your 
helm over and you defeat the object of the man who fired it. 

With regard to the orders of the Admiralty, I want to know 
why the squadron of which the Formidable was a part disposed 
of the two great safeguards against submarine attacks. This 
is common knowledge. . She went out : everybody knew 
where she was going and what she was going to do. She 
disposed of or sent back the torpedo-boat destroyers, which 
were her first defence. When she got out into the Channel 
she went at slow speed. The Admiral would not have done 
that if the Admiralty had given definite orders, after the loss 
of the other three cruisers, that no ship was to proceed except 
at speed and with screens. That squadron proceeded to sea 
in an area of water that was known to be infested with sub- 
marines. I say that an explanation is necessary. We ought 
to know what was the Admiralty policy that brought about 
these avoidable losses. Either it was criminal negligence or 
it was crass stupidity, or it was dictated by what I may describe 
as amateur strategy. I have endeavoured to give the House 
these facts because the country is bewildered, the Service is 
uneasy, and the relatives and dependants of the gallant men 
who went down, from causes which were perfectly preventable, 
and from risks for which there was no obvious reason, have 
great cause for complaint. There is only one way to clear 
up the position, restore confidence, and prevent a recurrence 
of these events, and that is to stick to what has been the 
tradition and habit of the Service for centuries have the 
survivors of ships that are lost in any way whatever tried by 
court-martial, and thus find out who is to blame, what was 
the reason for it, and clear up the matter before the whole 
world. 

Why were these courts-martial not held ? What the right 
hon. gentleman said just now is quite correct. A court- 
martial is not to convict : it is to free an officer from blame, 
and to make it clear to the Service and the public who was to 
blame. If you do not have courts-martial, it will be fatal to 
the confidence of the Service in authority, and it will eventually 

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be fatal to the discipline of the Fleet. Let me point out to you 
the injurious results which may arise from having no courts- 
martial. There may be, and there has been, in an accident 
of this sort, a case of unjustly throwing or inferring blame on 
an officer who was not to blame. In another case an officer 
may be to blame, but if there is no court-martial he may be 
given another appointment, white- washed, and be the subject 
of favouritism. To have no court-martial is unjust to the 
officer, bad for the Service, and more or less a danger to the 
State. Officers should have an opportunity of clearing them- 
selves. The country should demand information. By what 
authority have the King's Regulations, the Admiralty In- 
structions, and the Naval Discipline Act been abrogated ? 
Who did this ? Courts-martial are not only a tradition of 
the Service ; they are compulsory by the Naval Discipline 
Act. The country ought to know by whose authority this 
great Act has been abrogated. Such an autocratic proceed- 
ing is a danger to the State. If any hon. member will go to 
the Library and ask for the King's Regulations, the Admiralty 
Instructions, and the Naval Discipline Act, he will see that it 
is custom and the order of the Service that courts-martial 
should be held in such cases. As it is, the Admiralty seem to 
think that the Navy belongs to them. The Navy belongs to 
the country, and the old traditions and requirements which 
keep things clear, and put the blame on the proper authority, 
should not be abrogated without the consent of this House. 
The First Lord of the Admiralty gave an answer on the nth 
inst., and has repeated it to-day, which simply amazes me, 
and ought to amaze the House. He said : ' The losses which 
take place owing to mines and submarines are quite different 
from any losses that occurred in former years. That has a 
bearing on the question of courts-martial. 1 And he defended 
that in the House to-day. These points make courts-martial 
more necessary. They are a new element in warfare. What 
is to protect our officers and men if you have a captain or an 
admiral who says, ' Never mind the mines ; I '11 chance them.' 
Is he not to be tried by court-martial ? What is to protect 
the officers and men if you have another admiral who says, ' I 
do not fear submarines ; I will get rid of my screens and 
proceed at low speed.' Is not that a subject for court-martial ? 
It is the bounden duty of this House to see that no officer's or 
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man's life is risked in any way whatever without a definite 
object in view, and never from a cause that is preventable. 
We owe it to our great Service to continue these courts- 
martial in every one of these cases. All the cases I have 
mentioned involved the loss, wreck, and destruction of certain 
vessels, and, worse still, the loss of officers and men, and courts- 
martial in such cases are specially provided for by the Naval 
Discipline Act, which, I repeat, has been abrogated by some 
autocratic authority at the Admiralty The right hon. 
gentleman said that courts-martial could not well be held 
without weakening the fighting line. There is a great Fleet 
somewhere ; we do not know where, and if we did we should 
not say. But a court-martial does not take weeks ; it may 
take only a forenoon. In the case of the Goeben, the court- 
martial was held at Plymouth. There are plenty of admirals 
and captains to constitute a court-martial. It is perfectly 
easy to send up the witnesses. It might not take more than 
a dog-watch to try the case and find out who was guilty. The 
right hon. gentleman's argument will not hold at all. 

May I give an experience of my own with regard to a 
court-martial ? When I commanded the Undaunted in the 
Mediterranean I was unlucky enough to run her ashore. It 
was a question of shifting the buoys and the leading marks. 
My Commander-in-chief, Sir George Tryon, one of the finest 
seamen we ever had in the Navy, when I went to Malta to be 
put right, said to me, ' I perfectly understand what happened ; 
it was not your fault ; it was nobody's fault. I will try you 
by Court of Inquiry, and the whole thing will be settled/ I 
said, ' I respectfully submit, Sir, that you should not do any- 
thing of the sort. I beg you to try me by court-martial. If 
I become an admiral some day, and a captain runs his ship 
ashore, if I try him by court-martial and he is found guilty, it 
may be in different circumstances, what will be said ? It will 
be said, " Beresford ran his ship ashore, he was tried by Court 
of Inquiry. That is a secret Court, with no evidence on oath. 
Another man runs his ship ashore, he is tried by court-martial 
and found guilty/' The Admiral saw it at once. He said, 
'Certainly; I see your point ; I will try you by court-martial/ 
I was tried and acquitted. I mention that to show the 
importance that I attach to the question of courts-martial. 
A Court of Inquiry does not meet the case at all. A Court of 
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Inquiry is generally held with the object of framing charges 
for a court-martial. It is a secret inquiry, no witnesses are 
examined on oath, nobody is obliged to answer any question, 
and, although official, it is not public like a court-martial. If 
hon. members like they can buy the minutes of any court- 
martial in the Army and Navy. The court is sometimes 
closed for the reason thaf it may not be in the public interest 
to divulge the subject, but the whole of the minutes of evidence 
and the finding of any court-martial of either Service can be 
bought for a small sum of money. What substitute has the 
Admiralty put into force in place of these courts-martial ? 
None whatever but an autocratic proceeding, in which the 
career and whole life of the officers of the Navy are entirely 
at the disposal of what I may call the freak or idea of the people 
at the Admiralty, or even the First Lord. That is all wrong- 
absolutely wrong. We must go back to the court-martial. I 
am perfectly certain that when the country knows the facts 
of the case they will insist upon it. I maintain that the 
Admiralty had no power in the world to do away with courts- 
martial. They had no power to do this, either under the 
Naval Discipline Act, the King's Regulations, or the Admiralty's 
Instructions, without coming to this House. Why does the 
right hon. gentleman shake his head ? Does he claim he has 
the power ? 

The CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (MR. G. LAMBERT) : 
The noble Lord is entirely mistaken. I do not think it is 
indispensable to the Naval Discipline Act. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE : What about the Naval Defence 
Act? 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : The right hon. gentleman 
must really read up the King's Regulations. He will then 
find it is not only according to the custom and tradition, but 
it has always been the case. 

MR. LAMBERT : That is another matter. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : So far as I have spoken in 
this House now, I have endeavoured to put the case as clear 
as I can as to why you should not do away with courts- 
martial. I maintain it is the Naval Discipline Act. The 
wording of the clauses point out that you have got to have 
a court-martial. You speak there of the officers and men 
who have lost their ship being kept on full pay until there is 
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a court-martial. All the clauses point out that ; in fact, 
you have to have a court-martial when a ship is lost. The 
right hon. gentleman shakes his head again, but I still stick 
to my opinion. I consider the question to be one of para- 
mount importance to the efficiency of the Service and to the 
maintenance of the Naval Discipline Act. It is one which 
really indirectly touches the safety of the State. Let me 
quote the article I have just referred to : ' When a ship is 
wrecked or lost, until the court-martial shall have inquired 
into the cause of the loss or capture of such ship . . .' That 
means that the officers and men are to be kept on full 
pay till it is done. There are several other clauses, and 
I am sorry that I did not bring a copy of them. 
Article 616 says : ' Immediately after the court-martial to 
inquire into the loss of a ship which has taken place . . .' 
and so on. 

MR. LAMBERT : I do not think the noble Lord quite 
follows me. He said that it made it obligatory upon the 
Admiralty to hold a court-martial. I do not think that is 
so. Of course, he may be better informed than I am. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : The right hon. gentleman is 
quite right to this effect, that an officer sometimes thinks he 
is very aggrieved and he demands a court-martial. He has 
no right to demand a court-martial, and the Admiralty say : 
' No, we will not allow a court-martial/ But I maintain that 
the loss of a ship, and the loss of the people in it, is quite a 
different matter. It has been the cmstom and tradition to 
hold a court-martial, and I maintain that is the law. However, 
I will not dwell further on that point, except to say that it 
is very important, both for the officers and the men of the 
Fleet ; it is felt very acutely by the dependants of these poor 
people who have been lost. Nobody knows why they were 
lost or who is to blame for that loss. I again repeat and 
I cannot repeat it too often they were lost from causes that 
were preventable and from risks run in which there was no 
object whatever. 

MR. FALLE : First of all I should like to protest against 
the absence of the First Lord of the Admiralty. This is the 
one night in the year in which we might expect him to be in 
his place, but for some reason or other he has not told us 

the reason 

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The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : The First Lord stated during the course of his 
speech 

MR. FALLE : Yes, I heard it. 

DR. MACNAMARA : That he had urgent business at the 
office, and therefore he might claim the indulgence of the 
House. 

MR. FALLE : He also told us that, as the House will 
remember, last year, and the next day it was found that 
he had been presiding at the banquet given to Dr. Sven 
Hedin or some other explorer. No doubt during war time 
it is necessary for the First Lord to be at the Admiralty, but 
I do say this is the one night of the year in which he might 
have been here. He has given us a wonderful speech which 
will be best described, I think, by the term the Australians 
use that is ' blowing/ It was principally made up of 
' blowing/ When he was not doing that he was sometimes 
inaccurate, as when he told us that the Australian convoy 
came across the Pacific. He was following his friend the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer when he told us that France 
was peopled with Celts. I have another ground for com- 
plaint that is the little the First Lord has told us. I main- 
tain that we have a right to the fullest information that the 
First Lord can give, and that we should not have to wait 
until that information is given to foreign newspapers, even 
though those newspapers be the newspapers of our Allies. 
We have the first right to the information which may come 
to the First Lord, and which he thinks it is possible to give 
to the people of this country. I think the First Lord was 
perfectly right when he said that the Navy was as sound as 
a bell. We are all quite sure of that. What we are not 
quite sure of is of what kind of metal the clapper is made ! 
To the newspapers the First Lord talks freely. He talks, in 
my humble opinion, of those things which he may under- 
stand, and he also talks of those things which he may not 
understand. He has given us his views on the subject of 
rats and on the digging out of rats, while per contra he has 
given us his opinion on a matter which he certainly cannot 
and does not understand that is baby-killing. If the First 
Lord can give us his views on the subject of orphan-making, 
it might have been more interesting, or on middle-aged 
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Reservists, or on obsolete, antiquated ships that can hardly 
in some instances steam, much less fire a gun. 

The country, I think, is agreed that it is Heaven's mercy 
that Lord Fisher is at the Admiralty. When the First Lord 
finishes with naval matters he apparently tells foreign news- 
papers that, whatever happens, England will continue the 
war : whether or not the Allies break away from us and 
make peace, England will go on. By what authority does 
the First Lord speak in the name of England ? He may 
have a right to speak in the name of Dundee, but he certainly 
has not the right to speak in the name of England ; nor does 
it appear to me that he has a right to tell the Burgomaster 
of Antwerp : ' You need not worry ; we have come here to 
save your city/ and to carry out that boast by landing un- 
trained, unequipped, and unequal forces of exceedingly brave 
men, who naturally could do very little towards defending 
that city. None of us objects to the fact that a force was 
sent to defend or to attempt to defend Antwerp. What we 
do criticise is that the attempt to do it was made with an 
untrained and an inadequate force. The First Lord has 
absented himself to-night, while at the same time the country 
knows that he is continually running over to France. [An 
HON. MEMBER : ' Hear, hear ! '] He was there, I believe, 
last week. Perhaps the hon. gentleman objects to the words 
' running over.' Well, the First Lord was conveyed by train 
and by steamboat to the coast of France. I cannot myself 
say what is his object and what is the object of allowing the 
First Lord to go to France so frequently. It cannot be to 
hearten Sir John French. It cannot have anything to do 
with his Navy work. If the First Lord wants to go to France 
for the purpose of fighting, I am quite sure that nobody will 
say him nay. 

I should like to make a few remarks on the first naval 
trouble that occurred. That was the loss of the Pegasus* 
Here was a ship which was unable to steam, with guns av * 
obsolete, in waters where it is common knowledge that the f 
Germans had a superior force. The First Lord tells us, and 
told us to-day, that at the outbreak of war we had a Fleet 
equal to all our needs. Why, then, was the Pegasus kept in 
Zanzibar waters so that she might fall an easy prey to the 
very first German cruiser that came along ? When that 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

German cruiser came along, it found the poor old Pegasus 
with her fires drawn and unable to steam, and the Germans 
massacred her men and sank the ship at a distance from 
which the poor old popguns of the Pegasus could not make 
any effectual reply. Those men, as letters that have been 
sent to my colleague and myself show, in the opinion of their 
people, were simply murdered. Why were these brave men 
in ships of no fighting value whatever, if it is a fact that 
the Fleet at the outbreak of war was equal to all our needs ? 
We have had to send other ships now to Zanzibar waters to 
take the place of the Pegasus. Would it not have been far 
better to have sent the ships at the beginning ? The second 
matter is a matter which has been spoken of at some length 
by my colleague the loss of the Cressy, the Hogue, and the 
Aboukir. Those ships were sent regularly into the danger 
zone, and they were sent without the small craft that were 
built for the purpose of accompanying the bigger ships, and 
guarding them from danger built to be the very eyes and 
ears of the Fleet. Yet these three cruisers were sent without 
their accompanying smaller vessels, and, of course, were sunk. 
But that was not enough for the First Lord. He sent the 
Hawke without smaller craft, and it shared the fate, and her 
men shared the fate, of the Cressy, Hogue, and Aboukir. 
What I should like to know is, what the ships were doing in 
those particular waters. Was it necessary for them to be 
there ? That is to me th$ crucial question. The proof that 
they were not necessary there is that no others were sent to 
take their place. So persuaded were the men of the Hawke 
of the danger of being unattended in this dangerous zone 
that, positively, rafts were made on the Hawke, and some 
few men were saved when the fatal day came. We think, 
at a great naval port like Portsmouth, that these men gave 
up their lives owing to the ignorance of the First Lord. 

There was another question touched on by my colleague 
the escape of the Goeben in Mediterranean waters. That 
emphasises the absolute need of a court-martial. Here we 
have three battle cruisers under an Admiral and a certain 
number of battle cruisers under his second in command, and, 
notwithstanding that, the Goeben escapes, with the result 
that the Turk, our old ally, is forced into a war against us. 

MR. PRINGLE : There was an inquiry. 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

MR. FALLE : What I am speaking about is a court-martial. 
The Goeben escaped, and the Turk, our old ally, was forced 
into a war against us, the cost of which we cannot yet esti- 
mate. What, I wish to know, were the orders that were 
given to the Admiral in command in the Mediterranean ? It 
was said in this House at the time, and, in fact, it was common 
knowledge, that the orders of the Admiralty were that His 
Majesty's ships should run no avoidable risk, and it was under 
that that the Goeben escaped from our Fleet. There was no 
court-martial. The senior Admiral was brought home, and 
he submitted to a Court of Inquiry, and we were told that, 
as the result of that Court of Inquiry, he was exonerated from 
any blame. The fact remains that that gentleman, an English- 
man and a sailor, is ashore. The second in command appealed 
for a court-martial, and he, holding a great historic service 
name, was triumphantly acquitted of any blame. I main- 
tain that the senior officer should have been court-martialled 
just as much as his junior, so that the country should know 
on evidence taken on oath that he himself was blameless. 
It does not appear to me to be playing the game to give one 
man a Court of Inquiry and the other a court-martial. And 
how does that court-martial, which absolutely absolves the 
second in command, affect the Court of Inquiry, so far as it 
concerns the First Lord ? 

Then we got, saddest of all, the battle which was only 
touched by the right hon. gentleman the sea fight off Coronel. 
There we had practically obsolete ships. I, for my own part, 
absolutely refuse to believe that the Admiralty, where we find 
the keenest and the finest brains in the Navy, did not foresee 
the concentration of the German ships. I find it impossible to 
believe that they did not foresee that squadron, and that they 
did not devise means and methods by which that squadron 
should be met. I dare say every member of this House has read 
that most pathetic letter 1 which was written by the doctor of 
the Good Hope, the last letter in fact which was received from 
the Good Hope, and which appeared in the Times. It was 
written, I believe, to his wife, and he said to her, ' Pray that the 

P The following is the letter above referred to : 

The following letter was written to a friend by Mr. Francis C. Searle, who Times, 
was serving as surgeon on board H.M.S. Good Hope when she was lost in the Dec. 16, 
action off the Chilean coast. The letter was posted in a collier on Thursday, 1914. 

279 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Germans do not concentrate against us ; for, if they do, it is all 
up with us/ and it was all up with them. They took an old 
ship, carrying two old 9. 2-inch guns, against two of the finest 
cruisers of the German Navy, carrying sixteen 8.2-inch guns. 
The result was as certain as the sun shines. There was no 
fight possible, but I am told I admit, of course, my informa- 
tion is not official, but only hearsay that the Admiral's orders 
were to get into action at the earliest possible opportunity, the 
direct opposite of the orders given to Admiral Sir Berkeley 
Milne. Of course, if Admiral Cradock had those orders he had 
no option but to seek out the Germans, and to fight, although 
he knew that his force was absolutely inadequate. The Good 
Hope and the Monmouth went with their brave crews to the 
bottom, and I believe that they went there by the ignorance 

October 29, and the action in which the writer lost his life took place at 
sunset on Sunday, November i : 

H.M.S. Good Hope, N. Cruiser Squadron, October 25. 

I '11 start with the Spithead Review and Manoeuvres, which lasted just 
over fourteen days. I was in the ship, as it was my war appointment. We 
paid off for four days, when I returned to the Vernon. Suddenly one night 
we got the order ' Mobilise/ and with an hour to pack two tin cases I found 
myself on board again here. Most of us brought only a change of gear, 
myself among them. Not even a watch overcoat, for the nights were warm. 
We were patrolling the Irish coast when war was declared, and when off the 
Southern Hebrides were ordered to sweep the Atlantic trade routes for 
hostile cruisers. 

We reached Halifax on August 14 after many alarms, clearing for action 
when sighting any suspicious craft. We stopped many English merchant- 
men, and informed them of war and their course in consequence, but not a 
blessed German. Since reaching Halifax we have been a veritable flying 
squadron. When we had coaled who should come along but Cradock 's flag- 
ship Suffolk. He liked this ship better than his own, so forty miles east of 
New York he shifted his flag and came aboard with his staff one Sunday 
afternoon. 

Then to Bermuda, then St. Lucia, West Indies, then Trinidad, sweeping 
for the enemy all the way south. Then the coast of Venezuela and North 
Brazil (hot as blazes). Pernambuco next, to find twenty-three German 
merchantmen snugly ensconced behind the breakwater, and so in neutral 
harbour. Various islands off Brazil, and then to Montevideo. I took a 
broncho-pneumonia case ashore there in a tug, so saw something of what is 
quite a fine and typical Spanish South American town. The coast of the 
Argentine was bare, and so on south to Magellan Strait and a visit to Punta 
Arenas (Sandy Point), a Chilean town, but with a colony of eight hundred 
English and a good English club with two hundred town members. Of all 
towns I think this was to me the most surprising, for with my somewhat 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

or obstinacy of some amateur authority at the Admiralty ; 
they went there by the opinion of a man who was gambling 
on chances. There is one thing we ought to be grateful for, 
and it is that the poor old Canopus did not succeed in arriving 
on the scene of battle, or she and all her brave men would have 
gone to the bottom. I want the orders given to Admiral 
Cradock to be put on the table of the House. I want to know 
if it were a fact that he was told to get into action at the earliest 
possible moment, and why those orders were different from 
those given to Admiral Sir Berkeley Milne ? Did the Admiral 
comment when he received those orders, and what comment 
did he make ? Is it a fact that he knew his force was quite 
inadequate to meet the German force, and is it a fact he asked 
for another ship ? I understand that he did so. I understand 

insular ideas, confined to the British Isles and the Mediterranean, I had 
looked upon it as a small Chilean convict settlement, devilish cold, convicts 
guarded by cut-throats, and no place for any of us. 

We rounded the Horn twice and visited the Falkland Islands most cold 
and desolate of our Empire outposts and the most southern. I met four of 
our profession there, a Dr. Pearce and his wife (both Edinburgh), a Guy's 
man, who is major of the local forces and O.C. as well, and another called 
Wace, once of Western Australia. 

Of our plans, our bases, sources of supply, and composition of our forces 
I may not tell you, lest our mail be captured and valuable information fall 
into the hands of the enemy. It is a life stranger than any most of us have 
lived through. This has been my first experience, too, of being without 
fresh provisions and minus potatoes and having restricted grub. However, 
we mustn't grumble ; yet war is the most unpleasant existence of any. 
Your next drink ' Damnation to our enemies/ 

We are now in the Pacific, albatross sailing along in our wake, and snow- 
clad mountains of the Pacific slopes visible on the starboard hand. My first 
letter, and only one, reached me October 22 in a collier. Three months of 
mails is following somewhere, somehow. We send in a variety of ways 
storeships, colliers, mail steamers, a stray bag at an out-of-the-way Consul's. 
Storeships are a snare and a delusion, we Ve come to the conclusion. 

So much is going on at home that we think the Admiralty have forgotten 
their trade route squadron ten thousand miles from London town. Who 
would have thought, who could have told yours truly, with one hour's notice, 
now rolling at sea exactly where he must not say. Five German cruisers 
against us. What 's the betting on the field ? Pray to your penates we 
may prevent them concentrating. 

The days are full of monotony. . First-aid lectures are boring to a degree, 
for one can't say too much or it becomes a positive danger. Our casualties 
have so far been two. A stoker got buried in an avalanche of coal iri a bunker 
and a sergeant of Marines got an acute heart attack one buried off Venezuela, 
the other off the Horn. R.I.P.l 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FEB. 

that he asked the. Admiralty, and the Admiralty refused him, 
and he, brave man, had no choice but to go into action with 
an inferior and obsolete force, although we had been told that 
the Fleet at the beginning of hostilities was equal to all our 
needs. He had his orders ; he had heard the melancholy 
fiasco of the Goeben ; he saw his duty, and went for it then and 
there. The nation values and appreciates his heroism and 
sacrifice, and the heroism of the brave men who died with him. 
But they will not forgive the man, or the men, who sent him 
and them practically bound hand and foot to their doom. 

There was another small point about which I asked the 
right hon. gentleman the other day. Five men were landed 
from the Good Hope on a small island off the coast of Chile. 
Those men were the only men of the Good Hope who were 
saved. The First Lord refused to give me their names. I 
cannot understand why, unless he thinks they would be hunted 
down by newspaper reporters, which is a very unworthy idea 
or suggestion. Of course, the names of those men, I admit, 
have been sent to their families, but the fact remains that there 
are a good many poor women whose husbands were signallers 
on the Good Hope who do not know this fact, and are hoping 
that their husbands are among these five. But the Admiralty, 
for some or other deep problem of State, refuses to give the 
names. I appeal to the right hon. gentleman who will answer 
and I am very glad he will, instead of the First Lord to give 
us, if possible, the names of these men, or, at any rate, afford 
us some reason why they should not be given, because I can 
assure him that there is a feeling among many women that, 
possibly, their husbands were saved, and they will not know 
otherwise until a pension is paid to them. After that miserable 
battle in the Chilean waters there came the blessed change at 
the Admiralty. Admiral Sturdee was sent out with two fine 
ships and three cruisers. Why could he not have been sent 
out at first ? Why should the Admiralty have waited until 
two ships were lost, and the splendid complement belonging to 
those ships, all reserves of men in the prime of life men who 
cannot be replaced ? Why were those ships not sent out at 
the beginning, if it can be proved at the beginning of the war 
our Fleet was equal to all our needs ? 

Then we come to the loss of the Formidable. I am told that 
the Fleet had been cruising for several days over the same 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ground, going every day within sight of land, on a bright 
moonlight night, without catchers or small ships that is, 
without any screen whatever steaming, I am told, at eight 
knots, with the result that she was lost. There were, no doubt, 
ships of greater value in the squadron, but that they escaped 
is only a piece of luck for us. Whose is the fault ? The 
Admiral is a man known through the Service as a man of extra- 
ordinary ability. He was brought before a Court of Inquiry, 
a secret court, at which evidence is not taken on oath. With 
what result ? He is taken away from his squadron, but he is 
given one of the best possible billets ashore. That does not 
seem fair to the Admiral himself or the nation, or to the great 
Service to which he belongs. Either he should be blamed or 
maintained where he was with the Fleet. He has the reputa- 
tion of being the only man in the Service who was willing to do 
some work connected with Ulster. I do not know whether 
that has had anything to do with the Court of Inquiry, but 
whatever it is he should be court-martialled in fairness to the 
Service and to the nation. I think the First Lord will be 
called strictly to account for these matters when the war is 
over. We cannot bring him to book at the present moment, 
because there are many points which we cannot touch upon, 
but I think the right hon. gentleman is mistaken if he imagines 
that the country does not want and will not require of him an 
answer to those points. The day of reckoning will come. 
For the right hon. gentleman's attempt, as I believe, to run 
the British Navy on his own some reason will be required from 
him, and then he will meet with his fitting and proper reward. 
I for one do not think that reward will be the reward he either 
expects or thinks he deserves. 

MR. BARNES : I wish to draw attention to two small 
matters. First of all, the present position in regard to the 
training scheme for officers which is now in vogue in the Navy ; 
and secondly, to the position of the new naval force in connec- 
tion with superannuation allowances. I have spoken of my 
first point in this House many times during the last few years, 
and, as the Secretary to the Admiralty knows, I am opposed 
to it through and through. I believe it is a bad scheme, and 
I am glad to know that there are other hon. members in the 
House of the same opinion. Unfortunately it has now been 
in operation so long that I suppose we must take it as a thing 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

that has been brought into being and is going to remain. I 
want to refer to one little corner of this question and its 
position from last year, and that is the position of cadets 
entering Osborne and Dartmouth, and the fees payable in 
respect of them. A year or two ago the fees payable amounted 
to 75 for each boy and certain other expenses were payable 
over and above that amount. Up to last year there was 
always 10 per cent, allowed for the sons of Navy or Army 
officers, who were entitled to enter at the smaller fee of 40. 
Last year that 10 per cent, was increased to 25 per cent., and 
even that 25 per cent, was not to Ipe exclusively made up of 
the sons of Army or 'Navy officers, but might be drawn from 
any class of the community. I understand from the Secretary 
to the Admiralty that there has been a little further relaxation 
in regard to the money payable after eighteen years of age. I 
should like to have a statement as to the actual position on 
this point, and I wish to say, further, that if I am right as to 
the present position, it is one with which I am not at all 
satisfied. I believe that the only remedy for the present 
anomalous state of affairs in regard to the entry of cadets is 
to reduce the fees all round. At present we have 25 per cent, 
who are entering at 40 instead of 75, and I believe we have 
some remission of the money payable by the boys at a later 
stage of their training. 

Under these circumstances I agree that the position is to 
some extent better than it was, but a system is not satisfactory 
which imposes upon a person because he is poor the necessity 
of going along to some authority and pleading poverty in order 
to get these fees remitted. I dare say there are some who go- 
forward and plead that they are poor and are not in a position 
to get 75 a year, but I do not think you will get the best people 
to do that, and there are a large number of self-respecting 
people who would like to get their sons into the Navy as 
officers who would never think of telling the tale to the Board 
of Admiralty or any other board. Therefore, I appeal to the 
right hon. gentleman to use his great influence not to make 
distinctions between one class and another, but to reduce the 
fees all round so as to increase the area from which you may 
draw the boys for the future officers of the Navy. I am not 
making any charge against the officers of the Navy, and I am 
not saying a single word of a disparaging nature about them. 
284 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

On the contrary, I believe that they are very smart men, and 
we owe a great deal to them. But, good as they are, it would 
be a good thing for the nation to increase and enlarge the 
section of the nation from which these officers are to be drawn, 
because, after all, brains are not the exclusive possession' of any 
part of the community, and the larger the area of selection the 
better is the chance of getting the best men. 

With regard to the new Naval Division, it seems to me to 
be neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring ; it is a sort of 
amphibious body which is to operate on land or sea and 
possibly in the air. There is one thing about it, however, 
which works out very unfairly, and that is the superannuation 
allowance. At present the superannuation allowance for the 
wife of a sailor is less than the allowance in respect of a soldier. 
The reason given for this is that the sailor gets better pay, and 
therefore it is presumed he is in a position to maintain his wife. 
I agree with that, but there are a large number of men in the 
Navy, including mechanics, who start at 45., 55., or even 6s. a 
day, and it would be absurd for the community to be charged 
with the maintenance of their wives. The scale of superannu- 
ation allowance for the Navy is based upon a less amount for 
the wife and the children because the sailor has more money. 
That, however, does not apply to the new body which has 
been created, because it is drawn from men who have either 
been in the Navy before or who are willing to join this new 
body, and they have to join at what is called the ordinary 
seaman's rate, which is 8s. gd. per week, or is. 3d. per day. 

In the Navy proper the ordinary seaman's rate is a sort of 
sieve through which a man passes to the rating of an able- 
bodied seaman. I think the right hon. gentleman told us 
that there were between 6000 and 7000 of these men, and 
therefore we may reckon the rating of an A.B., which goes up 
to about 143. or 155. a week, and take that to be the rating 
corresponding to the pay of a soldier in the Army who gets 
75. a week. Now the ordinary seaman in this new body gets 
8s. gd., and therefore there is a difference of is. gd., but because 
of the generally higher pay of the Navy, the superannuation 
allowance for the wife of the sailor in the new body is very 
much smaller than I think it ought to be. Take the case of a 
wife with six children and it so happens that I had such a 
case sent me of a man who had joined this new force who had 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

been in the Navy before, and he was rated as an ordinary 
seaman. His wife gets 6s. per week, with allowances for the 
children, making the total i8s. per week. I want to compare 
the position of the wife of the man belonging to the new body 
with the wife of a private soldier. The wife of a man belonging 
to this new naval body with six children gets i8s. from the 
State that is 6s. for herself and I2s. for the six children. 
Now take the wife of a private soldier ; she gets 95. a week for 
herself and allowances for the children, which bring the total 
up to 255. 6d. I am not saying that she gets a penny too much, 
but my point is that the other woman gets too little. In con- 
sideration of the ordinary seaman belonging to the new force 
having higher pay his wife gets only i8s. per week, while the 
soldier's wife gets 255. 6d. per week, although the higher pay 
of the man of the new force of the Navy is only is. gd. more. 

I put it to my right hon. friend that that is not fair. It 
may be true that the general scheme of the Navy, taken as a 
whole, works out fairly well, but if you take that little corner 
of it which I have mentioned, it works out very badly, and I 
imagine that the man belonging to this new force will have pre- 
cious little chance of promotion. At all events, he is not going 
to sea or doing active service, and the probability is that he will 
be kept on shore doing odds and ends, and so long as the war 
lasts the probability is that the vast majority of these men will 
remain at 8s. gd. per week, and because he is getting the higher 
pay as compared with the Army man his wife gets 8s. 6d. less 
than the Army man, although his larger pay amounts only to 
is. gd. more per week. That is my point. I have put these 
two points very briefly. I should like to know the position of 
the cadets under the new training scheme. Whatever may be 
done in regard to the rearrangement of the fees will not be 
satisfactory unless it applies all round and places everybody on 
the same footing. I would like to have some assurance in 
regard to this new body that there will be either a rapid 
promotion of the men belonging to the new force, that their 
wages will be increased, or, if you like, they should be trans- 
ferred to the Army, which seems to me the best thing to do with 
them. Then the pay would drop is. gd., and the separation 
allowance would go up 8s. 6d. 

MR. HOHLER : His Majesty's Government have indeed 
done everything they possibly can to bring this war to a 
286 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

successful conclusion, and they certainly, so far as my 
knowledge goes, enjoy the confidence of the country. When 
my noble friend the member for Portsmouth (Lord C. Beres- 
ford), who is entitled to criticise, has so little to say upon the 
subject, I feel that I should do best to address the House with 
regard to the interests of the men. I wish to call the attention 
of the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty to the position of 
the widows and children of the officers and men who lost their 
lives in His Majesty's ship Bulwark. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I have sent the hon. gentleman a reply 
to a question which I think will cover the point. 

MR. HOHLER : I have omitted to see it, but do I under- 
stand that they will be treated upon a war footing ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I cannot say that of them all. 

MR. HOHLER : Then I must raise the point, because it is 
of the greatest importance. I have had a serious point raised 
from a number of sources and from different parts of the 
country as to whether or not the widows of the officers and 
the widows of the men who lost their lives in the Bulwark 
disaster are to be dealt with upon a war or a peace footing. 
It is a serious and vital question, and we ought to have a 
definite assurance from the Admiralty that these widows will 
be dealt with as if the officers and men had been killed in war. 
It is far too narrow a view to take of the great crisis in which 
we are engaged to say that because a man is blown up in the 
Medway he is not killed in war, but that if he is blown up at 
sea by a submarine or a mine he is killed in war. There 
ought to be a broad principle that the widow and dependants 
of every one, either in the Army or in the Navy, who is 
killed while serving the country for the purpose of the war 
should be treated as if, in fact, he had been killed in the 
war, and there ought not to be any technical distinction. 
There is no evidence to show how the Bulwark disaster was 
caused one way or the other. All we know is that these 
men were blown up. It may be nobody knows ; it is im- 
possible to say that it was the result of some defective 
machinery, but there ought not to be any pettifogging treat- 
ment of the question ; there ought to be a broad line laid 
down, and the Pensions Committee I regret there is no 
representative of that Committee in the House should make 
it clear that every man while serving as a sailor or a soldier 

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in the present war should be entitled, no matter where he 
may be killed, to have his dependants treated upon a war 
basis. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I do not know whether the hon. 

member thinks that the widows and dependants of the men 

are not treated on a war footing. They are. The only 

question at issue is as to the officers, and, under the Order 

1 [See in Council, 1 we have not yet been able, as I have explained 

Naval 2, in answer to the hon. member for Chelmsford (Mr. Pretyman) 

P- 33^-] to pay pensions and allowances under Scale A, but we will 

certainly make representations. 

MR. HOHLER : Of course that goes some way, but may I 
remind the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, with whom 
I have had correspondence on the subject, that his reply to 
me was that the widows of the men were being provisionally 
paid as if their husbands had been killed upon a war footing. 
That is a totally different thing from saying they are actually 
entitled to be paid upon a war footing. Do I understand 
that the widows and children of the men, at any rate, are 
entitled absolutely, and not merely provisionally, to be paid 
as if the men had been killed in war ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Yes, the widows and children of the 
men are paid on a war basis. 

MR. HOHLER : It is equally important that the widows 
and children of the officers should be so paid, but they are 
being paid provisionally as if the officers had been drowned. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Under Scale B. 

MR. HOHLER : Yes, as if they had been drowned. It is 
really very difficult to conceive anything more foreign to the 
truth than to say these men who were blown up were drowned. 
This must be wrong, and it is a most important point for the 
widows., I should like the Financial Secretary to explain 
why this distinction is drawn between the men and the 
officers. This House fights equally for both, without regard 
to any question of class, and, if the widows of the men are 
entitled to be pensioned as if their husbands had been killed 
in war, surely the widows of the officers are equally so entitled. 
I cannot understand the distinction. 

DR. MACNAMARA : The men are under the White Paper 
Scale, but the officers are under long-standing Regulations. 
We cannot pay their widows and children on Scale A the 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

war scale until we get the terms of those Regulations 
altered. We are bound for the time being to pay on Scale B, 
but I have said that representations will be made to get the 
widows of officers put under Scale A. 

MR. HOHLER : My recollection certainly is that the words 
used in the Admiralty Regulation in regard to the widows of 
officers are similar, if not precisely the same, as those used in 
the pension form which has been recently issued, and with 
regard to which . amendments have been proposed. I have, 
however, raised the point, and I hope that justice will be 
done to these people. I cannot understand why the widow 
of a marine officer is always treated as if she were worth 
from 40 to 80 less than the widow of an officer of corre- 
sponding rank in the Army or Navy. I can see no good 
reason for it, and I do ask the right hon. gentleman to bring 
this matter and press it before the Committee which is 
dealing with this question of pensions, and before the Govern- 
ment, so that the widow of a marine officer may be placed 
in precisely the same position as the widow of a naval or 
military officer of corresponding rank. I ask him to do so 
all the more because I have communicated with the right 
hon. gentleman who is a member of the Committee, and he 
is under the impression that they have already done it. I 
can find nothing in the White Paper which has been issued, 
dealing in any way with the question. Again, I can find no 
provision dealing with the case of a step-child. I believe 
there are more cases, but I have heard of at least one case 
of a woman who had been married previously, marrying a 
sailor and the sailor becoming liable to support her child. 
The sailor was killed on the Cressy, and the Admiralty refused 
to recognise his step-child. They gave a pension to his wife, 
but wholly refused to recognise his step-child. I think that 
was entirely wrong. It was an obligation on the father to 
maintain the step-child, and why, if other children are 
recognised, the Government do not undertake the obligation 
of paying the children's allowance in this case, I am absolutely 
at a loss to understand. I have again written to a member 
of the Committee, and he tells me that the case has been 
dealt with. I have read and reread the White Paper and the 
Amendments, but I cannot find that it has been dealt with 
in any sense or form. It is an exceptional case, I admit. 
NAVAL 3 T 289 



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There is no great number of these cases, but still they ought 
to be dealt with for obvious reasons. The case I have in my 
mind is that of a widow with one child by her late sailor 
husband, and one child by her first husband. She will get 
whatever pension is allotted I think it comes to about us. 
per week for herself and 45. for one child, but she will get 
no allowance in respect of the other child ; she will have to 
keep it herself, and the family will suffer. The case is clearly 
one, therefore, which ought to be dealt with. On this matter 
of pensions I want to ascertain from the right hon. gentle- 
man why it is that the widows of the men who were drowned 
when the Pathfinder was blown up do not receive the separa- 
tion allowance and allotment for twenty-six weeks. 

DR. MACNAMARA : There was no separation allowance at 
that time. 

MR. HOHLER : It is an injustice to those people who 
have been killed in the war under the circumstances I have 
referred to, that they should not be put on the same footing 
as those who have since lost their lives. Why should the 
widow of a man who lost his life on the Pathfinder not receive 
the same allowance as she would have received had he been 
killed but a few days later ? It is extremely unfortunate that 
there is nobody representing the Pensions Committee in the 
House at this moment. I asked one of the members why 
these papers had not been dealt with, and he replied to me 
that he thought they had been. I can only repeat it is a 
monstrous injustice if these women are not put in the same 
position as the widows of the men who have been killed later 
in the war. There is no rhyme or reason for making a big 
difference between them. I think nothing has been done in 
their case because the sufferers are comparatively few in 
number. 

DR. MACNAMARA : No, that is not it. 

MR. HOHLER : At any rate, I have now raised the ques- 
tion, and I hope it will receive sympathetic treatment at the 
hands of the right hon. gentleman. The point may have 
been overlooked by the Committee, but that body has still 
to make a final report, and I hope before it does so these 
cases will have been considered. I want to call attention to 
another case of very great importance. A widow is entitled 
to twenty-six weeks* separation allowance, plus the allotment 
290 



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that her husband made her in the event of his being killed. 
Of course, it is necessary the husband should have made the 
allotment. Unfortunately, owing to the sudden way in which 
disasters occurred shortly after the outbreak of war, there 
are several cases in which there is no reason to doubt that 
the husband, had he lived longer, would have made the allot- 
ment, but, owing to the fact that the allotment has not 
been received by the Admiralty, the Board hold that they 
have no authority to pay it. I fully appreciate the position 
they have taken up, but this again, I submit, is a matter 
which the Pensions Commissioners might have dealt with. 
I could produce evidence which would satisfy anybody that 
men had for a number of years been in the habit of making 
allotments to their wives when absent for a long period at 
sea. I sent the right hon. gentleman some cases to prove 
that. In one case, it turned out that the man came home 
to a port, and was employed on a vessel in a manner which 
enabled him to be constantly at home at week-ends. The 
result was, he found it more convenient, drawing his pay 
weekly as he did, to hand the money over to his wife per- 
sonally, instead of making the allotment, although he had 
allotted money in her favour in the past. It is not impos- 
sible that the allotment paper went down with him in the 
particular vessel on which he was serving when it was sunk, 
but unfortunately, if he had made the allotment, it never 
reached home, and his widow has now to suffer. I submit 
that this woman ought to have the benefit of the twenty-six 
weeks' allotment, seeing that her husband has been in the 
habit of making an allotment in her favour. In these matters 
we ought to have some regard to the real facts, instead of 
being bound by stereotyped rules ; there should be elasticity 
to enable us to deal with these cases. The human mind is 
not large enough to take in the curious set of circumstances 
when such facts do arise, and, therefore, I think there should 
be some elasticity enabling the Admiralty to deal fairly with 
these questions, and to make proper provision for the widows, 
although the Regulations may not absolutely provide for it. 
I have had another case brought to my notice in which a 
man had never previously made an allotment. He had only 
been married six months ; he had been at home during that 
time, and there had been no need for allotment. Now the 

291 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

widow gets none. I submit that that is entirely wrong, and 
I hope the right hon. gentleman will take great care that all 
these matters shall be brought before the Pensions Com- 
mittee in order that these wrongs may be put right. Then, 
as regards the amendments of the Regulations made by the 
Committee, it is to me a matter of regret that they have not 
dealt more generously with the Navy. So far as I under- 
stand the recommendations of the Select Committee, the 
Navy gets little or nothing. It may be a mistake, but it 
appears to me the recommendations do not apply to the 
Navy at all. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Oh yes, they do ! 

MR. HOHLER : It may be intended that they shall, but I 
should like to see it in black and white. I find that Clause 9 
of the Select Committee's Report only refers to Class 5, 
and Class 5 has nothing at all to do with the Navy. The 
classes which are enumerated as being affected are in the 
Army alone. It may have been that the Committee did 
intend to apply the increased pensions both to the Army 
and Navy, but, as a matter of fact, I think it will be seen 
that, strictly speaking, they have not done so. May I just 
add a few more words on the question of the Navy pensions ? 
It must be remembered that all classes do not get the same 
scales as engine-room artificers ; some of the classes are not 
paid nearly as well. The seamen get comparatively little. 
The Marines, too, are very badly paid, and it should be 
borne in mind that the seaman has to find his own clothes, 
although he gets a kit on entering, and he has likewise to 
provide a great number of things for messing purposes. 
What I want to draw attention to is this : In the original 
pensions paper the pensions for widows proceeded on the 
footing that in the Navy the allotment was at the rate of 
2OS. per month. That was the minimum. In the Army the 
minimum was 35. 6d. per week. When you come to the 
allowances for the children you will find that the Navy allow- 
ances are increased to 45. for the first child, 35. for the second, 
2s. for the third, and is. for the fourth ; but in the Army 
the scale is 53. for the first, 35. 6d. for the second, and 2s. for 
subsequent children. In the case of an Army man with a 
family of four children, the wife would get a separation 
allowance and allotment of 253. 4d., while in the case of a 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Navy man with a like family the wife would only get 2 is. 
That is wrong. I submit the greater consideration should 
be given to the Navy, and that the allowances for children 
ought to have been increased. I think no good reason has 
been shown why the original Government allowance for the 
seaman and Marine, who are the worst paid classes in the 
Navy, was only 6s., which, with the allotment of 205. per 
month, secures us. for the wife, while in the Army, the 
allotment being 35. 6d. only per week, the wife gets a total 
allowance of I2S. 6d. Why should they not be put on the 
same footing ? I do not think that the Navy has been 
fairly treated in this respect, and, in my judgment, the 
Select Committee should have been more generous and put 
the soldier and the sailor on precisely the same footing. 

I want to say a word or two in regard to the stokers training 
as mechanicians in the Navy. The war has disturbed the 
whole of the arrangements in connection with this class, and 
has stopped their training. Cannot something be done so that 
they may not lose the opportunity of advancement which was 
open to them ? I should have thought it quite possible to 
put them to some test to qualify them as active mechanicians. 
Then, again, there is a point in regard to the officers of the 
engine-room artificers. It does seem singularly hard that the 
men who have been doing this work, instead of being promoted, 
should have others brought in over their heads. With regard 
to the Royal Marines, great dissatisfaction is felt also in the 
matter of promotion. A number of quartermaster-sergeants 
were sent to France with the Royal Marine Brigade and the 
Royal Naval Division and there acted as officers. They have 
been brought home with the Royal Naval Division, and now 
a number of young fellows, without any experience and little 
or no training, have been put over their heads with com- 
missions. Yet these men are still acting as officers without 
commissions. I think it is a great hardship. One ought to 
recognise that when a war comes it is the harvest of the soldier 
and sailor, and men who have been serving us for years ought 
certainly to be promoted to fill these positions, which would 
be a great advancement to them, instead of a number of 
young fellows without any training being placed over their 
heads. These men with years of service who have been 
acting as officers ought to receive the benefits of these 

293 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

commissioned appointments, instead of them passing to 
somebody else. 

That is a grave injustice which creates the greatest dis- 
satisfaction. I gather that the answer to it is that at the end 
of the war we shall have more lieutenants than we know what 
to do with. My answer to that is that they should be pensioned 
as lieutenants. They have served their time. They are 
entitled to what was promised them. When the men are 
wanted, will you fill their posts with men brought in from the 
outside ? Nothing could be worse in the interest of the Navy 
than that. Another point I wish to raise is in regard to the 
National Reserve. The men in the Navy have a real grievance 
in that respect. They joined it on the faith that they would in 
time of war receive a 10 or a 5 bounty, depending upon 
whether they were in Class i or Class 2. I actually know of 
cases where they have been paid off and the promise not kept. 
A man in the Navy who has joined the National Reserve, and 
who, we will say, has rejoined the marines or another naval 
branch, has been refused the bounty which all the other men 
get. The men are greatly dissatisfied, and feel they have been 
misled in regard to it. I have had cases before me where they 
were paid the bounty and were subsequently told, ' You must 
take that out in pay/ and have had deductions made from 
their pay because the bounty does not extend to them. The 
Admiralty should extend the bounty to these men, as they do 
to men in the Army, because they are equally deserving of 
justice as the latter. I hope the right hon. gentleman will 
take some steps to secure that the men who have rejoined the 
Navy, who were under no obligation to join except from a 
spirit of patriotism, should receive the bounty as do the 
soldiers who join the National Reserve. There is another 
question of importance with regard to pay. I look for a clear 
statement as to what is proposed to be done in regard to the 
men who were entitled to their pensions at the time imme- 
diately before the outbreak of war, and the men who have 
become entitled to their pensions since the outbreak of war. 
It is quite clear that in regard to the men who became entitled 
to it before the outbreak of war 

DR. MACNAMARA : Who were drawing it. 

MR. HOHLER : Not necessarily. There were some who, 
although they were entitled to it, were not discharged for 
294 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORYNAVAL 

pension. I suppose there was some kind of inkling that the 
war was probable or possible, and that they were held up and 
were not discharged for pension. I believe that under a 
Statute passed many years ago, if a man unfortunately after 
the outbreak of war becomes entitled to his pension, all that 
he gets extra is 2d. a day, or something of that kind. If, on 
the other hand, a pensioner is called up, he draws the full pay 
of his rating and he also draws his full pension. That is quite 
right, but it is a great injustice in regard to the men who were 
entitled to their pensions. All that I ask on their behalf is, 
and I am sure they will be quite content with it, that we may 
get an undertaking or statement from the Admiralty that at 
the close of the war those men who survive it shall receive 
their pensions, provided they were entitled to them, in addition 
to their pay. I notice the right hon. gentleman laughs at that. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Oh, no ! 

MR. HOHLER : Well, he smiles at it ; at any rate, he does 
not look sympathetic. The man who has served his time and 
is entitled to his pension is certainly entitled to more than 2d. 
a day for risking his life. It is not fair that he should merely 
receive the 2d. a day. If you are going to take a special 
Emergency Act to hold the Marines to the Service, and say, 
' We have no right to retain you, but we will pass a special Act 
for that purpose/ you ought in honour to pay them on the 
footing they would have been paid. Every one of the men 
would have volunteered if they had been allowed to go back to 
their old ratings and get their pension and pay. You have 
taken them by Act of Parliament, and given them a niggardly 
2d. instead of their pension. It is a very strong illustration of 
injustice. I call it very narrow treatment, and something 
should be done to place these men on a right and proper footing. 
It will not cost the Admiralty so much as they believe. I 
believe there were some twenty of them on the Cressy or one 
of the vessels that went down I am speaking now of the 
seamen, not of Marines. Surely these men for the risk they 
have borne and the horror they have gone through are at least 
entitled to their pay as well as their pension. I ask the right 
hon. gentleman to say what can be done to relieve these men 
and put them on a fair footing. There is one other point in 
regard to quartermaster-sergeants in ^ the Royal Marines. 
They joined the Royal Fleet Reserve upon an express under- 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

taking in writing, contained in a pamphlet issued by the 
Admiralty, that if they were to be called to the Colours to 
serve on active service they should rejoin in the same rating 
as that in which they left the Marines. These men are called 
up to serve in this war, and they are called up as, and only 
receive the pay of colour-sergeants instead of quartermaster- 
sergeants. What can be the justification for that ? I submit 
that the Admiralty are bound to carry out their undertaking 
and put these men right, and to see that justice is done in 
response to the inducement held out to them. 

SIR ROBERT PRICE : I beg to move to leave out from the 
word ' That/ to the end of the Question, and to add instead 
thereof the words ' this House, while recognising the necessity 
for employing merchant shipping on military business, trusts 
that the Government will exercise their rights with due regard 
to the needs of the traders and consumers of this country/ 

The Amendment which stands in my name on the Paper has 
been largely anticipated by the discussion last Thursday and 
to-day. Last Thursday [February n] the Prime Minister, in a 
very long and very admirable speech, dealt with the subject at 
considerable length, and the First Lord of the Admiralty to-day 
did me the honour of replying to my Amendment before I had 
moved it. The Prime Minister on Thursday, however, dealt 
with the matter only from the point of view of foodstuffs. It 
is absolutely certain, and every one knows it, so that I need not 
argue the matter, that freights have risen enormously, not only 
for the necessaries of life, but naturally for other things as well, 
because the freight-owner is not at all particular as to what he 
carries. The effect on trade generally is, perhaps, more 
pronounced with regard to other articles than food, because 
food being an absolute necessity is carried somehow, and the 
extra burden is shifted on to the consumer. With regard to 
certain raw materials and certain commodities which have a 
very low rate of profit attached to them, there is a positive 
paralysis in some cases in some of these trades because the 
extra cost of carrying is more than the calculated net profit. 
Consequently, it is a matter of very great urgency and im- 
portance. I do not suppose for a moment that the Admiralty 
do not recognise that as well as we do. The Prime Minister 
examined the various.causes of the rise in freights. The House 
will agree that he ultimately came down to this : that the 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

great main cause was the enormous amount of tonnage used 
by the Admiralty for warlike purposes. 

We entirely recognise that that use of mercantile tonnage 
by the Admiralty is an absolute necessity of the case. We 
entirely recognise that they have a paramount right to the 
tonnage of the country, if it is necessary to the country's 
defence and the proper carrying on of this war. We quite 
agree that they should have all the tonnage they want. We 
know that their demands are very great. They have to convey 
large bodies of troops to France, to support them with all the 
necessaries of life and the munitions of war, and they have to 
look after the coaling and supplies of the Fleet. In addition, 
as the First Lord said to-day, and we fully recognise it, they 
have to be prepared with an ample reserve, so that at any 
moment when they are otherwise fully employed they have 
still ships left to carry out some urgent call. These facts we 
all recognise. Therefore the amount of tonnage they require 
is a very large one. But although we recognise that to the 
full, we want to be quite sure that they appreciate the position 
with regard to the rest of the country and have it constantly 
in their minds. It is quite true that the claims of the Navy are 
paramount, but, to put an absurd case, it would be no use the 
Navy keeping the sea clear for our commerce if we had no 
merchant ships left in which to carry that commerce. It is 
absolutely necessary, although possibly not of such paramount 
necessity, that there should be as ample a tonnage as possible 
left to conduct the business of the country. 

The Prime Minister quoted the figures, which were also 
given to-day by the First Lord, showing that the Navy is 
using 20 per cent, of the mercantile tonnage of the country 
for this purpose, or 10 per cent, of the mercantile tonnage of 
the whole world. The figure is such a startling one that in 
the debate on Thursday, when the figure was repeated, I 
noticed that the Prime Minister hurriedly consulted his notes 
to see whether he had stated it. Of course he said it, and 
it is perfectly true. We are using this enormous tonnage, 
and we want to be quite certain that the Admiralty always 
have in their mind the necessity for as far as possible econo- 
mising its use or using it in the most business-like way, and 
sparing as much as possible for the needs of the rest of the 
community. Those needs are very great. Several hon. 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

members have already adverted to them, and the Leader of 
the Opposition has already put in his plea for a business 
management. The First Lord of the Admiralty to-day rather 
hotly repudiated the necessity for a business manager, but 
undoubtedly certain things have been done with merchant 
shipping which I do not think would have been done by an 
ordinary man of business managing his own affairs. I do 
not believe for a moment that an ordinary man of business 
managing his own affairs, if he had any prisoners to keep, 
would keep them in expensive liners in the river Thames. 
We know that three very large and important liners have 
been used to keep prisoners in. For the purpose of economy 
it would have been cheaper to take the whole of Grosvenor 
Square, and furnish it handsomely, and keep them all there 
jrather than to use these valuable steamers, of such import- 
ance to the country, for that purpose. I understood from 
the Prime Minister that the Admiralty have made other 
arrangements, and that these three ships were to be liberated 
to commerce, and for this relief much thanks. 

But the Prime Minister said something further, and that 
was not confirmed by the First Lord of the Admiralty to-day, 
and I understood him to speak rather in a contrary sense. 
The Prime Minister said that the Admiralty were going *to 
make such arrangements as they could for the releasing of 
such tonnage as it was possible for them to release from time 
to time in order to relieve the scarcity of shipping ; but I 
did not understand that the First Lord to-day went nearly 
so far. I understood him to say that they wanted the 
tonnage, they had not any too much, and were not prepared 
to give up the use of any of it. I hope that what I under- 
stood from the Prime Minister is the fact, and that what I 
understood from the First Lord is not the fact, because 
although we recognise the right of the Admiralty to the 
tonnage, and wish them to have it if it is necessary for the 
war, we think that as far as they possibly can, they ought 
to recognise the importance of the commerce of this country 
and the difficulty there now is in carrying it on. We all 
recollect the fable I think it was ^Esop's fable where the 
arms and the legs and the brains made up their mind that 
they were not going to work any longer to support the idle 
belly, and we know what happened in a neurasthenic kind of 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

way to the people who joined in this conspiracy. I do not 
for a moment think that the Admiralty do not recognise the 
importance of the commerce of this country; I have often 
heard them say that one of their chief functions is to provide 
an open sea for it, but I think there is a certain amount of 
obsession in favour of their own Department, and, if I were 
there, I should probably feel the same. They are so anxious 
to have every available piece of tonnage they can get hold of 
at their command, that they sometimes forget the import- 
ance of the other interests. The Times to-day, dealing with 
this Motion, referred to it as a kind of truism, from which I 
suppose they meant that it was the sort of thing any one 
would agree with. I hope the Admiralty will agree with it, 
and that we may feel quite certain that in commandeering or 
requisitioning tonnage, they really want it and intend to use 
it in a business-like way, and that they intend, as far as pos- 
sible, to give consideration to the commerce of this country. 

MR. LOUGH : I beg to second the Amendment. 

I do not intend to utter a word of general criticism on the 
admirable way in which the Navy is performing its duties 
now. I have listened with very great pleasure to the excel- 
lent speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty, and I do not 
think there was a spot of weakness in it, looking at it from 
my hon. friend's point of view, except perhaps his treatment 
of this question. Our thoughts have been drawn towards 
this question of the dearness of necessities by the debate of 
last Thursday, and I am sure every one has made up his 
mind that almost the only practical point from which relief 
may come is this point which is raised by my hon. friend. 
Prices in this country are governed entirely by the supplies 
that come in. The Admiralty is in this position : It has taken 
charge of the mercantile marine of this country as completely 
as it has in usual times of the war marine. The whole of the 
mercantile navy is now at the disposal of the Admiralty. I 
should like to put the question in even a wider sense. All 
the ports are now in charge of the Admiralty. No ship is 
allowed to sail except by permission of the Admiralty. A 
great many ports are closed by the Admiralty action, and the 
great fleet of merchant ships that they have employed occupied 
a good deal of space in the ports, so that they are account- 
able for the congestion of the ports as well. 

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All my hon. friend asks is that, as it is absolutely for the 
Admiralty to take charge of such a vast section of the nation's 
interests, it should endeavour to manage it in such a way 
that as little harm should be done to those great commercial 
interests as possible. It is not for me to defend a point 
made by the Leader of the Opposition, but it struck me that 
in the little debate that took place between the First Lord of 
the Admiralty and the right hon. gentleman opposite, the 
Leader of the Opposition had the best of it with regard to 
that ship which was delayed for three and a half months in 
order that coal might be there ready for the Fleet. Coal 
must be there, we all agree, and we would not put a single 
obstacle in the way of it, but why could not one ship be 
kept full of coal and the other ships allowed to go away, 
instead of a quarter of their cargo being kept there for three 
and a half months, dangling about because some coal, if it 
were coal, was necessary ? We only ask that as much con- 
sideration as possible should be given to business necessities 
in this matter by the Admiralty, and if they have not got 
skill cf their own to work this matter out in a way which 
will not be detrimental to the great interests of the country, 
they should call on some business assistance in regulating 
these matters. Let them see the importance of the interests 
which will be sacrificed when a port is closed, or ships taken 
off a certain route, before they take action. I desire, in 
pressing the point very strongly, again to assure my right 
hon. friend and the First Lord of the Admiralty that it is 
not done in any spirit of unfriendliness to the Navy or through 
any want of appreciation of the great work- which they have 
in hand at present. 

DR. MACNAMARA : By the Rules of . the House I am 
compelled to confine my remarks to the Amendment of my 
hon. friend, but I may be allowed to say with regard to the 
many interesting questions which have been raised separa- 
tion allowances, pensions, and so on I have no doubt an 
opportunity will be given to make a statement upon them 
during the course of the debate to-morrow. 

MR. BARNES : Will that apply to the two points I have 
raised ? 

DR. MACNAMARA: I have taken careful note of all the 
points put to me. 
300 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Courts-martial ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : That is a matter more of policy, which 
should be referred to the First Lord. 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : Are we to have no further state- 
ment ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will communicate with the First 
Lord to-night, but I am compelled now to deal with the 
Motion which has been made. 

SIR J. WALTON : The Amendment will not allow an 
opportunity for a full statement of our case to be submitted ? 

MR. SPEAKER : That does not follow. The hon. gentle- 
man will have the privilege of replying. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Part of the First Lord's speech broadly 
stated our position in advance, therefore the remarks I have 
to make cover ground which to some extent has been covered 
to-day. My hon. friend will be the first to realise that at 
the outbreak of hostilities every moment is of vital import- 
ance, and every step we took had to be taken instantly and 
swiftly, and delay might have had fatal consequences. There 
was no time to fix rates or to sign charter parties. We might 
have waited for all that, and made a nicer discrimination as 
to the amount we would take up. If we had done so, we 
might very well have been a day too late, and that day 
might have been a fatal one for the British Empire. In the 
first place, as regards the necessary auxiliaries for the Fleet 
at the outbreak of hostilities and the provision for firm 
transport, the only way was to deal with the situation at once 
and take up all available vessels, and to give an assurance 
to the shipowners, as far as we could, that they would be 
fairly considered later ; and, remember, in a good many 
cases, adaptation for transport work particularly was neces- 
sary, and that involved a certain amount of delay. In all 
these matters we received ready assistance from the ship- 
owners, and without that ready assistance we certainly could 
not have moved with the rapidity we did. 

As regards payments, what we endeavoured to do was 
to make advances based upon the average rates which were 
at the time ruling for similar vessels under peace conditions. 
No doubt we could have gone to work more slowly, more 
circumspectly, and more cautiously. To use a railway simile, 
we could have taken care that there was no rolling stock in 

301 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

any siding. But if we had done that, the indictment which 
we should have had to face to-day might very well have been 
a different indictment from that which we have to face. 
The indictment which has been made against us we can face, 
and I am quite sure we shall receive a generous recognition of 
the very heavy task which was before us at the outset of 
hostilities. The indictment of not having done the thing 
thoroughly and promptly is one which, of course, we can 
defend. I think it is not sufficiently understood as to what 
we did along business lines. I have noticed with great 
interest the constant reference to the necessity to deal with 
this in a business way. At the very outset the intention and 
method of exercising the prerogative of the Crown in this 
matter of requisitioning was announced by a Royal Pro- 
clamation. The Royal Proclamation provided for the ap- 
pointment of an Arbitration Board, or rather a set of panels 
from which arbitrators could be drawn as and when occasion 
demanded, and the Board was formed in consultation with 
Lord Mersey. He was appointed the President. Various 
shipping associations, chambers of commerce, trade unions 
and so on were asked to nominate representatives. 

MR. BONAR LAW : The right hon. gentleman is dealing 
with a point which I never touched at all. It is not a ques- 
tion of whether the shipowners who have given ships to the 
Government are fairly treated. The question is whether the 
Government are managing the ships which they have taken 
with proper regard to economy in the use of the ships. 

DR. MACNAMARA : All I am anxious to do is to state the 
whole of the case, as far as I can, as to what our proceedings 
were, and to show that, at any rate as far as we could, in 
betting up this Board we have endeavoured, subject to the 
exigencies of the military situation alone, to follow business 
lines. The Board was constituted by the representatives of 
the shipping associations, chambers of commerce, and trade 
unions, and there were eleven Government nominees a 
Board of seventy-four. That was constituted finally on 
3ist August for the purpose of considering the treatment, 
rates, and so on to be paid to shipowners. I quite recognise 
the distinction between what I am now calling attention to, 
and the criticism of the right hon. gentleman. Then we 
went on with the assistance of Lord Mersey to the question 
302 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of setting up panels to recommend to us for our guidance, 
though not for our necessary approval, the rates to be decided, 
and at the beginning of this year we agreed generally that the 
proposals they put before us could be accepted. We had 
the assistance also of Lord Inchcape, who was Chairman of 
the Sub-committee appointed by Lord Mersey, and their rates 
were very carefully considered. That is shortly what our 
proceedings have been. I agree there has been dislocation. 
I agree that we must have diverted the mercantile market 
probably rather seriously. I agree that our operations have 
reduced the number of available bottoms, and no doubt that 
has had an effect on freights in the mercantile market. I do 
think that those who make that criticism might remember 
one elementary factor in the whole matter, and that is 
Germany. War is war, and it is very difficult to conduct war 
on peace lines, which I rather think some people seem to 
think possible. It would be a very small consideration to 
the parties concerned if by a cautious and carefully thought- 
out scheme we had succeeded in giving Germany a great 
opening, but we have played our part in preventing that. 
I agree with the spirit of the Amendment, and I take no 
exception to the speeches of the hon. members who moved 
and seconded it. Our duty is to keep our eyes fixed on two 
vitally important considerations. The first is dependent for 
its success very largely upon the second. The first is to 
meet every military necessity fully and promptly at what- 
ever cost ; and the second is I suppose every one will agree 
that it is a difficult task to do that with as little dislocation 
of the business of the country as we can. These seem to me 
the two duties which are before us, and no one will deny 
that these tasks are not easy. They would not be easy at 
any time, but we will do our best to achieve what is required 
of us, and I hope my hon. friends will accept that assurance 
on my part, and consider that the ventilation they have 
given to the topic is sufficient, without further pressing the 
discussion. 

SIR JOSEPH WALTON : The subject under consideration 
is indeed one of great importance, not only in relation to the 
trade and commerce of the country and in enabling it to 
proceed on normal lines, but on account of the bearing it has 
on food prices and the necessaries of life. We are all agreed 

303 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

that the necessary commandeering of so large an amount of 
our mercantile marine as 4,000,000 tons has been one main 
cause of the enormous rise in freights for the transport of our 
food supplies and of the raw materials for our manufactures. 
No one of any party will desire that the military needs of the 
country should not be fully and adequately supplied, but the 
question before us in my judgment is rather whether this 
enormous portion of the mercantile marine which has been 
commandeered is being utilised on the best business lines and 
with the greatest advantage not only to the military needs of 
the country, but to the commercial needs of the country, as 
regards the food of the people. Taking, for instance, the coal 
trade, we know that it is the habit of coalowners in North- 
umberland and Durham when they make contracts for coal in 
London to cover themselves by entering into contracts with 
shipowners. The normal rate is 35. per ton. I know cases 
in which large contracts have been entered into for the delivery 
of coal in London where freight has been entered at 35. per ton, 
and where every ship owned by a particular shipowner who 
made the contracts was commandeered by the Government at 
the commencement of the war. I understand they are to 
receive from the War Office, or the Admiralty or the Govern- 
ment, equal to 45. per ton from the Tyne to London, but on 
the other hand those coalowners who have thus contracted 
with shipowners found that the shipowners were utterly unable 
to give them a single ship to convey coal under these contracts 
because their vessels had all been commandeered by the 
Government. The result of this commandeering of the 
suitable ships specially designed for conveying coal is that 
the shipowners have had to pay as high as 135. 6d. per ton for 
outside boats, not at all so well fitted and designed for the 
purpose as the boats they were deprived of. 

The question is : Can we rely that the 4,000,000 tons of 
the mercantile marine commandeered are being managed to 
the greatest advantage ? Are they under expert manage- 
ment ? I understand from the First Lord of the Admiralty 
that they were under the management of Mr. Graeme Thomson. 
Is he a shipping expert ? He may be a man of the greatest 
ability, as no doubt he is as a public servant, but I wish to know 
whether he is a shipping expert. I am told and I shall be 
glad to be corrected if I am wrong that he is not a shipping 
304 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

expert at all, but a Civil servant. My suggestion to the 
Government is that they ought to call in the assistance of the 
best shipping experts in the country and place the management 
of this huge mercantile marine in their hands, on the distinct 
understanding that the first requirements they are to fulfil are 
those in connection with the military needs of the country, 
and that from time to time, when it might probably be found 
that considerably less than 4,000,000 tons of the mercantile 
marine of the country would more than meet the requirements 
of the military needs of the country, a certain number of ships 
could be returned with advantage to the ordinary trade and 
commerce of the country. This would promote a reduction 
of freights and would in turn cheapen the cost of the food 
supplies of the country and of the raw materials upon which 
we are vitally dependent for the carrying on of those industries 
which we are able to continue. I hope the Government will 
take the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition most 
carefully into consideration, and that we shall soon have the 
welcome news that this huge mercantile marine which has 
been commandeered by the Government has been put under 
the most expert management possible. 

I believe that we should find that everything required for 
the military needs of the country could be efficiently done 
without running any risk whatever, by substantially less 
tonnage of the mercantile marine than is now employed. I 
believe it is due to the trade and commerce of the country, and 
due also to the whole nation in the matter of cheap food supply, 
that action should be taken by the Government in this way. 
If this huge tonnage of the mercantile marine was placed under 
the most expert management, it would probably be found that 
they could spare a certain number of ships from time to time, 
even if they did not dispense with them altogether ; and just 
in the same way as the interned ships are being devoted to the 
trade and commerce of the country, so from time to time trade 
and commerce might be assisted by allowing a certain number 
of these other vessels to take cargo coal, or food supplies, or 
anything else. There is a curious anomaly which I cannot 
understand. I believe that the owners of the commandeered 
ships are receiving equal to 45. freight, as compared with the 
pre-war price of 35., and yet if any one in the coal trade wishes 
to have the use of these interned ships to convey coal to London 
NAVAL 3 u 305 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

he has to pay us. per ton. It hardly appears a fair and 
equable arrangement that the Government should be getting 
us. per ton for all the interned ships, whereas they are only 

faying the owners of the coal-carrying steamers 45. per ton. 
hat means that the gas companies in London are paying at 
least 75. per ton more for coal than there is any necessity to 
pay, assuming that the 45. paid by the Government is a fair 
rate for these cargo steamers. My own opinion is that if the 
assistance of shipping experts were called in, and if the Govern- 
ment approached this matter with a determination not only 
to provide effectually for military needs, but also to assist the 
trade and commerce of the country and prevent the rapid rise 
in the price of coal in London, which means a higher price for 
gas and a higher price for coal for the whole community, that 
rise in price could be considerably obviated if the Government 
would act on the suggestion I have made to employ the best 
shipping experts. 

Question, * That the words proposed to be left out stand 
part of the Question/ put, and agreed to. 
Main Question again proposed. 

MR. RAWLINSON : I wish to make a protest against the 
procedure this evening being made a precedent in the future. 
Some important points have been raised in the speech of my 
friend on my right, and also by hon. friends below the Gang- 
way. In the ordinary course these would have been answered 
by the representative of the Admiralty this evening, but that 
course has been avoided, because hon. members opposite 
moved an Amendment. I shall content myself by making 
my protest to-night, for I understand that the matters which 
have been referred to can be raised again to-morrow. If it 
were not possible to raise it to-morrow, I feel sure that the 
Admiralty would perceive the unfairness of discussing the 
Amendment where the Main Question has been put. I merely 
make these remarks as a protest on this occasion because this 
very important question of court-martial can be raised to- 
morrow on Vote A. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I may ask if, with your approval, we 
can continue the general discussion in Committee on A ? 

MR. SPEAKER : It does not require my approval. It is 
one of the rules of the House that on the first Vote of the Navy 
306 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Estimates any matter which is relevant to the Navy Estimates 
may be discussed. 

uestion put, and agreed to. 
avy estimates considered in Committee. 
Resolved, A. ' That 250,000 officers, seamen, and boys, 
Coastguard, and Royal Marines be employed for the Sea and 
Coastguard Services for the year ending on the 3ist day of 
March, 1916.' 

Resolution to be reported to-morrow (Tuesday) ; Com- 
mittee to sit again To-morrow. 

HEALTH OF THE NAVAL DIVISION AT THE 
CRYSTAL PALACE. 

Admiralty, February 15. 

Rumours in circulation that the general health of the Naval Times, 
Division in training at the Crystal Palace is unsatisfactory are Feb - 16 
inaccurate. Cases of serious illness of every kind are bound to I 9 I 5- 
occur in any large body of men like the Naval Division, but 
on the whole the health of the men has been and is excellent, 
and there is no reason to anticipate any deterioration in this 
respect. Out of 8000 men the average sick list is under 150, 
or less than 2 per cent. 

ALLOWANCES TO OFFICERS OF THE 
ROYAL NAVAL DIVISION 

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the i6th day of February L.G., 
1915. Feb. 19, 

Present I 9 I 5- 

The KING'S Most Excellent Majesty in Council. 
WHEREAS there was this day read at the Board a Memorial 
from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty, dated the I2th day of February 1915, in the words 
following, viz. : 

' Whereas by Section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay 
and Pensions Act, 1865, it is enacted, inter alia, that all 
pay, pensions, or other allowances in the nature thereof, 
payable in respect of services in your Majesty's Naval 
or Marine Force to a person being or having been an 

307 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Officer, Seaman, or Marine therein, shall be paid in such 
manner, and subject to such restrictions, conditions, and 
provisions as are from time to time directed by Order in 
Council : 

' And whereas we consider it desirable that the Officers 
of your Majesty's Naval Service acting as Battalion 
Commandants in the Brigades of the Royal Naval Divi- 
sion, and the Commanders in command of the Battalions 
of the Royal Naval Division at the Crystal Palace Depot, 
should receive Command Money at the rate of 55. a day : 

' And whereas we further consider that the Lieutenant- 
Commanders acting as Adjutants and Second in Command 
to the Battalions of the Royal Naval Division should 
receive an allowance at the rate of 2s. 6d. a day : 

' We beg leave humbly to recommend that your Majesty 
may be graciously pleased, by your Order in Council, to 
sanction the payment of these allowances accordingly, 
with effect as from the dates on which the Officers con- 
cerned took up their duties. 

'The Lords Commissioners of your Majesty's Treasury 
have signified their concurrence in these proposals/ 

His Majesty, having taken the said Memorial into con- 
sideration, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy 
Council, to approve of what is therein proposed. And the 
Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 
are to give the necessary directions herein accordingly. 

SOLDIERS AND SAILORS (PENSIONS 
AND ALLOWANCES) 

House of Commons, February 16, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. RAFFAN asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

whether the Government has accepted the recommendations 
contained in the Special Report of the Select Committee on 
Naval and Military Services (Pensions and Grants) ; and, if 
so, whether the increased scale of pensions and allowances 
will become operative as from ist March next ? 

The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (MR. LLOYD 
GEORGE) : The new scales of separation allowance and 
widows' pensions recommended by the Select Committee will 
be brought into force as from the ist March next. 
308 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

INSPECTION OF VESSELS 

MR. WATT asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether ibid. 
all inspection of vessels built in Scotland for his Department 
is given to the one firm, namely, Lloyd's Register ; whether 
he is aware that this firm has had to extend its staff on 
account of the Admiralty work ; that other firms exist in 
Scotland well able to do this work, notably the British 
Corporation for the Survey and Registry of Shipping, and 
that such firms have little of their ordinary work at present 
before them on account of mercantile shipbuilding being set 
aside for Admiralty work ; and whether under the circum- 
stances he can see his way to divide the inspecting work of 
his Department ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 
MACNAMARA) : Such inspection is usually carried out by 
Admiralty officers, but in a few special cases has been en- 
trusted to Lloyd's, but I have no information that they 
have had to extend their staff on this account. The capacity 
of the British Corporation for the survey of shipping is 
well known to the Admiralty, and in the case of any outside 
survey being required in future the Admiralty will be glad 
to consider the question of availing themselves of the assist- 
ance of the British Corporation. 

MR. WATT : Is it not the case that the specifications lay 
down that the inspections must be done by Lloyd's Register, 
and is that fair to all parties ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Whether that be the case or not, we 
will consider the capacity of the others. 

MR. WATT : It will not be limited in the specification ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : If it were my answer would be in- 
correct. 

GERMAN PRISONERS (CHARTER PRICE OF SHIPS) 

MR. WATT asked what was the full charter price per month ibid. 
for the nine ships of 102,205 t ns chartered by the War 
Office for internment of German prisoners ; and since when 
had the earliest charter been running ? 

MR. BAKER : The full payment per month is approxi- 
mately 86,000. The first ship was taken up on the 28th 
October last. 

309 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

CATHOLICS. IN THE FLEET 

House of Commons, February 16, 1915. 

MR. BOLAND : I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty 
a question, of which I have given private notice, namely : 
Whether representations have been made to the Admiralty 
that the arrangements for the spiritual welfare of Catholics 
serving in the Fleet are inadequate, and what steps it is 
proposed to take to remedy this state of things ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Yes, Sir. The question has been 
engaging the serious attention of the Admiralty, and my 
right hon. friend hopes shortly to be in a position to propose 
a conference on the subject with the Cardinal Archbishop of 
Westminster and the Bishop of Waterford. 

ENEMY SHIPS : BUSINESS COMMITTEE 

ibid. MR. BONAR LAW : I beg to ask the President of the 

Board of Trade a question, of which I have given him private 
notice : What are the names of the Business Committee to 
which the management of enemy ships at the disposal of the 
Government has been committed, with full powers to deal 
with them ; what are the terms of reference to the Com- 
mittee, and at what date was it appointed ? 

The PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (MR. RUNCI- 
MAN) : The preliminary arrangements for the requisitioning 
of thirty-four Austrian and German detained steamers for 
work in our home trade were made by an Interdepartmental 
Committee. As soon as these vessels had been transferred 
to the Government, about the end of January, the manage- 
ment of them was put into the hands of Mr. Everett and 
Mr. Newbigin, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. These gentlemen are 
efficient managers of vessels in the coasting trade, but their 
private interests do not clash with the duties now imposed 
on them, for the whole of their vessels have been comman- 
deered for Admiralty service. The managers have instruc- 
tions to charter the vessels at the market rate, while avoiding 
any pressure upwards to turn them round as rapidly as 
possible, and in other ways to run them as well as though 
they were their own vessels. The profits are paid into the 
Exchequer. The largest consumers of sea-borne coal in 
310 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

London are enabled to keep in touch with the managers 
and the Government through an Advisory Committee ap- 
pointed by themselves for this purpose, but their committee 
is not permitted to interfere in the management of the 
vessels. 

MR. BONAR LAW : What arrangements are being made 
to deal with other ships as they gradually come into the 
hands of the Government ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : I believe that of the total number of 
interned Austrian and German vessels only thirty-four are 
free for the merchant service. Some four or five others 
have been requisitioned for purely Admiralty purposes. There 
are no other steamers which are likely to come. As to 
abroad, as vessels come home we shall have to consider the 
matter from time to time. We have made no arrange- 
ments in regard to them at present. 

NAVAL CASUALTIES 

MR. KELLAWAY asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if ibid. 
he will state the number of casualties in the Navy since the 
commencement of the war ? 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the First Lord of the 
Admiralty if he will give the House a summary of the facts 
already made public, namely, the number of officers and 
men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Forces killed, 
wounded, and missing, including the Royal Naval Division, 
specifying those killed and drowned through the effect of 
submarines, mines, gunfire, killed, wounded, and missing in 
the trenches, and by accident, up to date ? 

MR. CHURCHILL : The total number of officers and men 
serving under the Board of Admiralty, killed, wounded, 
missing and interned, since the beginning of the war, is as 
follows : 

Officers Men 

Killed . . . .348 5812 

Wounded ... 45 352 

Missing .... 8 5 

Total , . 401 6169 

3" 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

To these may be added : 

Royal Naval Division 

Officers 

Killed . .... 5 
Wounded . . . 4 
Missing . . . . 7 
Interned . 39 




Total 



55 



2712 



There does not appear to be any good reason for publishing 
the detailed information asked for, as to the relative losses 
from submarines, mines, 'gunfire, and accident. I should be 
very glad to have precise particulars on these points of the 
German losses, but no official statement has been issued. 

NAVY ESTIMATES CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE 
House of Commons, February 16, 1915. 

Hansard. The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (DR. 

MACNAMARA) : I should like at once to correct a misappre- 
hension into which the noble Lord the Member for Ports- 
mouth fell yesterday. I am quite sure that he will be the 
first to desire that the correction is made. The matter refers 
to the Aboukir, the Cressy, and the Hogue. The noble Lord 
complained that we paid no sentiment of respect to the 
memory of the officers and men who lost their lives. Let 
me read in parts, not the whole the following : 

' September 25th, the sinking of His Majesty's ships 
Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue. The Secretary of the Admiralty 
authorises the following statement : " The loss of nearly 
60 officers and 1400 men would not have been grudged if it 
had been brought about by gunfire in an open action, but it 
is peculiarly distressing under the conditions which prevailed. 
The absence of any of the ardour and excitement of an 
engagement did not, however, prevent the display of discipline, 
cheerful courage, and ready self-sacrifice among all ranks and 
ratings exposed to the ordeal. The duty on which these 
vessels were engaged was an essential part of the arrange- 
ments by which the control of the seas and the safety of the 
country are maintained, and the lives lost are as usefully, 
312 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

as necessarily, and as gloriously devoted to the requirements 
of His Majesty's Service as if the loss had been incurred in 
a general action. In view of the certainty of a proportion of 
misfortunes of this character occurring from time to time, it 
is important that this point of view should be thoroughly 
appreciated/' 

I am quite sure that the noble Lord must have over- 
looked that. 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD : I am very glad indeed to 
hear what the right hon. gentleman has just read to the 
House. I do not think that many of the relatives and 
dependants of those that went down could have seen it ; I 
never 'saw it. Would the right hon. gentleman make some 
arrangements by which the note and respect to the memory 
of those who have died should be conveyed to the relatives ? 
That, I think, would be very satisfactory. Probably they 
never saw the public notice ; I did not. 

DR. MACNAMARA : The statement I have read was issued 
in the way all our statements are. I can well believe some 
people did not see it. I will make a note of the suggestion 
of the noble Lord. I turn to the men of the Fleet, and I 
endorse with great pride all that was yesterday said as to 
their patient gallantry and devotion. I turn to say a word 
or two on a matter upon which inquiry has been made 
recently, amongst others by the noble Lord himself the 
questions of prize bounty and prize money. Those two 
awards are different and must not be confused. Prize bounty 
is an award for taking or sinking the enemy's ships of war. 
Prize money is an award out of the proceeds of the capture 
of merchant ships as prizes. As regards prize bounty, we 
propose to proceed pretty much on the lines of the past. 
Prize. bounty is payable under Sections 42 and 44 of the 
Naval Prize Act, which provides that : ' If His Majesty by 
Order in Council declares his intention to grant prize bounty, 
then such of the officers and crews of His Majesty's ships as 
are actively present either at the taking or the destroying of 
any armed enemy vessel shall have distributed amongst them 
a sum calculated at the rate of 5 for each person on board 
the enemy's ship at the beginning of the engagement.' 

We propose to ask for sanction by an Order in Council to 
proceed along those lines for the award of prize bounty, but 

313 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

we shall make a revision of the scale of distribution, because 
it does seem to us to call for some readjustment in order to 
be brought down to date. So much for prize bounty. 

As regards prize money, our plans, which have been many 
limes canvassed and discussed, have not yet assumed such 
definite form as that which I described as affecting prize 
bounty, but, at any rate, we have resolved upon one con- 
siderable change in the matter of prize money. In the past 
the net proceeds of a prize went to the crew of her actual 
captor in every case. This meant that the crews out on the 
trade routes came off in the matter of prize money better 
than those who were actually engaging the enemy. We, 
therefore, came to the conclusion that it would be very 
equitable to poll all the proceeds of prize, after due deduction 
for the cost of sales, and so on, and allow all those taking 
actual part in the naval side of the war to participate. That 
is the change we desire to apply as regards prize money. It 
involves a number of rather nice questions as to who is and 
who is not an actual participant in the naval warfare. For 
instance, there are men engaged to-day on arduous duties on 
shore in posts of danger. There are other men on shore 
duties which are not so exacting. Modern conditions involve 
a variety of questions. There are the Reserves ; there are 
those who have only joined for the war ; there is the participa- 
tion of the ships of the Royal Navy overseas. All those 
questions take time and care for their proper treatment, and 
to the solution of these and other questions we have given, 
are giving, and shall give close attention. Representations 
have been made to us that we ought to pay out advances 
of prize money periodically, and not wait till the close of the 
war to make this award. Of course, we sympathise with 
that, but I am afraid I can hold out little hope that this 
will be practicable. I have, I think, said enough to show 
how very difficult that would be, particularly under a system 
of pooling, to carry into effect. Therefore, I regret I can 
give no undertaking in regard to the proposal that we should 
from time to time pay out advances of the money which will 
be ultimately due to those taking part in the campaign. 

MR. RONALD M'NEILL : Would the case of representatives 
of men killed in action be taken into account ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : In the case of a man killed in action 
314 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

his representative would have a due share, just as if the 
man remained alive at the end of the war. 

MR. GERSHOM STEWART : With regard to old-standing 
accounts, will the right hon. gentleman pay out the sums due 
to those who have been engaged in the Persian Gulf in the 
last few years ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : That is not the question with which I 
am dealing now. It is a question in which the right hon. 
gentleman has very much interested himself, and I will take 
care the question is looked into. 

MR. STEWART : But they may be all killed before then ! 

DR. MACNAMARA : The same thing will apply : the repre- 
sentative of the man will get whatever is due in any case. 
But I hope there will be no delay in paying what is necessary 
with regard to the Persian Gulf. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Will the question of prize bounty 
be settled as soon as it can be ? I see the difficulty of settling 
prize money, but the question of prize bounty does not seem 
so difficult. Will that be settled before the end of the war ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : It is quite true that the question of 
prize bounty is simple, and we shall immediately proceed to 
ask for an Order in Council to carry that out ; but the noble 
Lord must not take from that that we shall then be able 
to pay from time to time the proceeds of any particular 
action. That I cannot give any undertaking about, but I 
will bear it in mind. I desire now to refer to the Royal 
dockyards. Since 4th August our employes in those yards, 
officers and men, have by their efforts most admirably 
seconded their brothers in the field. In the Royal yards, 
overtime, night-shifts, and Sunday work have been con- 
tinuous since the war began. Consequently a great strain 
has been put upon all concerned, from the Admiral Super- 
intendent to the yard-boy, and everybody has responded 
faithfully. Ships coming in for repair have been got out 
again with great expedition, and workmen have cheerfully 
gone out to ships, where it was not expedient to move the 
ships from their stations, and remedied defects at sea with 
the greatest coolness and promptitude. The Board of 
Admiralty has reason to be satisfied and more than satisfied 
with the way the Royal yards have answered the call of 
duty at this time. Now the Committee is aware that the 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Admiralty has a system a very good system, if I may say 
so under which once a year, if they so desire, all classes of 
men in the yards may present petitions respecting conditions 
of labour. These are heard in London and in the yards, and 
Admiralty decisions are subsequently promulgated as a result 
of this annual review and revision. Last year I had got 
through about three-quarters of the work when war broke 
out. I had visited Haulbowline, Pembroke, Devonport, 
Portsmouth, Chatham, Sheerness, and Dover, and had 
also received combined deputations from all the yards 
representing the larger classes of the workmen shipwrights, 
boilermakers, fitters, skilled labourers, clerical staffs, and 
drawing office staffs at the Admiralty Office in London. 
By that time I had received in all 345 deputations. But 
when war broke out the completion of this work had to be 
set aside. However, the Board of Admiralty took occasion 
to notify the men that whatever concessions the Board might 
make would be so dated as to secure that the men should 
not be prejudiced by the delay. I am now in a position to 
say that the full text of the replies of the Board to the 
petitions will be forwarded to each yard immediately. I 
propose to state now the principal concessions made. In 
the first place, to meet the pledge that the men were not to 
be prejudiced by the delay caused by the outbreak of war, 
the increases in time rates, omitting overtime earnings, which 
I shall now announce, will date as from October ist last. 
These are the increases in time rates 



Shipwrights 
Joiners 

Plumbers . 
Painters 
Engine Fitters 

Ship Fitters 
Electrical Fitters 
Ordnance Fitters 
Boiler Makers 
Coppersmiths 
Founders . 
Pattern Makers 
316 



Increase of is. per week. 
Increase of 2s. per week (is. 6d. for 
established men). 



Increase of is. per week on standard 
and predominant rate. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Smiths .... Increase of 2s. per week on minimum 

rate (is. 6d. for established men). 

Sailmakers .... Increase of is. per week. 

Ropemakers . . . Increase of is. per week on minimum 

for hired men. 

Riggers .... Increase of 6d. per week. 

Skilled Labourers . Increase of is. per week on minimum 

rate. 

Labourers .... Increase of is. per week. 

The estimated approximate annual cost on present numbers 
of these concessions is about 95,000, of that 40,000 or 
nearly will go to the lowest class worker, the labourer, whose 
pay up to the 3ist October was 235. per week, and now it 
will be 245. 

MR. O'GRADY : What is the number of men covered by 
that sum ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : My hon. friend can make the calcula- 
tion for himself. It is going to cost 40,000, commencing 
from the ist October last. I cannot carry the precise figure 
in my head, but the hon. member can work it out. It is 
worth noting that labourers, the lowest paid of workers, 
were getting 2os. in 1905, 2is. in 1906, 22s. in 1912, 235. in 
1913, and 245. in October 1914. In Haulbowline dockyard 
they get is. less throughout. 

MR. BARNES : Do those rates apply to the torpedo 
factory at Greenock ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : To some extent Greenock is on the 
dockyard scale, and the labourers will get 245. There is a 
special class at Greenock who are not yet on the dockyard 
scale, but as far as the men are on that scale those increased 
rates apply. In addition to these increases for mechanics, 
skilled labourers and labourers, we are granting improvements 
in wages and conditions of the yard craftsmen. Their 
petition is rather long outstanding, and they are a very 
deserving class, including civilian masters, mates, engineers, 
and seamen and stokers of the numerous tugs and vessels 
attached to the naval establishments. I need not go into 
the details as to the yard craftsmen, but the cost of the 
increased pay to them is approximately estimated at 13,000 
a year. There is another class to whom concessions have 
been made, the storehouse clerks in the Navy ordnance 

317 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

depots and the victualling yards. The first grade storehouse- 
men will get an increase of is. per week ; the second grade 
an increase of 2s. per week on the minimum and an increase 
of is. on the maximum ; the storehouse assistants get an 
increase of is. on the minimum and 35. on the maximum. 
These increases will cost approximately 4700 a year. The 
estimated total annual cost of all these concessions with 
regard to pay on the present numbers is about 113,000 a 
year, including 90,000 for skilled labourers and mechanics. 
This total increase in wages of about 113,000 is on the 
top of concessions made in 1913, which were estimated to 
cost 104,000. If you take the increases granted for the last 
ten years at the Royal dockyards it comes to this, that 
to-day, on the numbers we are employing, we are paying not 
less than 400,000 a year more in wages to our men than 
we should have been paying if these successive increases had 
not been granted. I think that is rather an interesting fact. 
There are several other matters which will receive further 
consideration. There is the case of the drawing office staffs, 
who have a petition before us now being considered, but I 
am not in a position to make any announcement at present, 
and I must not give any assurance because I am most anxious 
not to raise hopes that may not be fulfilled. There is one 
other matter in connection with the Royal dockyards. In 
1913 we commenced an increase in the proportion of the 
men on the established and pensionable list. We continued 
that increase last year, and we shall still further increase the 
proportion this year. And further, in connection with the 
established workmen entering our service before the age of 
forty, they are now eligible for transfer to the establishment 
and the pensionable list up to the age of fifty. What is 
more, deductions from the age of entry will be made as 
regards the establishment so as to come within those limits 
in the case of men who have served satisfactorily in the 
Army or Navy or in other Departments of the Government 
service. 

MR. FALLE : Will the increase to the establishment apply 
to the Works Department ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : We have given them all their due 
proportion of increase this year, and they will apply in due 
proportion to the Works Department. I will now leave the 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Royal yards, thanking all concerned for what they have 
done in this time of national emergency. Finally, I should 
like to say a word or two about a matter in which we have 
been very much interested and upon which questions were 
put to me yesterday from various parts of the House, namely, 
the question of separation allowances for wives and children 
and other dependants, pensions for widows and orphans, and 
pensions for partial and total disablement. I would remind 
the Committee that the several schemes of the White Paper 
of gth November, which were adopted by the House when 
it last met, were an enormous advance on the provision 
previously made for the sailor, the soldier, and their depend- 
ants. The separation allowances for sailors' wives and 
children were entirely new. Before the ist of October last 
the State had never made any provision for sailors' wives, 
and prior to that there was no separation allowance for them. 
The better pay and the greater opportunity for advancement 
to higher rating open to the sailor as compared with the 
soldier, I imagine, appeared to justify the absence of the 
allowance. Either by allotment or remittance from pay a 
very great majority of the bluejackets have voluntarily from 
their pay made some provision for their wives and children. 
It is very interesting to note, and I call the Committee's 
attention to it particularly, that the granting of a State 
allowance to the bluejacket for his wife and children and 
other dependants for the period of the war from the ist of 
October last has by no means led the bluejacket to take his 
responsibility less seriously, but quite the contrary. 

Since the war and the introduction of allowances the 
number of the bluejackets' own allotments and remittances 
from pay have greatly multiplied. Let me give one or two 
figures. On the ist of August 1914, we paid out 73,500 
allotments for the month made by the* sailors from their pay, 
and the amount so allotted was 165,000 for the month. On 
the ist January 1915, we paid out 183,000 allotments, two 
and a half times as many, and the amount so allotted from 
pay was 478,000 for the month, three times as much as on 
the ist August. The remittances too have gone up. During 
August 1914, we paid 12,756 remittances on behalf of the 
sailors, amounting in value to 112,858. During January 
1915, we paid 15,718 remittances, amounting to 158,689. 

319 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Of course, the calling out of the Reserves will be responsible 
to a large extent for that great increase, but not by any 
means for all the increase. ' The new allowances have, as the 
Committee knows, been paid on the White Paper scale as 
from ist October. We shall pay on the Select Committee 
scale as from ist March, as announced just now by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer in reply to a question. Further, 
early in April, we shall pay the sailor's monthly allotment to 
his wife in four weekly portions, so that on the same day in 
every week she will get not only her allowance but at one 
and the same time and in the same draft roughly a fourth of 
the monthly allotment which he has paid to her. The allow- 
ance and allotment, therefore, will now be paid weekly instead 
of the allowance weekly and the allotment monthly. I turn 
now to the pensions for widows and orphans. At the time 
of the Boer War for the lowest grade the widow's pension 
was fixed at 55. per week, and the allowance for children at 
is. 6d. per week, both for the Army and the Navy. That 
scale came into operation on ist April 1901. It was intro- 
duced by Mr. Brodrick, now Lord Midleton. It was debated 
in this House on 2Qth March 1901, and in the course of the 
debate Mr. Brodrick said : ' I really do not think that the 
provision which Parliament is asked to make for the widows 
of those who have fallen in the war is an illiberal one/ What- 
ever view may be taken to-day, fourteen years after this it 
is quite clear that no one in any part of the House, so far as 
I can see, took any exception to Mr. Brodrick's proposition 
that 5s. for the widows and is. 6d. for a child was not illiberal. 
There is no comment in the debate on the proposition that 
it was not an illiberal amount to fix. It was pressed upon 
Mr. Brodrick, however, that the soldiers' wives who, when 
married were not on the strength, should have the pension 
if their husbands were killed just the same as the wives of 
soldiers who, when married, were on the strength. He 
objected to that, and the Boer War widow's pension was 
confined to the wives who were on the strength, an extremely 
small number. At the commencement of the war there were 
16,000 Army widows on the strength and 1100 receiving 
separation allowance, as against something like 750,000 now 
receiving separation allowance in the Army alone. He 
objected to widows who, when married, were not on the 
320 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

strength getting the pension, and said that their claims 
would be considered by the Patriotic Fund. Whatever 
credit there is for it belongs to all of us, to whatever party 
we may belong, but so far as the State is concerned the 
provision made to-day for widows and orphans is out of all 
proportion to the pre-war provision. It is out of all pro- 
portion as regards the numbers deemed eligible for it, and 
it is out of all proportion as regards the individual amount of 
the pensions received. In point of fact, in 1903, under the 
Boer War system and when the widow could only get a 
pension if she had been married on the strength of the Army, 
the number of widows receiving the State pension I am 
not referring to the Patriotic Fund or any other contribution 
was about 3000 for both Services ; and in that year I see 
that we put upon the estimates 64,000 to meet the claims 
of those widows. We made a provision, when we fixed the 
estimate for this financial year, 1914-15, twelve months ago, 
or a little earlier, of 43,000 for about 2000 widows and 
orphans. The estimates are necessarily speculative, but the 
Committee will realise at once that the cost of the White 
Paper scheme would have been many times that figure, and 
the cost of the scheme of the Select Committee would be at 
a still higher level. For the widow, without children and 
whose husband was of the lowest rank, the White Paper 
proposed 75. 6d. per week with a possible I2s. 6d. if the 
woman were incapacitated from work. The Select Com- 
mittee makes the 75. 6d. ios., to be increased to I2S. 6d. 
at the age of thirty-five and 153. at the age of forty-five. 
The plan of increasing the amount of pension with advancing 
age is, I think, an improvement on our scheme, the White 
Paper scheme for which, with others, I was responsible. 
With regard to orphans, the hon. and learned member for 
Chatham (Mr. Hohler) last night said, ' As the Select Com- 
mittee makes illegitimate children eligible, what about step- 
children ? ' I think it is a very good question to put, and I 
will take care that it is put. I have no authority, but I should 
imagine that the Select Committee intended step-children to 
be included. The hon. and learned member raised another 
question as to the payment of twenty-six weeks' separation 
allowances and allotments after the death of the husband. 
That was provided for from ist October, when the separation 
NAVAL 3 x 321 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

allowances and allotments were introduced. The hon. and 
learned member asked about continuing the separation 
allowance and allotment for twenty-six weeks in -the case 
where the husband was killed before this thing came into 
existence at all, particularly in reference to such losses as the 
Amphion, Pathfinder, and Pegasus. Our authority for pay- 
ment of the twenty-six weeks' allowances after death is to be 
found in paragraph 6 of the White Paper of gth November : 
' The widow and children of any seaman, marine, or soldier 
who at the date of his death were in receipt of separation 
allowance will continue for twenty-six weeks after the noti- 
fication of his death to receive the amount which was paid 
to them during his lifetime as separation allowance. If an 
allotment was in force at the time, they will also receive an 
amount equivalent to that allotment for the same period. 
The pensions commence at the expiration of this period/ 
That is to say, a widow who, at the date of the death of her 
husband, was in receipt of separation allowance. The hon. 
and learned member for Chatham did not go beyond that, 
and in the cases of the deaths in the Amphion, the Pegasus, 
and the Pathfinder, those widows were not in receipt of 
separation allowances. But in those cases what we did was 
at once to pay the Greenwich Hospital scale which was 
further brought up to the White Paper scale, and will on 
the ist March be brought up to the still better pension 
recommended by the Select Committee. But the point made 
by the hon. and learned member is a good one, and I will 
undertake to make representation to the Select Committee, 
and I hope we may get definite proposals in regard thereto. 
Still, what we have done has been done strictly in accordance 
with the regulation I have just read. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Will they get back money ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will make representations. Sup- 
posing they should have had twenty-six weeks' separation 
allowance from the death of the husband, if it is agreed by 
the Committee it is due to them, of course they will get that 
money, but I can give no undertaking. 

MR. FALLE : Plus the minimum allotment ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The hon. gentleman has, quite unin- 
tentionally I think, put his finger on the difficulty. We 
should have to assume an allotment in that case, and there 
323 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

was none, for the system of separation allowances was not 
in existence. The minimum allotment was compulsorily 55. 
a week, and if we assume the 5s. it would be unfair as it would 
make the separation allowances probably less than the White 
Paper scale. The hon. gentleman may be well assured we 
will try our best to solve this problem with consideration 
and liberality to every one concerned. I turn for one moment 
to the allowances to the partially and totally disabled. Here 
again the proposals of the White Paper are on a scale far 
more generous than those obtaining before the war. The 
White Paper for the first time takes into consideration in 
awarding disablement pension, whether the man is single or 
married, and, if married, whether he has any children. I 
cannot understand why, in all these years, that aspect of the 
matter has not been considered by the authorities. The 
disabled man received an allowance, such as it was, without 
reference at all to the question whether he had to maintain 
a wife and children after disablement. In favour of the 
White Paper it may be stated that the scale for the first 
time, both for the Army and the Navy, takes into account 
the question whether a man is married and has children. 
The Select Committee goes beyond the scale of the White 
Paper as regards partial disablement. I see a little adminis- 
trative difficulty which I need not go into now, but upon 
which I shall perhaps make representations to the Select 
Committee. It is an administrative feature of their pro- 
posal. I do not know that I need rehearse the new scale. 
Hon. gentlemen are familiar with it ; but I will say this, 
it is not for me, although I was responsible with others 
for the rather less generous scheme of the White Paper 
it is not for me, the son of a non-commissioned officer, to 
complain of the greater liberality of the Select Committee. 
But the Special Report discloses the fact that the Select 
Committee has followed in the main I must say this if 
I may the general foundations for the administration of 
assistance laid down by those responsible for the White 
Paper schemes. 

As I said, and as will be seen by any one who studies the 
Table of Comparison on page 5 of the Select Committee's 
Report, the Select Committee has made substantial advances 
on the scheme of the White Paper. In the first place, 

323 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

generally speaking, they have treated the children's provision 
on a more generous scale, and they have given some very 
useful information to the pension officers on the question of 
assessing the degree of dependence in the case of dependants 
other than widows and children. They deal with widows' 
pensions more generously and also advance the allowances 
to the partially and totally disabled. Although with others 
I was responsible for the scales of the White Paper I am very 
far indeed from being sorry that this matter has been re- 
viewed by this Committee and touched with more generous 
hands, and since the Select Committee has thought fit, in all 
the circumstances, to take a larger view in these important 
particulars, it seems to me that those whose chief care and 
responsibility is for these men and their dependants are 
precisely those who may rejoice at the more generous treat- 
ment which the Select Committee, in the name of the State, 
thinks should be made. This White Paper, I am bound to 
say, was a great revolution on the past. Only those connected 
with the Service know how great the revolution is. But the 
Report of the Select Committee carries the revolution still 
further. I should be unmindful of old days and of old 
friends if I did not express pleasure at the work which has 
now been accomplished, and gratitude for the prospect which 
it unfolds. I do not forget the pension day that came once 
a quarter for the few, and the long line of broken men and 
women outside, pathetically holding out basins into which 
their old comrades threw assistance with recklessly generous 
hands. I greatly rejoice that under this provision, the like 
of which there is nothing in the naval and military systems 
of Europe I greatly rejoice that under this provision those 
days are gone for ever. I greatly rejoice at the spirit of 
cordial and practical sympathy for the soldier and sailor 
and their dependants displayed by all parties in the House 
without any discrimination, and by all parties in the country 
since this war began. It is indeed a great advance on the 
past, and it reflects accurately a deeper sense of public 
responsibility towards those who fight our battles by land 
and sea. And anxious as this Committee most properly is to 
do the right thing by these people at this time, I think the 
Committee may accept the general scheme of the Select 
Committee, leaving it to the Departments concerned to work 
324 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

out the details, and feel satisfied that their duty and their 
obligation have been fairly discharged. 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE : I think I am right in saying 
that although we are in Committee of Supply the debate is 
to be a general one. That being so, I should like first to 
congratulate the Financial Secretary upon the very able 
speech he has just made. The right hon. gentleman always 
has the sympathy of this House, and I think the House 
always has his sympathy. Speaking as one of the members 
of the former, I can say I never brought a matter to his notice 
without his going into it with great care, and, as far as he 
could, he has always given a sympathetic answer. I shall 
have an opportunity later on of saying something in apprecia- 
tion of the concessions which the Admiralty has made, and 
which the Financial Secretary has just announced, in the case 
of the workmen employed in the Royal dockyards. But, 
before I do that, I wish to say a few words upon more general 
questions. Every one in this Committee has the greatest 
admiration for the personnel of the Admiralty, and they 
will naturally endorse all that the First Lord said yesterday 
as to the ability and efficiency of the Department over which 
he presides. In other respects the First Lord's speech calls 
for eulogy, especially that part of it in which he reminded 
us that the time has now arrived when, in view of the enemy's 
departure from the accepted rules of warfare, further and 
still more drastic pressure from the Fleet has become a 
necessity. There were, of course, mistakes in the speech, 
which were mistakes principally of omission. There were 
also points of disagreement. Both points of omission and 
disagreement were made particularly obvious to the House 
yesterday by the speeches which were delivered by the 
Leader of the Opposition and the noble Lord the member for 
Portsmouth (Lord Charles Beresford). I do not think I am 
speaking for myself alone when I say that the reference to 
Rosyth was singularly unfortunate. The First Lord said : 
' Rosyth is not finished, and will not be available for some 
time. Everything, therefore, required to keep the Fleet in 
being . . . has to be not only carried but kept afloat in ships.' 
That was a very important statement, because it will be 
apparent at once to the Committee, as it was to the House 
yesterday, that Rosyth as a naval base would have been of 

325 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the greatest advantage to the Navy to-day, and every one 
must regret, as I am sure the -First Lord himself regrets, that 
Rosyth is not now available for that purpose. I do not 
propose to go into the question of majorities in this House a 
question to which the First Lord at the beginning of his 
speech last night paid somewhat close attention ; at any 
rate, it seemed to give him unbounded satisfaction but I 
do feel compelled to say, and this I say in no party spirit 
whatever, that the situation at Rosyth is in no way due to 
any parsimony on the part of the Opposition. Like the 
First Lord, I wish to let that controversy stand over until 
after the war. Still, there are some things which ought to 
be and must be discussed, or, if not discussed, ventilated. 
As the Prime Minister in a speech he delivered in the House 
only a few days ago rather invited us than discouraged us to 
criticise, I shall take advantage of that invitation and say 
a few words on one or two matters connected with Admiralty 
policy. Perhaps at the close of what I have to say I may 
have to say a few words on some matters connected with the 
administration of the yards. Before doing so I should like 
to add my tribute, small as it may be, like the First Lord 
did yesterday and the Financial Secretary has done to-day, 
to the heroic and glorious work done by the officers and men 
alike in the Navy since the outbreak of war. One could have 
wished, and of course the Committee will be with me here, 
that it had been found possible to record in the daily Press 
some further details of the brave deeds of our sailors, many 
of whom have sacrificed their lives in the cause of duty. I 
suppose I may take it that the Admiralty are taking the 
necessary steps to see that these gallant deeds are preserved, 
not only to the present generation but to future generations. 
I should like the Financial Secretary to say something upon 
that if he replies to what I say. I am sure also, and the 
Committee will agree with the Financial Secretary, that great 
praise is due to the men in the dockyards. What he said 
about the work these men have done was not praising them 
at all too highly. They have done heroic work. Both night 
and day the shifts have been working, and it is in no small 
measure due to their arduous labours that the process of 
construction as well as that of repairs to ships has been so 
speedily accomplished. 
326 



[FEB. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

I pass to a subject which excited some little interest in 
the House yesterday. I have not noticed that the Financial 
Secretary mentioned it in his remarks. Perhaps I may have 
been out of the Chamber at the time he did so, or he or the 
First Lord may refer to it later. I allude to the subject of 
courts-martial. On this subject the First Lord had much to 
say. All who heard the speech will admit that the First 
Lord made out a very good case so far as he was concerned, 
but of course when you go into a Court of Law or come to 
this House for judgment you have to hear the other side, 
and when you have heard the other side sometimes you 
decide that the side you last heard is the right side. I think 
that after the Committee have heard what I have to say 
to-day they will come to the conclusion that the First Lord 
was wrong and that what I am going to say is right. (HoN. 
MEMBERS : ' Oh, oh ! ') If one does not say a few words in 
favour of oneself, no one else will. The abandonment of 
courts-martial without notice of any kind, the abandonment 
of this time-honoured custom, is not likely to find favour 
either in the House or the country. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Or in the Service. 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE : Or in the Service. Nor is the 
position assisted at all by the First Lord's statement in the 
House the other day, because he did not exactly answer my 
question. The statement he made I will give in his own 
words. He said that : ' The Board ' that is, the Board of 
Admiralty ' must exercise complete discretionary powers as 
regards Courts of Judicial Inquiry/ I am not finding fault 
at all with those words, but I would point out that this 
announcement, coupled with the abandonment of courts- 
martial, practically places the Admiralty in the position of a 
dictator. Not only are our officers to be deprived of what 
has always been regarded as their special privilege and 
protection, but, in the absence of courts-martial and this is 
a very important point to consider the Admiralty will be 
able to cover up any mistakes on their part by blotting out 
any record of the transaction. It may seem to be rather a 
mean suggestion, but I assure the Committee that rumours 
are already going about that this is the end the Admiralty 
have in view. Personally, I do not attach any importance 
to such a suggestion. 

327 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : Then why repeat it ? 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE : 'Nor do I think it is at all likely 
to be the case. I repeat it because the very fact of anything 
like that being said in that way shows the evils that must 
invariably follow from autocratic action of the kind. I think 
the Committee, with their usual fairness, will admit that I 
have a perfect right to repeat it, considering that I have 
drawn a fair deduction from the repetition. The Committee 
may remember, and the First Lord called my attention to it 
only a few days ago, in answer to a question that Lord Crewe 
had stated in another place that the holding of these Courts 
was mere custom and that it carried with it ' no statutory 
obligation/ In this statement the Civil Lord who I am 
glad to see in his place to-day is apparently in agreement, 
but both Lord Crewe and the Civil Lord appear to have 
forgotten entirely the Naval Defence Act. That Act affirms 
the principle of courts-martial, and provides that ' A court- 
martial shall be held pursuant to the custom of the Navy 
in such cases to inquire into the cause of the wreck, loss, 
destruction, or capture of the ship/ 

LORD C. BERESFORD : That is the Naval Discipline Act. 

SIR C. KINLOCH-COOKE : The noble Lord will remember 
that the Naval Defence Act embodies Section 91 of the 
Naval Discipline Act. That is what I quoted just now. 
Let us look at the King's Regulations and the Admiralty 
Instructions. What do you find there ? I turn up Article 
177, which lays it down definitely that in the case of a ship 
captured, wrecked, or otherwise lost or destroyed, ' The 
captain and officers shall remain until a court-martial shall 
have inquired into the cause of the loss or capture/ Other 
articles in the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions 
also refer to courts-martial, and ordain that certain dis- 
abilities must follow in the event of an adverse verdict being 
given. It is clear, from these Regulations and Instructions, 
that the holding of a court-martial is contemplated. If one 
order is to be set aside, why not another ? In fact, of what 
value are the King's Regulations, or, for that matter, of 
what value is legislation ? On whose authority have courts- 
martial been abandoned ? That question was asked yester- 
day in the House, and I repeat it to-day. We should like to 
know on whose authority courts-martial have been abandoned, 
328 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

and on whose authority the provisions of the Naval Defence 
Act and the Navy Discipline Act have been set aside. I was 
always under the impression that an Act of Parliament could 
only be altered by Parliament itself, but, apparently, if it 
happens to deal with the Navy, it can be amended by the 
First Lord or by the Board of Admiralty, a proceeding which 
is hardly likely to be acceptable to a democratic community. 
Again Lord Crewe gave the House of Lords to understand 
that the holding of courts-martial was obsolete altogether, 
yet in the House of Commons, in 1907, the Civil Lord of the 
Admiralty, in answer to a question, said that the only excep- 
tion to the custom of holding a court-martial as laid down 
in the Naval Discipline Act, which is embodied in the Naval 
Defence Act, since 1866 to date, was that of a Coastguard 
cruiser and a torpedo-destroyer, but in the latter case an 
inquiry was held. Why was the Civil Lord so anxious to 
establish the custom of courts-martial in 1907 if he now 
says that it has no statutory obligation, is a matter of no 
concern whatsoever, and can be abandoned at will ? The 
two quotations I have made require some explanation. I 
think the Committee will agree that to abandon a custom of 
such great tradition as that of courts-martial should not 
have taken place without the representatives of the people 
having some say in the matter. 

I pass from the technical part of my argument to certain 
examples. In the case of the Goeben a court-martial would 
have been far more satisfactory, both to the officers con- 
cerned and to the people of the country, than an inquiry, 
but a court-martial apparently was not held. After the loss 
of the Cressy cruisers no inquiry or court-martial was held, 
yet there were many points connected with the disaster 
which seem to me to call for examination. For instance, the 
patrol was a very dangerous one, and the ships were not 
equal to putting up a fight at any rate supposing it to be 
attacked by a very strong force of the enemy. Then, again, 
they offered a very easy target for submarines. It is all 
very well for the First Lord to say that our energy ought 
not to be consumed in the discussion of incidents beyond 
recall, but that hardly meets the case of the public or of 
the officers, who have rights and privileges to be considered. 
He might just as well say that a railway accident is beyond 

329 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

recall, and what is the good of making any inquiry at all ? 
So you might say with regard to crime murders and offences 
against the law. It is all past and gone. What is the good 
of inquiring into it ? If you use that argument you might 
pursue it almost to absurdity. It is an impossible argument 
for the First Lord to use. If it is allowed to pass you might 
say that anything can be done just as the Admiralty like, 
and no criticism or discussion can follow at all. That is a 
most dangerous precedent to set up. But the worst case is 
the Formidable. It is common knowledge that the Formidable 
and the other vessels accompanying her were going down 
the Channel at reduced speed and without a screen of 
destroyers. I should like to know whether that was in 
accordance with the Admiralty's instructions. The First 
Lord seems to be under the impression that the holding of 
courts-martial casts a slur on the officers concerned, and said 
it involved a criminal offence. Not at all, as I contradicted 
him yesterday. That is not the point at all. If any person 
feels the injustice of doing away with courts-martial it is the 
naval officer, for naval officers as one man would wish to see 
courts-martial kept up. 

I come now to another part of my case, and that takes 
us back a long way. It takes us back to when the First 
Lord of the Admiralty ordered my noble friend (Lord C. 
Beresford) to haul down his flag, presumably as a protest 
against his criticism of the right hon. gentleman's policy. A 
Cabinet Committee was appointed to inquire into what the 
noble Lord had said and written, and it is satisfactory to 
find that the Committee agreed with the noble Lord that a 
War Staff should be appointed. A War Staff was appointed, 
and we are all very gratified that that was done. If it had 
been appointed when the noble Lord asked for it to be 
appointed the Navy would have been in an even better posi- 
tion than it is to-day. However, after two years of a War 
Staff we may congratulate the Admiralty upon a very great 
advance in their administration. It is, however, to the noble 
Lord's remarks with regard to cruisers, destroyers, and small 
craft that I should like to call attention. If the 154 cruisers 
and small craft which were abandoned in 1904 had been 
replaced with their equivalent we should not have been in 
the position that we are in to-day and that we have been 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

in during the last six months. It is all very well for the First 
Lord to say what wonderful things have been done on the 
trade routes. It is very fortunate for us that they have 
turned out so wonderful as they have. It is not all due to 
us ; but they are wonderful things. But vessels like the 
Emden and the Karlsruhe have wrought considerable damage 
amongst our merchantmen. That is not all. The Prime 
Minister told us the other day that one of the reasons why 
the price of foodstuffs had gone up was the shortage of 
vessels. Seeing that half the vessels which are now being 
used are doing work which should be done by ships of war 
one can easily understand how the shortage has occurred. 
Again, the passing into the Naval Service of all available 
ships has entailed very large expense upon the country, and 
it appears to me that instead of ordering my noble friend to 
haul down his flag, the First Lord would have done very 
much better if he had listened to his advice, and not only 
would the country have been saved financially a considerable 
sum but fewer lives would have been lost and fewer merchant- 
men would have been seized, and fewer ships sunk. I have 
here a question, which perhaps the Civil Lord will be able 
to reply to, with regard to unnecessary expenditure in the 
use of these ships. The Aquitania was a new ship when the 
Admiralty took her over. The inside was ripped out of her, 
and later on her bows were damaged, and now she is hardly 
in the same condition as she was when she was taken over. 
I have not seen her, but from what I am told she is not worth 
very much now, and of course that will cost the country a 
great deal. That is a most unfortunate matter. All these 
matters would have been avoided if the Government had 
listened to what my noble friend said. It is somewhat 
surprising to me that, at a national crisis of this kind, when 
expert experience is so much needed, the Government have 
not availed themselves more of the noble Lord's assistance. 

The system with regard to the disposal of prize money 
was, until recently, governed by an Order in Council passed 
in the reign of the late Queen Victoria. On 28th August x of * [See 
last year this Order was cancelled and another Order was Naval 
obtained on a Memorial to the King, stating that it was p * II4 
intended to substitute a system of bounties and gratuities. 
It was stated that the reason why it was wished to give 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

bounties and gratuities was that it was more equitable and 
that every man and officer in the Fleet should have a chance 
of obtaining some portion of the prize money, whereas before 
it generally went to the officers and men of the ships which 
took the prizes. That may be a very good plan I do not 
say it was not but meanwhile the Government set up a 
Committee of Claims. I believe this Committee of Claims 
has had a certain number of cases before it, but I am very 
certain that up to the present it has not considered the 
claims of the Navy. If that matter is deferred until the end 
of the war it will make a very great deal of difference, and I 
should like to know what is going to be done in the case of 
the officers and men who have lost their lives in the cause 
of duty. Are they or their representatives going to have 
an equal share in the prize money, because that is a matter 
of great importance to them and their dependants ? A man 
who was in the Navy at the beginning should be treated 
exactly on the same footing as those who are in the Navy 
when the war is over. 

An hon. member yesterday mentioned the question of 
Antwerp. This is hardly the moment to discuss a matter 
which is so closely connected with military policy, but, apart 
from all that, I am sure the Committee would like to know 
why so many young men without any training were sent to 
'do duty in the trenches at Antwerp, and why they were 
sent without any knowledge of firing. Why have they never 
had any experience with regard to rifles, and why were they 
not properly clothed ? I believe there were men in the 
trenches at Antwerp who had no overcoats and who had 
never been provided with overcoats. This has nothing what- 
ever to do with military strategy. This has to do with naval 
policy, and the First Lord is answerable for the naval policy 
of the Government, and therefore he is answerable for these 
matters to which I have called attention. 

I wish to say a few words about naval pay. In some 
cases the Admiralty have been very generous, but there is 
the pay of the naval officer yet to be considered, especially 
the pay of midshipmen and of men of warrant rank. These 
men correspond to the rank of sub-lieutenant in the Army, 
and a man on promotion to warrant rank from the lower 
deck is, as a rule, married, and with prices reigning as they 
332 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

are to-day it is a very difficult thing for that man's wife and 
children to keep up a proper position. Take the case of a 
boatswain who is raised to warrant rank from the lower 
deck. Pay begins at 6s. a day. He can allot 6 a month, 
and he has to pay 305. to 2 for his messing. The allotment 
of 6 per month would give his wife and children 305. a week 
to live upon. That is hardly a sum of money which it would 
be considered possible for a naval officer to carry out the 
position in which he has been placed by the country. 

Another question of naval pay which I have never yet 
heard brought to the notice of the House is the question of 
the pay of naval chaplains. There is no branch of the service 
which appears to have been so overlooked. The earliest 
age at which a chaplain can enter the Service is twenty-five, 
when pay starts at 210. After twenty years he receives 
328, ios., and then it increased by a shilling a day each 
year for four years until he reaches a maximum of 401, ios. 
He may be retired at fifty-five or may be kept on till sixty. 
If you compare that with the pay of chaplains in the Army 
it does not compare very favourably. The Army chaplain 
gets, with home allowances, after a probationary period, 
273, and rises in twenty years to 515. He can reach a 
maximum of 560, with home allowances. I wish to suggest 
that naval chaplains should receive I2s. per day for the first 
four years instead of the first five, then they should rise 2s. 
a day, instead of is., for every three years up to nineteen 
years, and then is. for every two years until the end of the 
twenty-seventh year, when a maximum of 305. a day would 
be reached. This, of course, would be extra to the ordinary 
shore allowances. I do not know whether the Financial 
Secretary is aware that naval chaplains' pay has not been 
increased since 1870. Since that date the pay of every other 
rank and rating in the Navy has gone up considerably. It 
must be remembered that in the olden days a large pro- 
portion of the naval chaplains were also Naval instructors, 
and that this enabled them to earn a considerable addition 
to their ordinary pay ; but all that has been abolished. A 
good many of the chaplains are married. There has been 
an increase in the cost of food since their present rate of pay 
was fixed. It may be asked, ' Is this the time to bring up 
the question of the pay of naval chaplains ? Leave it alone 

333 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

until the war is over/ I consider that this is the time to 
bring it up, because of the expense which falls upon the 
chaplains for the support ' of their wives and children. I 
hope I have made that point clear to the Parliamentary 
Secretary to the Admiralty. 

I wish to ask a question with regard to allowances. The 
right hon. gentleman told me some time ago that separation 
allowances to the wives and children of warrant officers would 
be considered. Has that been done ? I understood him to 
say that the matter was under consideration, and that he 
hoped the Admiralty would see their way to make the same 
allowances to them as in the case of the Royal Marines. 
There is another matter in connection with our naval policy 
to which I should like to call the attention of the Committee, 
namely, the question of Navy boots. It seems almost in- 
credible that our sailors up to the outbreak of the war were 
compelled to wear German boots that is to say, boots made 
with German leather. I say that deprived British workmen 
of work which ought to have been given to them. It has 
been given to foreign workmen. The right hon. gentleman 
told the House that the sole of the boot is always required 
to be of British manufacture, and that the manufacturer 
may use either foreign or British leather for the upper. The 
right hon gentleman is correct theoretically, but no British 
manufacturer would make a boot with the upper of English 
leather, because it has a different appearance to German 
leather, and therefore it is utterly impossible to make the 
upper to have the same appearance as the German sample 
given to him. Where does the equal opportunity come in 
for British and foreign workmen ? The First Lord of the 
Admiralty says, ' Oh, they can do it ; they can so manu- 
facture their leather as to give it the appearance required.' 
I am not going into that technical point. I need not point 
out to the Committee that the Germans are not likely to let 
a trade like this go by and hand it over to this country. 
Therefore they were quite prepared to sell their boots practi- 
cally at cost price, which, of course, means placing the English 
manufacturer in a very bad position. 

In 1912 the Admiralty instituted a wearing test in relation 
to English and German boots. One would naturally suppose 
that an answer would be given shortly in regard to that 
334 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

test, but two years elapsed before they were in a position 
to give an answer. They said that the test was * somewhat 
inconclusive/ These are the words which are used in the 
statement which I have before me. What the British manu- 
facturers want is an all-British specification, and that is what 
the Admiralty refuse to give. What the Admiralty say is, 
' We will give you a specification that the leather must be 
British or other suitable leather/ Now, that will not do. 
The Secretary said he could not change it just now. Do I 
rightly understand him to say that when the war is over the 
Admiralty intend to take up the matter ? That may or 
may not be so, but, at any rate, the argument which the 
Financial Secretary uses is not sound, because British manu- 
facturers are in a position now to supply all the boots for 
the Navy and to make them of English leather, and therefore 
the Admiralty need not trouble at all about the scarcity of 
leather or anything of that kind. British manufacturers are 
prepared to make boots of British leather. The Financial 
Secretary says that will cost us more. Not at all. I believe 
I am correct in saying I am speaking from information 
which has reached me from a reliable quarter that British 
manufacturers can guarantee to produce British boots pro- 
vided that they get an all-British specification, and provided 
also that the Admiralty say that they shall have the oppor- 
tunity of making the boots all through the war, and when 
the war is over, and that they will not revert to the old 
German specification. 

I must say a word in connection with the dockyards. The 
Parliamentary Secretary has certainly made a most interesting 
speech, and I am afraid that he has taken the wind out of 
my sails. I had intended to dilate somewhat at length about 
the grievances of the dockyard men. I had intended to 
make a reference seriatim to the claims of the workers who 
have received concessions. I am very glad to find that 
nearly all the workmen in the different branches at the 
dockyards have had their claims considered. I have ventured 
to bring to the notice of the right hon. gentleman from time 
to time during the past three or four years cases which had 
not received the attention which they merited. I am afraid 
that the Parliamentary Secretary is a little jealous of our 
Committee. 

335 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : Not at all. 

SIR C. KiNLOCH-CooKE : Since we started to bring the 
claims of the men before the Admiralty, many changes have 
been made in the administration of the dockyards, and one 
cannot help feeling that the Dockyard Members Committee 
have had some share in bringing about these results. I am 
very pleased to find that the Parliamentary Secretary pro- 
poses to continue the policy of receiving men in London. 
That practice, I understand, is not only to be continued, and 
probably extended. It is a good thing to know from him 
that this is not going to be stopped. Some of them were 
afraid that their claims had been overlooked. The smiths 
and the riggers have been putting their cases before the 
Admiralty for a good many years, and one is glad to see that 
they have come in at last. As to the shipwrights, I think 
they are most deserving of the rise in wages which they have 
received. It was very greatly appreciated, and it is a thing 
which certainly ought to have been done. As to storehouse 
men, I am afraid our Committee have rather worried the 
First Lord and the Parliamentary Secretary. We have 
presented their case over and over again in the form of 
letters stating that they considered that some rise in wages 
should be given to them. It is exceedingly gratifying that 
the Parliamentary Secretary finds himself in the position to 
give them this rise. No one desires to find fault with any- 
thing which the Parliamentary Secretary has done in that 
respect. All who know him like him. They all believe what 
he says, and they are willing to trust their case in his hands. 
At the same time they desire to have their claims brought 
forward also by the Dockyard Members Committee. In that 
way they have two strings to their bow. What has been 
done in the case of the labourers will give very general satis- 
faction. A rise of a shilling has been given all round. The 
men at Haulbowline think that they also should have 245. 
Personally, I should like to see them get that pay. Still I 
am quite satisfied with what has been given. Not long ago 
the Secretary read a letter to the House showing how little 
could be done with 22s. On that letter he based the rise 
to 233. I had intended to urge that it should be 245., but 
that has been done, and nothing remains for me except at 
some future date to propose a rise from 245. to 255. I am 
336 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

satisfied that what has been done has been done on the whole 
very generously. I readily admit that the Board of Ad- 
miralty, acting on the advice of the Financial Secretary, 
have taken into consideration all matters connected with the 
yards, and have dealt with the men in a very proper and a 
very liberal manner. 

MR. DUNCAN : I am sure that the House has listened 
with the greatest possible pleasure to the statement of the 
Financial Secretary, especially when he was giving his testi- 
mony to the vigour with which the men employed in the 
dockyards have performed their work. If there is one thing 
which is likely to be encouraging to the men who are following 
their avocations so strenuously it is some meed of acknow- 
ledgment, from those who are in a position superior to them, 
of the efforts which they are making. These men have made 
very great sacrifices by putting in such an enormous amount 
of time at their work, in many cases without any break, 
and I am rather inclined to think that there is a danger, in 
connection with Government as well as private contracts, 
that a great deal of sickness may result. But so far as I 
have come in contact with the men, they have shown the 
greatest readiness to perform their part of the work in such 
a way as to enable the various Government Departments to 
supply the Army and the Navy with everything essential to 
bring forth success. The statement of the Financial Secre- 
tary with regard to wages seems to have given an enormous 
amount of satisfaction to the previous speaker. I cannot 
follow exactly in the same strain. I happen to have a con- 
siderable connection with men employed by firms outside of 
Government employment. I will give a recent indication of 
what has happened. In the London area alone practically 
all the skilled workers within the past few weeks have received 
an advance of 35. per week, while the labourers have received 
an advance of 2s. per week. I would remind the Financial 
Secretary that in Coventry, at least three years ago, labourers 
were in receipt of 275. per week ; so I think that he will 
begin to see, despite the blandishments of the last speaker, 
that the labourers are still a long way off from heaven as far 
as dockyard work is concerned. The only excuse which may 
be given for what, after all, is a very small advance in wages, 
particularly to labourers, is that possibly this question has 
NAVAL 3 Y 337 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

been hanging over for a very considerable period, and it may 
be that the considerations - that exist now have, to some 
extent, been overlooked in considering this question. 

I know that these matters, numbering hundreds, must 
take time, and that since the advent of the war, and the 
greatly increased cost of living, there are many new questions 
which have arisen since the consideration of the major part 
of these matters was before the Financial Secretary, and 
probably they have come after he had fixed in his own mind 
the amount of the advance that could be given. It is obvious 
that there will have to be a further consideration of this 
question. All sections of manufacturers in this country, in 
most cases without dispute, even in cases when the men 
and the employers have been bound by agreement, are 
showing a willingness to face the fact that the cost of living 
has increased beyond all reason and expectation, and the 
employers themselves in many cases have given what is 
termed a bonus of 2s. per week to the employes over and 
above the amounts fixed by the agreements, which may have 
been signed twelve months ago. I mention that because I 
am not complaining particularly of the advance given on 
this occasion. One can say, ' Here is another bob for the 
labourer to get a shillingsworth of joy and ginger, if he can/ 
The thing that amazes me most is that it is always a bob. 
It never seems to strike the imagination of those who consider 
these matters that surely they might on some very rare 
occasion spring a little more than a shilling. A couple of 
shillings would be a very welcome advance for these men. 

After all, there is room for just a little more sympathy 
with the man who is at the bottom. * I do not question the 
sympathy of the Financial Secretary, but there should be 
just a little more consideration given to the man who, after 
all, has the hardest time wherever he is, whether working for 
a private firm or for the Government. He is the man who has 
the hot end of the poker all the time. He is the man who 
has the most difficult problem in the country to' face, even 
when he is getting 243. per week. .1 am sure from my own 
experience that it is not the things which the 245. will buy, 
but the things that the 243. will never buy that give him 
the greatest concern. I hope that when this matter comes 
up for further consideration and it must do so before very 
338 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

long the Admiralty and those who consider it will try to 
get out of the rut of a shilling, and see if they cannot spring 
the labourer a little more than a shilling when they make 
the next advance. At any rate there is no getting over this 
fact, that the advanced cost of living, as it exists now since 
the war, is very much greater than is represented by the 
shilling advance which the labourer is getting. Despite the 
fact that their wages go up, the condition of these men is 
really worse, because the cost of living is rising much more 
rapidly than their wages. That is a consideration that is 
not grasped as fully as it ought to be by those who consider 
the matter. In the main these men get a magnificent testi- 
monial and a microscopic advance of wages. Even though 
this advance is given, I think that the wages are still a shilling 
below what the men are getting at Woolwich. I suppose 
that there are reasons for the difference, but I think that 
the Admiralty would have excelled themselves if they had 
jumped up to the Woolwich range and given a nudge to the 
whole Department that it was time for them to move. But 
I suppose that it is beyond all reason to expect that the 
Admiralty are going to show any great degree of advance- 
ment on these lines. 

There was another point which struck me forcibly when 
the Financial Secretary was reading the rates of wages that 
was the advance of 6d. to riggers. Is this an advance of 6d. 
per week or 6d. per day ? If it is an advance of 6d. per 
week, how does the Financial Secretary expect that these 
men will ever spend all this wealth ? It seems to me to 
be such an insignificant advance that it is almost a waste 
of time to offer it. In all my experience I never heard of 
an advance of less than one shilling per week, and it is very 
often a great deal more. The Financial Secretary tells the 
House that as much as 90,000 in one year is given in 
advances of wages to the men employed on production by 
the Admiralty I am only taking his own division but it 
would have been very interesting if he had given us the 
total number of men concerned. It is difficult to grasp what 
the effect of the advance is unless one gets the two sets of 
figures. I suppose that these figures seem to the Admiralty 
to be vast sums of money. I should like that the Financial 
Secretary would get to know what the advance of wages 

339 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which has been recently given to the railway men will amount 
to. This advance has been, given, I understand, by all the 
railway companies of this country, and I hope of Scotland, 
and if he can ascertain by a little inquiry what the advances 
given by private employers amount to, I think that he would 
share my view that the Admiralty is a long way behind the 
large employers in this country. The right hon. gentleman 
tells us the gross total of the advance of wages that has been 
given by the Admiralty. I hope that when his next state- 
ment is made we shall at least have the number of men 
affected. 

DR. MACNAMARA : They total about 50,000 men. 

MR. DUNCAN : In that case the amount would not come 
to a shilling a week all round. 

DR. MACNAMARA : They do not all get rises. 

MR. DUNCAN : The next matter to which I wish to refer 
is the position of the artificers. I understand that they have 
received the same rate of pay for at least thirty years on end. 
I do not know whether that matter has escaped the attention 
of the Financial Secretary or whether it is still under con- 
sideration, or whether there is any hope of improvement so 
far as these men are concerned. I think that a case has 
been established for some special consideration for them. 
If he will consider this matter in conjunction with the griev- 
ances of the chaplains, and raise the artificers up to the 
chaplains' level, I am sure that the artificers will be over- 
joyed at the result. 

MR. BIGLAND : The right hon. gentleman the First Lord 
of the Admiralty in his speech made the remark that it 
should be remembered when criticisms are made, that we are 
at war. I am a profound admirer of the splendid work 
which has been done, and I shall say nothing at all by way of 
finding fault with the Admiralty, but rather with a view to 
urging that the Admiralty should have even more power 
put into its hands than it has now. Another remark which 
the right hon. gentleman made in his speech was this : ' We 
have not prevented neutral ships from trading direct with 
German ports. We have allowed German exports in neutral 
ships to pass unchallenged. The time has come when the 
enjoyment of those immunities by a State which, as a matter 
of deliberate policy, has placed herself outside all inter- 
34 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

national obligations, must be reconsidered. A further declar- 
ation on the part of the allied Governments will probably be 
made which will have the effect for the first time of applying 
the full force of naval pressure to the enemy/ We were all 
pleased to hear that statement from the First Lord, though 
I have to say that his statement was a little tardy in being 
made. Some of us feel that an even more stringent attitude 
should have been taken up with regard to the matter of 
contraband and conditional contraband. The Committee 
know that in time of war all supplies going to the enemy are 
divided under three headings : ' Contraband/ ' Conditional 
Contraband/ and the ' Free List/ There is not much 
argument with regard to contraband, but there is a great 
deal of argument with regard to conditional contraband. If 
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty should be 
able in his reply to answer one or two points it will relieve 
the whole of our minds with regard to several matters. As I 
understand the matter of conditional contraband, food is 
free unless it is understood and believed that the final place 
of deposition where it is agreed to arrive is for the forces 
of a Government against which we are fighting. The ques- 
tion, however, has to a certain extent been settled by the 
German Government openly stating that after a certain date 
they will control all the grain in their country. I want 
to ask 

THE CHAIRMAN : I am afraid that this is not the occasion 
on which to raise the subject with which the hon. gentleman 
is dealing. It is a matter for the Foreign Office, or for the 
Prime Minister. The Admiralty, as I understand, only 
carry out the orders of the Government with regard to 
definitions of contraband, and the Parliamentary Secretary 
to the Admiralty, I take it, would have no authority to 
answer questions of the character raised by the hon. member. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I can only take instructions. 

MR. BIGLAND : The Foreign Office in a matter of this 
kind may be the authority, or have the final voice, in regard 
to some questions that I would wish to put, and I desire it 
to be understood that I make no protest against the Navy 
for having allowed so much to go through our lines in the 
way that has been permitted hitherto. I would observe that 
whereas our Navy has allowed certain vessels to pass through 

34* 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

its lines with charter parties and bills of lading, permitting 
the cargoes to go to certain ports, it does not seem to me, 
speaking as an Englishman, that the duty of a neutral party 
or a neutral country has been followed when those goods 
have gone from that neutral country into the enemy's country. 
I shall not under the ruling be allowed to carry that point 
further, as I had intended, but I should like to make a state- 
ment to the right hon. gentleman, and to put two questions 
which call for considerable comment. One has reference to 
the steamer Kym, the vessel which the Liverpool Chamber 
of Commerce took cognisance of, and I believe sent word to 
the Admiralty that, in their view, if that vessel was allowed 
to pass it would be a breach of neutrality on the part of the 
Danish Government. The Admiralty had orders to stop 
that cargo, and I understand that it is now warehoused in 
Newcastle-on-Tyne. It would be interesting to know why 
the Admiralty, having stopped that one particular cargo, 
did not continue the policy or action which they took in 
reference to this vessel, and extend it to other steamers 
carrying similar cargoes. A statement was made to the 
country by the Foreign Secretary with regard to the quantity 
of food which the Admiralty allowed to pass through the 
lines, and in reference to Denmark the figures were extra- 
ordinary. In the month of November, 1913, the value of 
the goods allowed to pass through was 558,000 dollars, 
whereas in last November the quantity of goods passing 
through from America alone to Denmark was 7,101,000 
dollars. 

THE CHAIRMAN : I must again point out to the hon. 
member that the Admiralty have no responsibility in this 
matter, except to carry out instructions, and the responsi- 
bility in regard to the position lies with the Government as 
a whole, in these matters mainly represented by the Foreign 
Office. It is on the Vote of the Foreign Office that the hon. 
member should raise his various points. 

MR. BIGLAND : In regard to the points I desire to raise, 

L quite see that they are mixed up with matters pertaining 

to the Foreign Office as well as the Admiralty, and perhaps 

t will be better that I should defer what I have to say until 

the Foreign Office Vote is before the Committee. 

MR. HOUSTON : I trust the House will forgive me if in 
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my remarks with reference to the speech of the First Lord 
of the Admiralty, yesterday, I call attention to one or two 
mistakes which he made, and endeavour to remove one or 
two impressions which I fear the right hon. gentleman has 
unintentionally caused. I do not rise to criticise, and, 
including the First Lord of the Admiralty, I do not yield to 
any one in my admiration of the fighting men in our ships, 
proved to be inspired and animated by the spirit of Drake 
and Nelson, and to be as capable of making heroic sacrifices 
and performing heroic deeds as their forefathers did in the 
spacious days of Elizabeth, when the foundations of our 
Empire and supremacy of the sea were laid. The First Lord 
of the Admiralty, quite unintentionally I am sure, conveyed 
a wrong impression with regard to shipowners when he said : 
' At the beginning of this war shipowners were only too glad 
to get their ships taken by the Government, owing to the 
uncertainty of the naval situation, and the possibility that 
ordinary cargoes would not be forthcoming. But now a 
change has taken place. . . . The Admiralty rates are half 
or a third below the market rates/ My only reason for 
referring to this is that there has recently been a campaign 
directed against shipowners, who have been accused of 
unpatriotic and greedy action, and of thinking of nothing 
but gain. The facts are that at the beginning of the war no 
steamers were chartered by the Admiralty on behalf of the 
Government but were requisitioned, very often causing great 
inconvenience to the shipowners. Again and again a ship 
on a point of sailing had its cargo turned out, and it remained 
there a considerable time. 

DR. MACNAMARA : The war. 

MR. HOUSTON : I am finding no fault, I am speaking 
with no hostile feeling, I am directing no hostile criticism 
towards the Government, and my only reason for rising now 
is to defend the shipowners from the charges which are 
made. The shipowners have very few spokesmen in this 
House, and the few who are here, if I may say so, are workers 
rather than talkers, and are prepared, as a rule, to treat 
with silent scorn the attacks made upon them rather than 
to defend themselves. But in this particular case the words 
spoken by the First Lord of the Admiralty bear very great 
weight and might convey a very wrong impression to the 

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British public. The right hon. gentleman is quite aware 
that by instructions from the Admiralty, and in combination 
with the principal shipowners of the country, mostly liners, 
that the Admiralty Transport Arbitration Board was formed, 
with Lord Mersey as chairman. In September the freights 
were abnormally low, due to the dislocation of business 
throughout the world financial difficulties, and difficulties 
of exchange. Freights being very low, the Board agreed to 
a certain rate for various ships, and the Admiralty at that 
time did not accept it. It was a very moderate rate indeed, 
based on these very low rates. In December the rates were 
booming. The British shipowners, as represented by this 
Board, did not, I believe, in any individual case ask for a 
single rise, and I think the right hon. gentleman will confirm' 
me that they accepted the rate, which was agreed as being 
a reasonable rate, on the 22nd September. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Some of them generally. 
MR. HOUSTON : I am defending the British shipowner 
accused of unpatriotism and of greed, and, as I have said, 
the shipowners, the owners of liners, were subjected to the 
very greatest inconvenience and to some considerable loss. 
The First Lord of the Admiralty stated, and stated correctly, 
that the rate of hire which many shipowners are receiving at 
the present moment is half to a third below the market rate, 
and yet those very shipowners, to carry out their obligations 
and their contracts, are saddled with the chartering of tramp 
tonnage at market rates, in some cases many shillings above 
what they are receiving from the Admiralty. They are not 
complaining, but I do submit that the British shipowners 
ought not to be considered unpatriotic. The First Lord of 
the Admiralty also made a very grave error which will, of 
course, be used as an argument by the critics and opponents 
of the shipowners. He says the losses cannot, of course, be 
covered by recourse on the part of the shipowners to the 
Government's insurance scheme, the rates of which are now 
one-fifth of what they were at the outbreak of war. We all 
admit that the First Lord of the Admiralty is a genius and 
a brilliant genius, but he suffers from a defect which is common 
to geniuses, and that is not giving sufficient attention to 
details. The rates are not one-fifth on ships, but they are 
now three-fifths on ships, and within the last day or two 
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the underwriters outside of the Government insurance scheme 
to whom shipowners have to go in many cases, are now 
charging very high rates. The rates have gone up very 
considerably, and I dare say the right hon gentleman will 
find out if he takes the trouble to inquire. At the beginning 
of the war on hulls the flat rate for one voyage was 255. per 
cent, or one and a quarter, and 5os. for the round voyage of 
not more than three months, which worked out at 10 for 
the year. Those rates are now 155. for one voyage and 305. 
for the round voyage not exceeding three months. What 
the First Lord of the Admiralty was referring to was probably 
the rate of insurance on cargo, which was 5 at the beginning 
of the war and is now i per cent. That, however, has 
nothing to do with the shipowner. 

It has been stated that the shipowner is now getting his 
insurance for one-fifth what it was at the outbreak of war, 
and, as I have pointed out, that is entirely inaccurate, and 
he is now paying three-fifths of what he was paying at the 
beginning of the war. At the beginning of the war by the 
Government insurance scheme, the Government under- 
writing 80 per cent., the value of any one ship was limited 
to 75,000. The owner could not insure any ship for more, 
though it might have cost him 150,000 or 300,000. Several 
ships at the outbreak of war, upon which this limit of 75,000 
was placed by the Government scheme, were sunk by enemy 
cruisers, the owners losing all the difference between the 
75,000 and the actual value of the ship. I do not even 
propose to criticise the Transport Department of the Ad- 
miralty or the gentleman who is described as one of the 
discoveries of the war. All I have to say about it is this, 
and I challenge the right hon. gentleman to contradict me, 
that a small Department of the kind with the few individuals 
who are now in it, and remember I have the greatest regard 
and respect for them, and they have done wonders, would 
find it absolutely impossible to attempt to do anything in 
the control or management of shipping without the active 
co-operation of shipowners in this country. 

DR. MACNAMARA : We said so. 

MR. HOUSTON : I think the First Lord yesterday, in 
belauding his own Department, rather damned the ship- 
owner with faint praise. Afterwards he attempted to apply 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FEB. 

some salve to their wounded feelings by a few compliments. 
I do not want to weary the House by quoting extracts from 
the right hon. gentleman's speech, but I say again that the 
Transport Department of the Admiralty would be absolutely 
helpless without the co-operation, the active co-operation, of 
the shipowners and of the officers and men of the mercantile 
marine. In that connection the Admiralty are receiving, 
and rightly so, the heartiest co-operation and assistance from 
every one, so far as I know, connected with the ships that 
have been taken for transport service. The right hon. 
gentleman, I think, wiU agree that the shipowners are divided 
into two classes the liner class and the ' tramp ' class. It 
is the liner class which has suffered the greatest inconvenience 
and loss by the dislocation of trade. In many cases the 
liner owner's business has been reduced to a state of chaos, 
and he has a heavy list of contracts which he has to carry 
out. The conditions are not so with the ' tramp ' owner, 
whose ships have been taken by the Admiralty. I do not 
agree altogether with the instance put forward by my right 
hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition. I think it was 
rather a weak case, because the collier attending on the 
Fleet must be in attendance at all times. The conditions 
are entirely different with the Expeditionary Force ships and 
the armed merchantmen and the transport ships which have 
been carrying troops, material, etc. The First Lord yester- 
day spoke in unqualified terms of praise, and rightly so, of 
the transport of troops from all directions from New Zealand, 
from Australia and Canada, aye, and across the Channel, 
where I think the greatest feat of all was performed. What 
would the Admiralty have done, or the Navy have done, 
in that transport work without the merchant ships ? We 
all have the greatest admiration for the Navy, and the ships 
carrying troops, material, provender, and all supplies were, 
we all admit, safeguarded by the Navy, were it not for which 
this country would not be in existence at the present time as 
a free and independent nation. If it were not for the Navy 
our Empire as such would cease to exist ; but the Navy 
would be helpless without the co-operation of what I may 
describe as the Cinderella sister service, the mercantile service. 
I speak not only for the shipowners, but also for the 
officers and men of the mercantile marine. I hope that at 
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the end of the war, or perhaps long before it, when the right 
hon. gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary and the First 
Lord are at liberty to speak, that the deeds of the heroic 
seamen will be related. I could relate many of them at 
present, some of the details of the merchant seamen and 
the men of the Royal Naval Reserve who have been put in 
command of cross-Channel steamers as patrol boats, and who 
have done good service amongst the German submarines. 
I trust that the right hon. gentleman will shortly be able to 
tell the world at large that, in addition to our Navy, for 
which we have the greatest regard and esteem, the mercantile 
marine has also done good and heroic service. I do not 
for one moment wish to criticise any Department of the 
Admiralty. The First Lord of the Admiralty was entitled, 
and in fact it was his duty, to defend the Admiralty against 
any attack. But, in defending the Navy from attacks, which 
I do not know were altogether well directed, I think he 
might not have disparaged the British shipowner as he did, 
especially with such remarks conveying to the world at large 
that the British shipowner is thinking more of profit than of 
patriotism. I am quite sure that the First Lord, when he 
comes to read his own speech, will see the impression he 
might convey, and it was because of that I have ventured 
to address the House. 

MR. BUTCHER : I desire to call attention to a question 
which has figured very largely in the public eye, and that is 
the question of the loss or destruction of His Majesty's ships 
and the necessity of holding courts-martial into the causes. 
This question was raised by my noble friend the member for 
Portsmouth (Lord C. Beresford) last night, and so far there 
has been no reply on the part of His Majesty's Government. 
I regret that the First Lord is not here, because I think it is 
a question which would really merit his attention. I trust 
we shall have an adequate reply to-day upon a subject which 
is exciting great attention in the public mind. The first point 
to notice in this connection is that there has been for the 
last two or three hundred years or more an invariable custom 
in His Majesty's Navy that whenever one of the ships of 
the Navy was lost or destroyed or captured, that there 
should be an inquiry into that by court-martial. But, more 
than that, that custom has been recognised in repeated Acts 

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of Parliament for the last two hundred years. Let me quote 
to the House an extract from a book of considerable authority 
upon Naval Law. It is the Manual of Navy Law and Court- 
martial Procedure, by Messrs. Stevens, Giffard and ^ Smith, 
published in 1912. On page 156 you will find this : ' As far 
back as the Navy has existed it has been the custom in every 
case to hold a court-martial when a vessel was lost or cap- 
tured.' That custom was not confined to peace. It is a 
custom which has prevailed in war time as well as in peace. 
I said that the custom was recognised in Acts of Parliament. 
' By the Act of 1745 (18 Geo. II., c. 35) it was enacted that 
when a ship was lost the Articles of War should remain in 
force until either (i) the crew were regularly discharged ; 
(2) were transferred to another ship ; or (3) a court-martial 
was held " pursuant to the custom of the Navy in such cases 
to inquire into the causes of the loss of such ship/ 1 

Similar expressions referring to the existence of this 
custom were found in Acts of Parliament relating to naval 
discipline in 1747, 1860, 1864, and 1866. The Act of 1866 
(the present Navy Discipline Act), Section 91, enacts : 
1 When any one of Her Majesty's ships shall be wrecked or 
lost, or destroyed or taken by the enemy, such ship shall for 
the purposes of this Act be deemed to remain in commission 
until her crew shall be regularly removed into some other of 
Her Majesty's ships of war, or until a court-martial shall 
have been held " pursuant to the custom of the Navy in 
such cases to inquire into the cause of the wreck, destruction, 
or capture of the said ship." 

So that I do not think any one can dispute that that 
was the invariable custom, and has been ever since our Navy 
has been in existence. If that be so we ask why should that 
custom be broken. It never has been broken until the last 
two or three years. It was first broken by His Majesty's 
present Government, and indeed the First Lord, speaking 
last night, seemed to feel himself under some embarrassment, 
and not unnaturally, because while admitting the existence 
of the custom he endeavoured to excuse the holding of an 
inquiry into the loss of such a ship as the Formidable, which 
resulted in most lamentable loss of life, by saying that he 
refused to hold an inquiry because, as he stated amongst 
other things, the circumstances of modern warfare are different 
348 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

from the conditions of ancient warfare. Why, have not the 
conditions of warfare been changing almost every year or 
every few years for the last three or four hundred years ? 
Let me ask the right hon. gentleman, have not the circum- 
stances of warfare changed very materially since His Majesty's 
Navy was established ? Were they not changed by the 
introduction of steam and the introduction of ironclads ? 
Yet until the other day no one ever suggested that these 
changes in the character of naval warfare were a sufficient 
reason for departing from the invariable custom of the 
Admiralty of holding courts-martial. The First Lord gave 
another reason why a court-martial could not be held in a 
case such as that of the Formidable. He said : ' Losses by 
mine and submarine must frequently be placed on the same 
footing as heavy casualties on land. They cannot be treated 
as presumably involving a dereliction of duty, or a lack of 
professional ability/ The suggestion was that unless there 
was some dereliction of duty or a lack of professional ability 
we should not hold a court-martial. That reason will not 
hold water for one moment, because if the right hon. gentle- 
man had taken the trouble to read the Admiralty instructions 
in this connection he would have seen that Article 662a 
expressly contemplates the very case where a ship is lost 
and no one can be said either to have been lacking in pro- 
fessional ability or to have been guilty of a dereliction of 
duty. In such a case the Admiralty instructions say that 
there must be a preliminary inquiry to find out whether 
any one was or was not to blame. If no one was to blame 
a court-martial is to be held in one way ; while if some one 
was prima facie to blame a court-martial is to be held in 
another way. So the fact that no one may be held liable 
to blame is no reason whatsoever for not holding a court- 
martial. But I do not wish to deal with the matter merely 
as a question of law and custom. I say that, even if there 
were no unbroken custom on the subject, in a case such as 
that of the Formidable it would be the absolute duty of the 
Admiralty to hold a court-martial. There are several reasons 
why I say that. In the first place it is unfortunately not 
the first case of the loss of one of His Majesty's ships under 
circumstances very similar to those which attended the loss 
of the Formidable. What we in this House, and what the 

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public desire, is that the causes of losses of that sort should 
be inquired into, and, if they are avoidable, that they should 
be avoided in future. From that point of view a court- 
martial is absolutely essential. 

It is alleged that in the case of the Formidable there were 
two contributory causes, if they were not the only causes of 
the loss. It is said, in the first place, that there were no 
torpedo-boat destroyers accompanying this squadron of 
cruisers going down the Channel, although it was in a sea 
known to be infested by submarines. Another special 
circumstance alleged in this case is that the squadron was 
going at a very slow rate of speed. If a court-martial were 
held, we should know whether those two causes existed, and, 
if so, who was responsible. We should also be able to take 
care that such causes did not lead to disasters in the future. 
There is yet another reason why I think a court-martial 
should be held in such cases. It would in a large measure 
restore the confidence of the public. When disaster occurs, 
it is not publicity that shakes the public confidence ; it is 
concealment. I believe that the people of this country are 
able to bear the news of disaster, but it is difficult for them 
to bear its concealment. It is in the interests of the public, 
who are interested in the successful prosecution of this war, 
that these cases should be inquired into. It is certainly iri 
the interests of the officers and men of the Fleet. They are 
entitled to know what has led to these disasters. They are 
still more entitled to have steps taken by those responsible 
at the Admiralty, so that any avoidable causes of disaster 
may be avoided with the utmost care in the future. 

There is yet one other reason that I may give. It is only 
just that we should relieve of all blame men who have not 
deserved blame, but unless an inquiry is held it is difficult 
for the public to know where to apportion the blame and 
whom they ought to relieve from blame. If these inquiries 
are held we should be able to relieve those who ought to be 
relieved from blame, and, if any one was to blame, we should 
know on whose shoulders the blame ought properly to fall 
It may be said that if courts-martial were held it might be 
necessary to take evidence which it would be detrimental in 
the public interest to have made public. As regards the 
procedure of courts-martial, there is ample provision made 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

for avoiding any such danger. The court has full power, if 
evidence is about to be given which it is not desirable to make 
public, to cause that evidence to be taken in private, so that 
the persons to whom it might be dangerous to communicate 
it shall not be informed of it. Furthermore, at a time like 
the present, the Press Censor has considerable power, and if 
there were anything in the course of a court-martial which 
it might not be desirable to communicate to the public, the 
Press Censor has ample power to prevent its publication. 
Therefore, I say that, notwithstanding the reasons against 
the holding of courts-martial given by the First Lord last 
night, there is a strong public desire and a strong public 
necessity for the holding of courts-martial into such disasters 
as those to which I have referred, in order to ensure, so far as 
it is possible, that such disasters may be avoided in the future. 
LORD ROBERT CECIL : I had rather hoped that the 
Attorney-General would have replied before I spoke, as I 
should have liked to have heard his statement. I feel that 
this is a matter of very great importance. I am not at all 
criticising the absence of the First Lord. I know how 
tremendous the claims on his time are, and I recognise that 
it may be quite impossible for him to be here. But it is one 
of the misfortunes of the time that he should not be here to 
deal with what is really, in my judgment, far more a question 
of naval policy than a question of law. I am not going to 
say a single word on the law on the subject. I do not think 
it matters twopence whether or not technically, on a fair 
reading of the Statutes, the Admiralty should have held 
these courts-martial. I do not think that any Statute could 
compel the Crown because, after all, when we speak of the 
Admiralty it means the Crown to summon a court-martial. 
Whether they have broken the letter of the Statute or not, 
does not seem to me to make a great deal of difference to the 
issue we are now considering. The First Lord, in dealing 
with the matter yesterday, put forward several arguments, 
some of which have been dealt with by my hon. and learned 
friend, and about which I need not say much. I need not 
deal with the proposition that there would be a difficulty 
in securing the personnel for a court-martial or for the 
three or four courts-martial which would be all that could 
possibly be summoned in this war without interfering with 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the operations of the Fleet. I cannot think that that is really 
a serious difficulty at the present time. There are several 
officers who could be assembled for such a purpose without 
interfering with the duties of the Fleet. A more serious 
argument was that if you had a court-martial on every naval 
disaster you would interfere with the moral of the officers, 
because they would say, ' If we lose our ships we shall be 
court-martialled,' and that would make them, to use the 
First Lord's words, 'play for safety/ With the greatest 
possible respect to his knowledge on the subject, I cannot 
bring myself to accept that view. After all, the practice of 
the Navy was always to hold a court-martial on an officer 
who lost or hazarded his ship. That was the practice in the 
time of Nelson, but I do not think there was any lack in the 
moral of the Navy at that time. 

Just consider, if you really press such an argument as 
that : a court-martial was held in the course of this war 
upon the action, or the want of action, that resulted in the 
escape of the Goeben and the Breslau. The officer applied 
for a court-martial, and he was honourably acquitted. If 
any charge was suggested by the court-martial, it was one 
of want of vigilance or of want of vigour. Might we not just 
as well argue that if you hold a court-martial into such a 
case you will encourage rashness in the officers of the Navy ? 
I am bound to say that it appears to me that our naval 
officers are much more likely to suffer from rashness than 
from cowardice. If you are to have any such consideration 
in mind, which I myself deprecate, I should have thought 
that it told equally against a court-martial in such a case as 
that as it would against a court-martial dealing with a disaster. 
I, personally, altogether disregard that consideration. I do 
not think it would have the slightest weight with an officer 
in command of a ship or an admiral in command of a squadron 
if he knew that some action of his might or might not lead 
to a court-martial. There is something far graver, something 
far more insistent, than any idea of that kind could possibly 
effect. The officer would do his duty as he understood it, 
whatever the consequences were likely to be in regard to a 
court-martial at the conclusion of the action. 

Let me state what appears to me to be the great advan- 
tages arising from a court-martial. In the first place, it 
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means an authoritative ascertainment of the facts accom- 
panying a disaster. That seems to me a matter of very great 
importance. If we are ever to learn by misfortunes we must 
know exactly what happens. The second thing is perhaps 
even more important. I think it is vital that we should 
take steps to dissipate any misconceptions that may possibly 
arise in reference to a disaster. I do not pretend to be a 
judge, as my noble friend (Lord C. Beresford), of course, is, 
as to the circumstances of any particular event in the naval 
warfare of the last few months. We heard from him yester- 
day the view which he takes of the disaster of the Formidable. 
It may be right or it may be entirely wrong. It is his 
opinion. But it is freely stated ; I did not hear it yesterday 
for the first time. With reference to other disasters which 
have taken place, every member of the House knows that 
there has been considerable criticism passed, not on particular 
individuals, but on the general conduct or general theory 
which underlies the circumstances that produced the disasters. 
Either that is true, and in that case it is very important that 
we should know it, or it is untrue, and then it is at least of 
equal importance that it should be authoritatively dis- 
proved. My noble friend told us yesterday that the disaster 
to the Formidable was produced by the fact that she was 
going at too slow a rate, and did not have sufficient protection 
from destroyers and smaller craft. Is that a fact ? I do 
not know at all. How am I to know ? But is it not very 
important that we should know of this important naval 
proceeding ? It may be said, ' Oh, but the Admiralty know/ 
While I quite agree that it is of far more importance that the 
Admiralty should know than that the public should know, 
after all we do still live in a popularly governed country, 
and it is important that the people, too, should know this 
matter. I cannot help feeling that if it is true it should be 
known. I am quite certain that if it is not true it should 
be immediately disproved, for the thing is producing a very 
unfortunate impression. If it is true, somebody I do not 
in the least know who is clearly to blame. I am quite sure 
that Ministers themselves will recognise how very unfor- 
tunate it is that any such impression should go abroad that 
somebody is to blame for a very serious disaster, and that 
nothing has happened in consequence of it. 
NAVAL 3 z 353 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

I then turn to a matter which is of equal importance, 
and really it is a corollary of what I have tried to say. I 
think it is vital that the officers concerned, if they are not 
guilty, and are really merely victims of an inevitable accident 
which, knowing nothing about it, I think the most probable 
fact it is clearly important that that should be made clear 
before their fellow countrymen. They ought to have the 
opportunity publicly of being exculpated altogether from 
any possible charge. Lastly, I personally attach great 
importance to complying with the established custom and 
practice. May I try, merely as an outsider, to state what I 
understand to have been done ? I shall be very glad to be 
contradicted if I am wrong, but I understand it to have 
been the established custom and practice of the Navy down 
to at least the year 1906 that whenever a ship was either 
lost, or, I think they went so far as to say, hazarded 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Hazarded. 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : If the captain hazarded his ship 
then there was a court-martial as a matter of course. It 
was not a question of any charge against him. A court- 
martial was held if he lost or hazarded his ship. I think 
that is a very valuable thing. The right hon. gentleman 
seemed to say that new conditions had come into warfare, 
and that it was not the same thing that it used to be where 
me loss of a ship implied the surrender of a ship, and he 
suggested to the House that the foundation of the practice 
in regard to courts-martial was that there was necessarily 
a prima facie case against the officer. There was a fact to 
be cleared up, and that was the cause of the court-martial. 
Is that right ? I cannot think it. I am informed, and I 
believe it to be a fact, that if the ship was lost by shipwreck 
there was a court-martial, and obviously there was no prima 
facie case against the commander of that ship. I venture to 
assert that it is of the greatest possible value that such a 
practice should exist. There is another observation which 
I should like to make, and which I hope very much will not 
be misunderstood. There is a complete difference in this 
respect in the practice between the Army and the Navy. 
If I understand the matter aright, you cannot have a court- 
martial in the Army unless you are going to make a charge 
against an officer. You cannot have a court-martial merely 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

into an incident. That may be perfectly right in principle. 
But we all remember, not in this war, but in the Boer War, 
certain incidents which took place, and we all, or most of us 
at any rate, thought that it would have been very desirable 
if it had been possible, without throwing a slur on anybody, 
to have had a public inquiry into some of these cases. I 
think it is of enormous value that you have in the sister 
Service the fact that it is the custom when a disaster occurs 
automatically to have the inquiry. There is no suggestion 
against anybody. You had, I say, this inquiry until this 
Government unhappily changed the practice. You had an 
automatic inquiry to sift the facts and set at rest once for all 
doubts which might arise an inquiry which would acquit 
the officers or condemn them, and would throw the blame, 
if there was any blame, where it ought to lie, and, if there 
was no blame, would exculpate. That is enormously valuable 
in practice. I trust, though the First Lord is not here, 
some one will make it his business to convey what some of 
us have tried to say in this House. We do very earnestly 
press this matter. We wish no attack upon the Govern- 
ment or anything of that kind ; it is merely because we 
really do believe that in the interests of the conduct of the 
naval part of the war it is of vital importance that we should 
return to the older practice of allowing courts-martial to be 
held. I am informed that the officers of the Fleet are as 
strong as anybody in their desire for such a return to the 
old practice. I am sure that the man in the street, who, we 
all know, is interested in these matters, would favour such 
a return, and I, therefore, do very earnestly beg that the 
Government would very seriously consider whether they 
cannot alter their policy and practice in this respect. 

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (SiR JOHN SIMON) : Under the 
circumstances there is no reason to complain of the temper 
in which criticism has been put forward by the hon. and 
learned gentleman on this point, and by the noble Lord who 
has just followed him. I make no complaint at all about 
it ; but I have one or two observations to make to the Com- 
mittee, and I want hon. members, when I take or suggest 
a different view, to understand that there is no sort of resent- 
ment at this question being raised and pressed in the very 
fair way in which it has been put before the Committee. It 

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must have struck anybody who has listened to the two 
speeches that, though they- resemble each other in being 
powerful speeches, they dealt with two quite different matters. 
The hon. and learned gentleman who first spoke alleged, and 
sought to prove, that there has been something illegal done 
and something contrary to the Statutes which he quoted. 

MR. BUTCHER : May I explain ? I did not suggest there 
is anything illegal in not having a court-martial, but I do 
say it is contrary to the invariable custom, which has been 
reasonable and referred to in Statutes. 

SIR J. SIMON : We will get this out of the way. It is 
agreed there is nothing illegal about it. I do not know 
whether the noble Lord who is next to the hon. and learned 
gentleman will agree, because in the speech that he delivered 
yesterday he asserted in round terms that it is entirely con- 
trary to law. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Entirely contrary to the law as 
we always understood it in the Service. 

SIR J. SIMON : I am not in the least trying to chop straws 
about it, but only noting that obviously there are two points. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Hear, hear. 

SIR J. SIMON : Without any disrespect to my profession, 
they are two different points in order of importance. I do 
not take the view that the legal point is anything like so 
important as the larger question of policy. Having looked 
into the matter, and having had the help of the Judge Advo- 
cate of the Fleet, who has spent a very large proportion of 
his professional life in the administration of this branch of 
the law connected with the Navy, I assert roundly that there 
is nothing whatever contrary to the law in the course which 
has been taken. I am not for the moment making any 
suggestion about policy. There is nothing whatever contrary 
to the law in what was being done. Not only so, but the 
real fact is that the noble Lord has gone very much beyond 
what is quite right and quite fair when he alleges that what 
has now happened is something which has happened owing 
to changed practice, and that it has never occurred until 
this Government unhappily introduced it. That really is 
not so. I will show the Committee in a moment that it 
cannot be so by testimony which we shall all readily accept. 
What is the allegation? The allegation is, I think, that 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

this new practice has been instituted in the lifetime of this 
Government, and that before, as a matter of course, all 
questions and disputes in regard to any ship which was lost 
or hazarded were subject to a court-martial. The noble Lord 
yesterday gave us one of his reminiscences which we always 
hear with so much pleasure. He told us that in his own 
experience, on a certain occasion, through no fault of his 
own, the ship for which he was responsible was hazarded, and 
that the Admiral, knowing the circumstances, did not want 
a court-martial. The noble Lord pressed with his well- 
known vigour that there should be one, and ultimately he 
got one. Is not that incident in itself quite sufficient to 
show that it is not true to say that up to the time of this 
Government, always and as a matter of course, without 
question and without request, a court-martial was held when 
every ship was hazarded ? It was not so. 

LORD ROBERT CECIL : I am very anxious that this thing 
should be stated accurately. Does that apply to a ship that 
was lost ? 

SIR J. SIMON : I am going to deal with that. The Com- 
mittee will understand that I am not saying this thing out 
of any knowledge I possess, but after having made special 
inquiry. It may very well be that what I am saying has 
got to be most carefully examined before it is accepted as 
precisely right. At any rate I have done my best, and what 
I thought it right to do. After the question was raised 
yesterday I thought it right to communicate with the Judge 
Advocate of the Fleet who, I happen to know, has made a 
most careful historical investigation into this question, and 
what I am saying I am saying as a result of the inquiry 
which he has been good enough to give me the advantage of. 
Let me say this at once, quite fully and fairly. I believe 
it to be substantially true to say from the records and it is 
certainly the impression in Parliament that it has been the 
general custom, subject to exceptions, in the past for courts- 
martial to be held when a ship was lost or hazarded. I hope 
nothing I am saying will be thought to be an attempt to 
contradict that clear proposition. Really, however, if that 
is treated as a custom which had no exceptions it is going 
much too far. In the eighteenth century, so far as records 
are available, there were certainly cases when no courts- 

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martial were held. The occasions on which exceptions 
obtained from the general custom increased in the nineteenth 
century. I have had only to-day some figures which illus- 
trate that point. There was a Report made to this House 
some years ago of all the ships of Her Majesty's Navy which 
had been lost otherwise than in action with the enemy over 
a long series of years. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Some of those ships had no sur- 
vivors. 

SIR J. SIMON : I assure the noble Lord if he will wait a 
moment he will see that point has not been forgotten. There 
were cases in which there was no court-martial. In the 
course of twenty-five years in the earlier part of the nineteenth 
century there were no less than twenty-one cases in which, 
so far as any record goes to show, there was no court-martial. 
Perhaps there was no survivor to be examined. Out of 
these twenty-one cases there were six ships which disappeared 
and were no more heard of. There were no survivors and 
nobody to put before a court-martial ; but there is not the 
slightest reason in thinking that was so with regard to the 
others. The fact, therefore, appears to be, though the 
exceptions have not been numerous certainly I shall not 
claim the exceptions as anything more than exceptions the 
rule has been and I think the Committee may take it that 
it is fairly right that there really have been over a very 
long period of time exceptions, and just as undoubtedly, it is 
not, and I believe never has been Statute law that there must 
be a court-martial, so the limited number of exceptions are 
quite exceptional as compared with the large proportion of 
courts-martial. I quite agree that courts-martial have, in 
fact, not taken place. Let me give the Committee as clearly 
as I can always being subject gladly to correction from the 
noble Lord from his practical knowledge if I make a mistake 
what I believe to be the methods which may be followed, 
because it is important to distinguish them. That Section 
which the hon. and learned member for York (Mr. Butcher) 
quoted, Section 91, is not intended to be used, and cannot 
be used, except' in cases where it is thought desirable to 
have a court-martial, but where at the same time the naval 
authorities are satisfied that there is no blame attaching to 
any survivor. If they think there is blame attaching to a 
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surviving officer or somebody subject to naval discipline, and 
if they decide on a court-martial, then the King's Regulations 
lay it down that they must not have that court-martial 
under that Section at all, but they have to make a charge 
under some other Section in the Act of Parliament. That 
is not only good and sensible law, but good and obvious 
common sense. If you want to have a court-martial, but 
your inquiries go to show that no one is to blame, then 
proceed under Section 91. In that case you do not level a 
charge against any one's head, and I think it is possible then, 
so to say, to have all the surviving members, officers and 
crew, before the Court at the same time. But if the inquiries 
that the authorities make go to show there is a reason for 
making an accusation be it cowardice, be it treachery, or 
unwillingness to fight against the responsible officer, or 
some other officer, then they must make that accusation, and 
that individual is court-martialled under another Section of 
the Act of Parliament. There are, therefore, two procedures, 
and you cannot use either of them whenever you please. 
Each is regarded as appropriate for a particular class of case. 
I hope the Committee will think it worth while having that 
pointed out, because it is easy to get into confusion about 
these things, unless one looks very closely into them or is 
familiar with them. Be that as it may, the history of the 
matter goes to show that, as time has gone on, in an increased 
degree there have been exceptions allowed to this general 
practice, and there has been no court-martial where it has 
been thought unnecessary to have one, either under the one 
head or under the other. 

Consequently, in the end, we come down to a matter of 
policy. It is sometimes thought in this House that the 
qualification if it be a qualification of being a lawyer is 
a necessary disqualification for making any observation on 
any matter of policy, and certainly I do not claim any par- 
ticular authority to offer an opinion about the matter. But 
I will point out one or two considerations that occur to me, 
and may occur to any member of this House, for what they 
may be worth. In the first place, surely it does not neces- 
sarily follow that that which may be a very proper and 
almost automatic practice in times of peace, when, at any 
rate, there is no special pressure upon the Service for imme- 

359 



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diate fighting purposes, . that that practice, which has been 
automatic and almost invariable, is to be followed in precisely 
the same way in times of war. If that practice is departed 
from in order to conceal something which ought to be known, 
then it is wrong to depart from it. But if the reason for 
departing from it genuinely is that, in the opinion of those 
who have the best means of judging, there are good public 
reasons, good national reasons, for making an exception, or, 
at any rate, having a postponement, then I submit to the 
Committee it is not really a good criticism of such a position 
to say, ' Ah, but the tradition over long periods of peace, 
the recollection of the noble Lord and others, is all to the 
effect that there ought to be an immediate court-martial/ 
In looking through such papers as I have been able to lay 
hands on to-day, even in the time of Nelson there was a 
case of a court-martial as to a ship which had come to grief, 
I think in 1809, not taking place until 1814, and I can under- 
stand the criticism, if it were urged, that if you have good 
reasons for not holding a court-martial now, ought you not, 
at any rate, to keep your hands free to hold a public inquiry 
if you finally so decide ? 

Then there comes the second consideration. I am not 
sufficiently expert to offer an opinion of my own which is 
worth anything on such a point. But it is obvious to every 
one of us, though we may be children in all matters of naval 
strategy and naval development, that the situation that 
arises to-day, when one of His Majesty's ships unfortunately 
comes to grief through a mine or a torpedo, does differ in 
obvious and very material respects from any disaster such 
as happened at the time of the Napoleonic wars. In old 
days, when a ship was lost in the course of a war, the strong 
probability was that she was lost after having been engaged 
with the enemy, by striking her flag, giving up the fight, 
running away, or getting driven on shore, things which 
involve, after all, a series of actions and decisions in the face 
of the enemy at a time when the responsible officer had a 
duty to fight the enemy to the end. The case of the sinking 
of a modern man-of-war by a mine or a torpedo is different. 
I do not say that is a reason in itself why there should never 
be an inquiry, but I press it upon the Committee not as 

experts, of course, but as sensible citizens the conditions 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

are so far different that if people who are expert say those 
differences ought to vary the practice now, are we in the 
House of Commons prepared to say that the differences are 
quite unimportant and irrelevant ? There is one other 
question. 

Modern warfare proceeds at such a rate and involves such 
sudden events, the report of which reverberates through the 
world, that in the interests of efficiency itself although, no 
doubt, that word is often abused and taken merely as a 
means of protecting oneself from inconvenient positions 
may it not well be that that which could be very conveniently 
and automatically done in the old days is a very much more 
difficult thing to do in this present case ? I am told and 
I can only take the information of those who have very 
great reason to know and speak with authority that in the 
case of the Formidable, if a court-martial had been immedi- 
ately decided upon, it would necessarily have involved a 
substantial interference for the time being with those in the 
Navy who were urgently needed to carry out their duties 
from day to day and hour to hour. And, therefore, from 
the point of view of the ordinary man who does not claim to 
be an expert, is it not clear to all of us that there are great 
differences in fact between modern conditions and old con- 
ditions ? And, if so, are we really prepared to say that the 
expert judgment formed at the Board of Admiralty as to 
the expediency of a particular court-martial at this time is 
a judgment which ought to be rejected and denounced ? In 
the middle of a struggle like this we have to do that which a 
democratic country always finds it difficult to do we have 
to put a degree of confidence in various branches of the 
Executive, to withhold criticism, and to believe that they 
are acting for the best, which in times of peace is quite 
unnecessary. 

For my part, I am bound in the end to be content with 
this ; that it is not the decision of some particular member 
of the Cabinet, or of the Cabinet as a Cabinet, that there 
should or should not be a court-martial. That is the decision 
of the Board of Admiralty, and I am not prepared to give 
any encouragement to those who say, ' The Board of 
Admiralty contains great sailors, great seamen, and we are 
in the midst of a terrific war, but I still claim that my judg- 

361 



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ment in this matter is much better than theirs, or, at any 
rate, I am at liberty to develop a judgment on this point/ 
I am perfectly conscious that an explanation of this sort is 
always open to the criticism that you should shield yourself 
by quoting the authority of other people, but there is no 
other way in which these matters can be decided in the 
midst of a great war than that persons who are giving their 
devoted attention to them should form a judgment and 
announce it, and that that judgment should be accepted. 
While I make no complaint whatever of the tone and temper 
in which this matter has been raised, I would ask the Com- 
mittee whether the considerations I have pointed out, which 
merely present themselves to my mind as a plain man without 
any expert knowledge, are not those which require the House 
and the country to say that they must accept for the time 
being the decision of the Board of Admiralty in this matter. 
Obviously nothing illegal has been done, obviously there 
have been exceptions from this general practice, and must 
we not wait for happier times before embarking on a contro- 
versy of this sort ? 

MR. BONAR LAW : The right hon. gentleman has actually 
suggested that, though a member of the Cabinet, because he 
was a lawyer it might be considered out of place that he 
should speak upon policy. Why ? They are all lawyers 
they are nearly all lawyers. If you go to the War Council 
which is carrying on this war, I suppose the majority of them 
are lawyers. We have got to make the best of it, and we 
have got to assume that because of, or in spite of, that fact, 
even they are doing the work as well as we can expect it to 
be done. I said yesterday, when I put forward briefly, I 
think, all the arguments I can put forward, that I did not 
wish to be dogmatic about a subject I did not fully under- 
stand. I said at the same time that, as far as I could judge, 
there were no good reasons for the course which has been 
adopted. That was after listening to the reasons given by 
the First Lord. We have now had the advantage of the 
application of his brain to-day of another member of the 
Cabinet, and the fact that he belongs to a profession to 
which I have alluded does not make it probable that he will 
make less use of the arguments there are in favour of the 
course adopted. I ask the House to consider, not general 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

statements, but the weight of the arguments themselves 
which have been adduced. The right hon. gentleman said, 
quite correctly, that there is no legal necessity to hold these 
courts-martial, but we know what the custom is, and I should 
not ask any better statement of that custom than has been 
given by him. That statement is, I think, as admitted by 
him, that it practically has been a universal rule, with few 
exceptions, in times of war as well as in times of peace, when 
a ship was lost from any cause, or surrendered to the enemy, 
that a court-martial should be held. I think that is so far 
as regards the custom. On the face of it I should have 
thought that in this country where democratic institutions 
are now much more established than they were, and where 
the people have got a much larger share in the Government 
of the country, a rule in regard to publicity which was found 
necessary and advantageous in Nelson's days, might be 
considered as more necessary and more advantageous in the 
time in which we are now living. I listened to the arguments 
of the First Lord yesterday, and I have listened to those 
of the Attorney-General, and what do they all come to ? I 
think the arguments of the Attorney-General are far more 
powerful than those of the First Lord. They come to this, 
that people who ought to know, say we are better without 
courts-martial, and therefore we ought to be content with 
that. That is the sum and substance of the case which the 
right hon. gentleman has presented to-day. Within limits I 
am prepared to bow to that view ; but, after all, I should, 
at all events, like some reasons that seem to carry conviction 
to the ordinary mind in favour of the view just held by those 
who are in authority. The right hon. gentleman says we 
must remember that we are at war, and that what is necessary 
in time of peace may not be necessary in time of war. The 
great bulk of the precedents upon which courts-martial were 
held occurred in the time of the Long War. Then they come 
as a matter of course, and none of these disadvantages were 
really found to exist. 

What are the disadvantages which the right hon. gentle- 
man has pointed out ? He says that modern conditions are 
different, and that the mine is quite a different thing from a 
ship surrendering to the enemy. That is quite true ; but 
does the right hon. gentleman suggest that in the later and 

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better precedents we have in time of war of ships that were 
lost by running carelessly aground there would never have 
been a court-martial. Of course there would. Obviously, it 
is just as much in the interests of the Service that a man 
commanding a ship should exercise proper care in navigation 
as it is that the ship should fight properly. In either case 
if the commander does not do this the ship is lost, and the 
country suffers. As I strongly believe and stated yesterday, 
if it be true that proper precautions can do away with or 
diminish the risk of accidents from submarines, this makes 
it really more necessary that a full examination into the 
facts of each loss should be held so that we should find out 
whether proper precautions had been taken, and then the 
people can judge as to whether such precautions were taken. 
What is the other argument ? The First Lord said yesterday 
that if a sailor knows that if he is liable to court-martial he 
will be inclined to play for safety. I thought that was a very 
poor remark, and it is poor for many reasons. In the first 
place he runs the same risk now. Nobody suggests that the 
loss is to be passed over. The view of the right hon. gentle- 
man is, not that it is to be passed over, but that the fate 
of the officer is to be decided not by an open court-martial, 
but by the arbitrary decision of the Admiralty. That is no 
advantage to him. 

But there is another consideration which makes it impos- 
sible that that argument can hold good. No sailor can play 
for safety in that way. They have been court-martialled in 
the past quite as much for what they have not done as for 
what they have done. Take the case of Admiral Byng, 
who I thought was badly treated. He was playing for 
safety, or at least that was the case against him, but it did 
not save him from a court-martial. Then we were told 
yesterday that to make a charge of that kind "seems unfair 
to the officer, but there is nothing in that argument. I 
attach, myself, the greatest possible value to the argument 
used by my noble friend behind me that the custom in the 
Navy of having inquiries by court-martial automatically is a 
tremendous protection to the officers that command our 
ships. My noble friend quoted a case where an officer in 
the Boer War tried to get a court-martial and could not get 
it. The Navy, however, have this advantage, that in these 
364 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

cases the question does go before a court-martial, and if the 
officer is not to blame nothing happened, he is exonerated 
and his honour is protected almost automatically. This, at 
least is certain, and I think it is one of the worst features 
of the new departure of the Government that the practice in 
the Navy will soon correspond to the practice in the Army. 
You are holding courts-martial so seldom that it will become 
obvious that when you do hold them it is because you think 
the man brought before a court-martial has done something 
which makes him prima facie liable to have a court-martial. 
I think that is a great disadvantage, and a serious loss to the 
sailors themselves. 

Let me put another case. Every one knows that in a 
great service like the Navy there is apt to grow up a charge 
of favouritism. We all know that that constantly happens, 
and, if I may be pardoned, I may say that I am in favour of 
favouritism, or what is called favouritism, that is, a passing 
over people who have the natural right to promotion on the 
ground of seniority and selecting those who are better fitted 
for the job, especially in time of war. I consider that one of 
the most difficult tasks that the head of the Army or the 
Navy has is to exercise that power ruthlessly in the interests 
of the nation. It is easy enough if a man is obviously incom- 
petent, but if you have a man who does his work pretty 
well and yet you know somebody else who would do it better, 
I say there is no duty more incumbent on the head of the 
Army or the Navy than to put aside all consideration and 
put the best man there. Just consider for a moment what 
the effect of this policy has on the possibility of unfair treat- 
ment. Obviously the Admiralty mind is not going to over- 
look these disasters or these accidents. It is going to judge 
them itself without any court-martial, and it is going to 
judge whether or not the captain was to blame. 

What will inevitably happen ? Human nature being what 
it is, if the Admiralty without a court-martial thinks some- 
body is not fit for his ship and takes him away from it, 
however much he is to blame, the heads of the Admiralty 
will not make him suffer in the ordinary advancement of his 
profession, and they will very likely give him some other 
job, perhaps more valuable than the one from which they 
take him. What is the effect of that ? By making such an 

365 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

appointment you are giving to a man who does not deserve 
it a post which, when the war is over, ought to have gone 
to one of the men who deserved it by distinguished service. 
How is that to be avoided ? The position in which we are 
all placed brings us back to this : We have got to accept as 
unanswerable the arguments of the right hon. gentleman. 
We cannot press this or any other question to a division, and 
we cannot set ourselves up against the authority which is 
really carrying on this war. All we can do is to put our 
case as strongly as we can, and I wish to say to the right 
hon. gentleman for myself that from the beginning I have 
thought a good deal about this subject. I have discussed it 
with my colleagues, and we all feel I am speaking of my 
colleagues on this side of the House that so far as we can 
judge this is a bad departure, and we would like to see a 
reversion to the older practice. Having said that, we can 
say and do nothing more. 

COLONEL YATE : I wish to ask the Secretary to the 
Admiralty two small questions of policy upon which I hope 
he will be able to give me some information. The first is 
whether the Admiralty are taking any steps whatsoever to 
further the construction of the Firth of Forth and Clyde 
Ship Canal ? At Rosyth, in particular, we have not heard 
of any steps which have been taken to further the completion 
of those works, and I should be glad to hear from the right 
hon. gentleman whether that is a question of policy to be 
taken in hand by the Admiralty and pushed forward. My 
second question is whether the Admiralty will now withdraw 
the objections which they formally held to the vessels of the 
Royal Indian Marine being armed with guns ? This matter 
has been inquired into of late years. We all know the 
magnificent service done by the Indian Navy in the old days. 
Some twenty or twenty-five years ago I was aboard the 
Royal Marine ship Lawrence in the Persian Gulf, and it was 
then armed similarly to His Majesty's ship Sphinx. Subse- 
quently, when I went on board that ship, I was told that 
the Admiralty were so jealous of any other forces having 
guns that they had ordered the removal of the guns from that 
service. The Royal Indian Marine is fully commissioned all 
through, and I would ask now if the Admiralty have with- 
drawn their opposition and have decided to arm these vessels. 
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They do splendid service policing the Persian Gulf, and 1 
trust that these vessels will be armed and that the Royal 
Indian Marine will be recognised as a fighting service. Those 
are the only two questions touching on policy which I hope 
the right hon. gentleman will be able to give us some 
information about. 

MR. RONALD M'NEILL : I wish to ask a question with 
regard to the new rule about prize money. I am not going 
to make any criticism upon the change which the Govern- 
ment have made with regard to prize money, but I do think 
the right hon. gentleman will find, as indeed he himself 
anticipated, that in working out the provision they are now 
going to make for prize money he will be faced by very great 
difficulties. I put a question on this point, which has been 
very courteously answered to the effect that the prize money 
which is to be ' pooled ' to the end of the war is to be awarded 
in proper proportion to the representatives of those who may 
unfortunately lose their lives before the war is over, and 
that they will lose nothing by the death of the sailor during 
the war. I suppose that when the prize money comes to be 
distributed all the latest Naval recruits will also have to 
have their share. If the war lasts longer than we all hope 
it will, there must be a great many young sailors who. perhaps 
will join many months even from the present date and a 
very long time after the outbreak of the war, and they, I 
suppose, will also have to have their share. I suggest to the 
right hon. gentleman that a very difficult point which the 
Admiralty will have to consider is how the proportions are 
to be allotted between these various men and what principle 
is to be adopted, because mere length of service will not be 
a satisfactory test of those who are to obtain the larger or 
the smaller share. You will be faced by the old difficulty 
which has come down to us from the days of Holy Scripture. 
It is the difficulty of distinguishing between those who have 
borne the heat and the burden of the day and those who 
come in at the last moment. We know that in the original 
parable they all received an equal share of the prize money, 
but I think the Admiralty will find, if they adopt that sacred 
example, that they will not be following a very satisfactory 
course in the present instance. The question will surely 
arise, seeing the great numbei of men and representatives of 

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men who will have to have a share of the prize money when 
the war is over, whether it .will go round, and whether the 
amount to be divided will not show that same sort of extra- 
ordinary progress we became accustomed to in connection 
with the land taxation of this country till we come to a 
minus quantity. Will the awards which will go to some of 
our sailors not work out at a minus quantity ? I ask this 
question because I think it is a matter in which the House 
and the country will be deeply interested when the actual 
method of working comes to be disclosed, and I venture to 
express the hope that the Admiralty will find the solution, 
which certainly does not appear on the surface of these 
matters, and that they will be able to give satisfaction to all 
concerned. 

It struck me when listening to the speech of the First Lord 
of the Admiralty yesterday, that there was no part of it 
which was received with greater satisfaction, and no part, I 
believe, which was received with greater satisfaction in the 
country when it was read to-day, than that in which he. 
described the bulwark of public instruments by which our 
enemy has hitherto been protected and which he said would 
now* have to be reconsidered in the light of the conduct 
which our enemy has adopted towards us. It is legitimate 
in that connection, at all events for us on this side of the 
House, to remind the right hon. gentleman that the restric- 
tions, for they are restrictions, upon our freedom of action, 
and therefore upon the efficiency of our sea power in some 
particulars at least, are restrictions against which we for a 
long time past have made a very sturdy protest. We con- 
tended, for example, against the Declaration of London. I 
could not help thinking, when listening to the right hon. 
gentleman yesterday on that point, that even in these days 
and in this great stress of war we may all say, ' Thank God 
we have a House of Lords/ The same line of criticism 
applies although to pursue it at the moment would not be 
prudent to other public instruments by which we are bound. 
The Declarations of Paris and of The Hague Convention have 
all been passed at different times by the influence of the 
military powers in Europe to the detriment of the naval 
power in this country. I mention them now because I think 
if we bear these things in mind at a time like this, when their 
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effect is prominent in the public mind, it may probably do 
something, when the right time comes, to prevent our reforging 
these shackles upon ourselves. We are, for the moment, 
only too thankful to hear that those instruments are likely 
to be cast aside, as we can cast them aside with a clear 
conscience in view of the conduct of the enemy. 

I have not been able, unfortunately, to hear the whole 
of the debate to-day, and I do not know whether the right 
hon. gentleman opposite has really made any detailed reply 
to my noble friend the member for Portsmouth (Lord C. 
Beresford). So far as I have heard the remarks from the 
Government bench, no detailed reply has been given to the 
case he made in some of its particulars. I refer particularly 
to some incidents as the loss of the cruisers, the battle in 
the Pacific, and matters of that sort. There was one incident 
in which I have perhaps more particular personal interest than 
any of the others, and to which I do not think any allusion 
has been made in this debate. I refer to the loss of the 
Niger. 1 Listening to my noble friend when he spoke of 1 
unfortunate incidents which are avoidable, or ought to be 
avoided, I could not help thinking particularly of the loss of p ' 23 
the Niger. If I refer to it, it is only in the same spirit as my 
noble friend, and in the hope that any criticism which we may 
temporarily advance with regard to past events may tend 
to make their recurrence less probable. The information I 
have with regard to the loss of the Niger, which went down 
within a few yards of the shore of my own constituency, is 
that she was torpedoed by an enemy submarine, and that 
the disaster was not only rendered possible, but in the view 
of many who knew the circumstances, was rendered certain 
by the orders received from the Admiralty to remain at 
anchor. The fact, at all events, is that lying off the coast of 
Kent, I think in or near the Downs, she was at anchor for a 
very considerable period. Her position was perfectly well 
known, and there was a large number of neutral vessels, or 
so-called neutral vessels, in the neighbourhood, which, so far 
as my information goes, were not subjected to any stringent 
examination. 

The sailors on board the Niger, of course, were unavoid- 
ably in communication with people on shore. You could not 
keep them absolutely from saying what was in their mind, 

NAVAL 3 2 A 369 



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and I was told at the time that the language used by the 
sailors on the Niger was that for days past they had been 
asking for it. I am told when the torpedo was discharged 
at the Niger, it was perfectly visible. The Niger was at 
anchor, and it would have taken half an hour to get her 
under steam. Those both on shore and on the vessel who 
knew the circumstances, say that the loss of that ship was 
absolutely and entirely due to that fact, which I suppose 
we must assume was owing to orders received from the 
Admiralty. I cannot believe that the commander of the 
ship himself would have remained at anchor in such a situation 
and under such danger, and, if so, the responsibility rests 
with the Admiralty for not having taught him a wiser course. 
Does not the same sort of criticism apply to that most 
unfortunate action which took place off the coast of Chile ? 
My hon. friend the member for Portsmouth (Mr. Falle), in 
an interesting speech yesterday, asked that the instructions 
sent to Admiral Cradock should be made known I do not 
know whether the Admiralty intend to do so either now or 
at some future time and that the communications received 
from Admiral Cradock should also be made known. It seems 
to me that those are the more important of the two, and the 
House and the country ought to be told I do not say at this 
moment, but certainly at some time whether or not Admiral 
Cradock, knowing the size of his own squadron and the 
strength he was called upon to meet, sent any representations 
to the Admiralty with regard to reinforcements, and whether 
those requests, if made, were complied with or not. And 
whether that is so or not, the fact remains that the Admiralty 
knew perfectly well the exact strength of the German squadron 
which might be concentrated against Admiral Cradock. They 
knew the vessels which were at that Admiral's disposal, and 
therefore they must have known exactly the chances which 
he had of victory if he came into conflict with the concentrated 
German Fleet. We know from what subsequently happened 
that consistently with the strategic requirements elsewhere 
the Admiralty were able to despatch to the South Atlantic, 
and, if that had been required, to the Pacific, at least two 
very powerful cruisers which entirely turned the scale and 
were able fortunately to avenge the loss. Why did not the 
Admiralty send those two cruisers in order to prevent the 
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loss rather than in order to avenge it ? It was a catastrophe 
which they could have prevented as they avowed by their 
own subsequent conduct, and it has at all events taught us 
a lesson which it is to be hoped the Admiralty will take 
to heart. 

Last night a very interesting speech was made by my hon. 
and learned friend the member for Chatham (Mr. Hohler), 
and on one of the points contained in his speech the right 
hon. gentleman gave a reply this afternoon. There were one 
or two points which he raised which the right hon. gentleman 
has put entirely on one side, and I would like to say a word 
or two about them. I refer in the first instance to the 
expedition to Antwerp. I am not going to indulge in any 
criticism as to the policy of that expedition. It is fairly 
understood now that there are a great many people in the 
country there are certainly some of us on this side of the 
House who hold a very strong opinion with regard to that 
expedition. The time may come when we shall be free to 
say what we think, but for the moment I am only concerned 
with the point raised by my hon. and learned friend with 
regard to the quartermaster-sergeants. Those quartermaster- 
sergeants sent over there acted during that expedition as 
officers. When they came back to this country, having had, 
I should say, a terrible experience, an experience which must 
have been very instructive to those who survived, they found 
themselves superseded by young and inexperienced officers 
who were put over their heads. My hon. and learned friend 
asked, and I repeat his question : Why was that injustice 
done to these men ? It is not merely a question of injustice 
to these men, though that is bad enough. There is a much 
higher ground for objection to it than that. There is the 
objection that to supersede those men with young and 
inexperienced officers is not for the advantage of the 
Service. 

It is really the same question applied to the Navy as that 
which was raised with respect to the Army not long ago 
by my right hon. friend the member for the Strand Division 
(Mr. Long). The only answer suggested, as I understand, is 
that after the war you would have a great number of officers 
of a certain rank on your hands and you would not know 
what to do with them. I really do think it is absurd that, 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

in this enormous war in which we are now engaged by far 
the greatest so far as the magnitude of the forces employed 
is concerned we should allow our procedure in these matters 
to be guided by the normal rules which would apply in the 
case of an ordinary war, when an Expeditionary Force of 
two or three hundred thousand men might be engaged in 
India or elsewhere. We are now dealing with millions of 
men, with a force such as we have never had before, and we 
ought to treat the occasion as unique, to fight the war right 
to the end, and to make the best use we can of our resources, 
without thinking of what is going to happen afterwards. 
When this war is over we shall have all sorts of unprecedented 
circumstances to deal with, and we should not allow such 
considerations to govern our conduct of the war itself. 

There is one other point raised by the hon. and learned 
member for Chatham yesterday to which no reply has been 
given. It is the case of the quartermaster-sergeants of 
Marines who have joined the Royal Fleet Reserve with a 
definite, unmistakable undertaking from the Admiralty that, 
if called up for active service, they shall go back to the rating 
which they held before they left. These men have that 
pledge, which was given by the Admiralty in writing, in their 
mind. They have, however, not been called back to the 
rating of quartermaster-sergeant as before, but have been 
employed as colour-sergeants, with that status and pay only. 
There is a similar and analogous point in the case of the 
National Reserve men who are joining the Marines. The 
men were promised that when they did rejoin they should 
receive in Class i a grant of 10, and in Class 2 a grant of 
5. That promise has not been kept, and I would impress 
on the right hon. gentleman that these undertakings to the 
Reservists, whether with regard to their status or pay or 
bounty, should be borne in mind. It may be that these 
things apply to only a limited number of men, and that 
they have been overlooked by the Admiralty, but such 
incidents cause great dissatisfaction ; they are talked of as 
breaches of faith on the part of the Government to men 
serving the country. They have a bad effect on recruiting 
and on public spirit in the places where the facts are known. 
I hope, before this Vote is taken, we shall have from the 
Front Bench opposite some definite assurance that these 
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matters will be looked into and a remedy applied to the 
grievances of which we complain. 

MR. DUNCAN MILLAR : I should like to mention two 
points, one of which has already been dealt with by the right 
hon. gentleman this afternoon. It relates to the badges or 
tokens to be issued to those who are employed in our big 
industries in connection with Admiralty contracts. I should 
like to thank the right hon. gentleman for his statement this 
afternoon that it is the intention of the Admiralty to recognise 
all men who have been asked to remain at their duties in our 
big steel works and shipbuilding yards, and who have been 
prevented offering their services to their country in conse- 
quence of the demands made on them by those industries. 
Every one of us feels there are many skilled workers who 
are really rendering greater service to their country by 
remaining at their work, and it is not fair that they should 
be exposed to any form of criticism on account of the fact 
that they have not along with their fellows joined the Army. 
I am glad to know that the Admiralty are undertaking to 
give them a form of recognition which they deserve, and I 
trust it will be made perfectly clear that there will be no 
discrimination against any workers engaged on Admiralty 
work, and that they will all have the recognition direct from 
the Admiralty, although it may be given them in the form 
of a badge handed to them by their employers. There are 
many such employes in the constituency I have the honour 
to represent, and there is a strong feeling among them that 
it should be made perfectly clear that they have been asked 
to remain at their work, and that they have done so notwith- 
standing the desire on their part to give their services ya the 
field. 

The other point I desire to touch upon relates to those 
who have been recently thrown out of employment on account 
of the war in the fishing districts throughout the country. 
I had the honour formerly to represent a constituency in 
East Fife, where there are a great number of fishermen 
engaged, and their experience has not been peculiar in any 
degree. It has been the experience of fishermen all over 
the country that, owing to the necessary restrictions placed 
on them, many have been thrown out of employment and 
are in great distress. Indeed, many have been seeking 

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employment in different parts of the country and have had 
great difficulty in finding it. I know the Admiralty are 
sympathetic towards this class of men. I believe they have 
endeavoured to utilise their services in connection with 
Admiralty work. Many are doing magnificent work with 
mine-sweepers. We, as a nation, ought especially to recognise 
their services in that respect. Others again are using their 
experience as seafaring men to man coal ships and store 
ships, and otherwise assist the Admiralty. I would like to 
suggest to the right hon. gentleman the placing of some 
Admiralty contracts in those districts which suffer most. 
There are many men who, on account of their age, are unable 
to serve in the Navy. There are many industries dependent 
on the fishing industries which have been seriously affected, . 
and perhaps the right hon. gentleman might see his way to 
place one or two Admiralty contracts in districts which have 
suffered, such as East Fife and St. Andrews Burghs. There 
are many men fitted to do good service for the Admiralty 
in connection with the gear required. They could make kit 
bags for the Navy, they could work on sails and other fishing 
gear. I know the Admiralty have done something to meet 
cases like that. It has shown the greatest sympathy for 
fishermen, but it might be able to do a little more in the 
way of placing local contracts with those fitted to under- 
take them, so as to relieve this highly deserving class in their 
sore trouble. I am sure the Admiralty is desirous of doing 
everything in its power to meet these cases. 

MR. PETO : The First Lord of the Admiralty yesterday 
mentioned how he had been able to meet the demand for 
mentor the Fleet, and he went further and called the atten- 
tion of the House to the fact that we had been able also to 
man an enormous number several score of armed merchant- 
men which had been taken up and had played an impor- 
tant part in our arrangements for the control of traffic and 
trade. The right hon. gentleman might have gone further 
and pointed out the enormous amount of work which is 
being done auxiliary to the work of our Navy by merchant 
seamen in various capacities. The hon. member who last 
spoke referred to the work of mine-sweeping. If it were not 
for the fact that we have men in the Royal Naval Reserve, 
and a very large number of volunteers for commissions in 
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the Royal Navy during the war, who have undertaken these 
duties, we should undoubtedly not have carried on the war 
as far as we have gone, with a success which has hitherto 
attended us. I do not think either the public or the Board 
of Admiralty have really recognised the great sacrifices and 
great services which have been rendered to the State by our 
merchant service. I was pleased to see in a leading article 
in The Times to-day, that attention was called to this matter, 
and that, in speaking of the silent watch of our Fleet, The 
Times said : ' We must think, too, of all the officers and 
crews of our mercantile marine now called upon to face new 
and unfamiliar dangers/ and it went on to point out that 
' the extraordinary threats of the enemy have given the 
British mercantile marine an unsought-for place in this war/ 
I want to ask the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty 
whether he will consider, with more sympathy of a practical 
kind, the case of the officers of the Royal Naval Reserve. 
I want also to know whether the increase in pay recently 
granted to lower grade naval officers, particularly to lieu- 
tenants a rise of is. per day for every two years of service 
applies to officers of the Royal Naval Reserve. I should like 
the right hon. gentleman to consider in relation to this 
question of pay whether it is not time to take some action 
in the direction of promotion for those who have only the 
rank or rating of sub-lieutenant and whose pay, of course, 
is very much less than that of lieutenants in the Royal 
Naval Reserve. This applies, I believe, to a good many men 
who are officering our mine-sweepers. Are they in receipt 
of the increased pay of sub-lieutenants. It has gone up 
from 55. to 75. 6d., but, surely, 73. 6d. a day for work of this 
kind, considering the responsibility and danger, is inadequate. 
It is a little over 2 a week, and is considerably less than is 
earned by the casual carpenters engaged in erecting soldiers' 
huts in our camps. When doing this very difficult work, 
surely 2 per week cannot be considered to be reasonable 
remuneration. There are other ways in which these officers 
who have given up their ordinary work in the merchant 
service in order to take on these naval duties are positively 
worse off than before. Officers of the Army and Navy who 
wanted to insure their lives had special arrangements made 
for them with the great insurance companies, instead of the 

375 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

very large additional premium which was first asked for. 
That has been held to apply to officers in the Royal Naval 
Reserve. But officers who are commanding our transports, 
and do not happen to be officers in the Royal Naval Reserve, 
are called upon to pay a very large premium for any policy 
they may want to take out. They have also to pay a very 
large premium if they want to effect a policy of insurance 
on their kit, and this means a very considerable deduction 
from their pay in consequence of the work they are doing. 
If an officer wishes to insure his life for 200 he pays 6 for 
premium alone, while if he wants to insure another 100 
upon his kit, that adds a further 4 to the premium, repre- 
senting a deduction of 10 per year from his wages in the 
shape of premiums for war risks alone. In the case of the 
raids on Scarborough and other coast towns the Government 
have already taken a responsibility in respect of the civil 
population for the loss they have sustained through the 
bombardment of our coast. I do not wish to go into that 
as a matter of policy, although I think the Prime Minister 
was very wise in saying when he replied to an hon. member 
yesterday that there was no general rule, and that each 
case would be considered on its merits. But I ask the 
Financial Secretary to consider that if it is reasonable for 
the Government to repay the loss to an ordinary civilian 
who is undertaking no special duties in connection with this 
war should he suffer loss through the bombardment of a 
coast town, that officers who are undertaking these essential 
duties on our transport colliers and other; auxiliaries of the 
Fleet, if they lose their kit, and are lucky enough to get off 
with their lives, as was the case with those vessels which were 
torpedoed off the Mersey the other day is it reasonable that 
the Government in those cases should not give them some- 
thing to repay them for the loss of their kit ? There is an 
actual loss due to the action of the enemy, and it is the loss 
of a man to whom that means practically everything. The 
sextants and other instruments, uniform and the rest of it, 
often run in the case of a marine captain up to 100 or 150 
in value, and their loss is a very serious one indeed. It is 
extremely hard, whereas the insurance companies have been 
approached by the Government with a view to their charging 
no special war risk in the cases of officers in the Army or 
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Navy, that nothing is done to meet the case of life insurance 
policies and insurance policies to cover kit of those officers 
who are serving on the auxiliary ships of the Fleet. 

I want to touch on another question closely connected 
with this. The officers in command, and the other officers 
on our transports are not given any special position of 
authority with regard to the crew, and they are not allowed 
to wear their naval uniform, even when they are officers of 
the Royal Naval Reserve. The Committee will remember 
the name of one officer who happened to be the officer in 
charge of a Cunarder who saved a number of lives in a recent 
disaster. He is not vested with that authority over the 
crew which is so essential for the maintenance of discipline 
on this very important service, and he is not allowed to wear 
his naval uniform, because these are not appointments which 
are given to officers of the Royal Naval Reserve. Fifty-three 
of these officers signed a representation to the Director of 
Transports pointing out that the want of discipline on these 
transports was a very serious matter indeed. I have asked, 
and some other members have asked, whether something 
cannot be done in the way of giving them commissions in 
the Royal Naval Reserve, as if they were officers of the Royal 
Naval Reserve who were taken on for naval duties, and 
giving them the right to wear the uniform as well. The 
answer was that it would not effect the purpose of giving 
them any special control over the crew, because those crews 
were not under the Naval Discipline Act. I would ask the 
right hon. gentleman whether he will not carefully consider 
what has been the actual state of affairs on frequent occasions 
on these transports with battalions of our soldiers on board. 
They have had to put to sea when practically the ship has 
had to be run by the officers themselves and one or two 
apprentices because, owing to the lack of discipline, the crew 
were not in a proper position to navigate the vessel. 

This is a matter which must be viewed from two aspects. 
These officers are not gaining anything in respect of increased 
pay. On the contrary, they are put to increased cost. They 
are told by the companies, who, in many cases, own the 
ships which have been chartered by the Government, that 
all questions of promotion must stand over during the war. 
They are not pressing that, but they do ask that they shall 

377 



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be given proper authority to enable them to carry out the 
responsible duties entrusted to them. I should like to read 
to the right hon. gentleman a short extract from a letter 
written by an officer of one of these vessels. He says : ' I 
notice that we are popularly credited with receiving some 
kind of war bonuses, some say i per month, and others 155., 
on wages, and I beg to point out that this statement (with 
regard to ships in this company at least) is entirely false, no 
consideration whatever having been given us so far ; and, in 
fact, we are in many respects losers by serving in a transport. 
All forms of promotion in the company, we are informed, 
must be overlooked during the war. The Government will 
give none of us commissions in the R.N.R. or employ us in 
the pilotage. Leave of absence is entirely stopped, and any 
facilities for seeing anything of our homes or" families during 
the past nine months have been absolutely denied to us/ 
That letter was written on the loth February. It described 
the actual condition which for eight months' service has 
obtained in this responsible service. I would suggest to the 
right hon. gentleman, as regards pay, that as the question of 
war bonuses was settled, as was pointed out by the President 
1 [See of the Board of Trade at question time yesterday, 1 between 
P- 238.] th e men an( j th e shipowners themselves, by mutual agree- 
ment in the early part of the war, and as no such represen- 
tation has been made on behalf of the officers, that it is 
really for the Admiralty to see that a reasonable war bonus 
is given to the officers who are undertaking these duties. I 
do not want to give the Committee the impression that it is 
any question of grousing or grumbling. Whatever decision 
may be given, the officers of the merchant service will be 
proud to carry out whatever duties are entrusted to them. 
Whether, in meeting the increased risks due to the policy 
announced by the enemy, or whether in acting as auxiliaries 
of our Navy, they will not be found wanting, but it does 
behove the Admiralty to use the influence they can use to 
see that services of this kind are recognised in a reasonable 
manner during the war, and that when the war is over some 
special form of State recognition, showing that the country 
appreciates the services they have rendered and the risks 
they have run, shall be given to these officers and men in 
every case. 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

MR. TYSON WILSON : I should like to join in the. appeal 
made by the hon. gentleman who has just sat down, that 
captains of ships who are in the Royal Naval Reserve should 
be allowed to wear their uniform. They are entitled to that 
honour at any rate. I wish to call attention to another 
matter in respect of which I have written to the right hon. 
gentleman, namely, the discharge of joiners from the Ports- 
mouth dockyard. I have been under the impression for many 
weeks past that the Royal dockyards could not get sufficient 
men, but now I have received a complaint that during the 
past four weeks some fifty joiners have been discharged, 
while men engaged in another trade and who do similar work 
to that which joiners generally do have been kept on and paid 
a subsistence allowance of i per week in addition to the 
ordinary wages to which they are entitled. I would suggest 
. to the right hon. gentleman that that is not fair to the joiners 
and that it is bad economy on the part of the Admiralty. I 
only make this statement in order that the right hon. gentle- 
man may inquire into it. I have verified it as far as I possibly 
could by writing letters to individuals who have communi- 
cated with me, and I have done my best to ascertain whether 
their statements are correct. I am told that there is any 
amount of work in the Portsmouth Dockyard which is really 
joiners' work, and that this work is being done by men who 
get the special subsistence allowance of i per week such 
work as fitting up bookcases, cupboards, screens, and shelves. 
I am also told that this is joiners' work pure and simple. 
Complaints have also reached me that a considerable amount 
of work has been put out to contract which could be done 
in the dockyard. I am told that in the stores department 
work could be done but they have not the money to do it. 
When they have applied to the construction department 
they have been told, ' Oh, we have no time to deal with 
that ! ' I suggest that there should be a proper under- 
standing between the various departments in the dockyard, 
in order that the work should be done in the dockyard and 
should not be put out to contract. I am told that recently 
the stores department wanted work done in respect of tables, 
bookcases, screens, and other articles, but were told that 
the money for the stores department was practically exhausted. 
When they applied to the other department they were told 

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that they could not do anything in the matter, and the work 
was put out to contract. I -have also complaints from the 
dockyards that work in connection with the trawlers and 
drifters used for mine-sweeping is also let out by contract, 
whereas if there were proper co-ordination of work in the 
dockyard the work could be done there. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I do not quite follow the point. Is 
it the repairing of the vessels ? 

MR. TYSON WILSON : The fitting of them, I believe. I 
am told it is let out by contract, and that in some instances 
the cost of doing the work in the dockyard would be about 
80 per trawler, whereas it has actually cost from 300 to 
35 O by being let out. It is not let out on contract, but I 
understand it is arranged that commission is paid, as in the 
case of the huts that have been built for the Army. I am 
told also that a good deal of the work upon transports, 
hospital and prison ships could be done in the dockyard, 
whereas it is often let out to shipbuilders and repairers. To 
give a case in point, the Soho was estimated by the dockyard 
authorities to cost, for fittings, etc., some 5000. It has 
been done by employers who have received commission, and 
it has cost 13,000. On the mine-sweeping kites a consider- 
able amount of work has also been done by joiners which 
was nearly all given out to private firms. The cost was 
considerably more than if it had been done by the dockyards 
themselves. I suggest, with the object of keeping fully 
employed the whole of the workmen connected with Ports- 
mouth Dockyard, and other dockyards if necessary, that the 
fitting referred to should be given to the joiners or ship- 
wrights, and that so far as possible the work of each individual 
trade should be given to the members of that trade. I have 
heard very strong charges of favouritism made against the 
management of the Portsmouth Dockyard. I do not suggest 
that there is favouritism shown, but there may be unconscious 
bias in favour of a certain trade, and I should certainly 
suggest to the Department that it would be wise, in connec- 
tion with the various trades in the shipyards, if each trade 
had a manager or superintendent who was in a position to 
take on the men himself, instead of their being taken on by 
a general manager or superintendent. Without the least 
doubt there is a considerable feeling of irritation at present 
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amongst the men engaged in joinery work in the shipyard, 
and in the interests of the Admiralty and of the nation it is 
not wise that men who receive a subsistence allowance of i 
a week should be kept at work whilst men who are only 
receiving the ordinary rate of wage are discharged. There- 
fore I suggest that the right hon. gentleman should make 
inquiries into the matter with the object of rectifying the 
complaint I have made, and if the statements I have made 
with regard to wages and subsistence, and also certain trades 
working almost night and day, while other trades are only 
working ordinary time, are found to be correct, they should 
try to allocate the work in such a manner that the grievances 
complained of will not occur again. 

MR. FALLE : I should like to congratulate the right hon. 
gentleman on his opening statement to-day, and to thank 
him for his efforts on behalf of the poor men who are working 
in the dockyard efforts which have been so successful. We 
all know there is not a man who has the interests of the 
worker more at heart, or has done more for them, than the 
right hon. gentleman. The first point I want to bring 
forward is the question of the retired and pensioned officers 
of the Royal Marines. They are not quite rightly treated, 
more especially in these generous times, when every one 
seems to think he has a right to get everything that is due 
to him. The Army officer, retired and pensioned, who 
returns to service during this war receives his pension and 
his full pay. The Royal Marine officer on return to work 
loses immediately, ipso facto, his pension, and receives full 
pay. It is the more curious because his non-commissioned 
officers and his men all receive their pensions as well as their 
full pay. He is the only one who does not receive pension, 
but full pay. I have many cases, but I will take the case 
of one who is a major. His retired pay and pension is 225 
a year. He loses that and comes back to serve his country 
and receives, as full pay, 275 a year. That is, he is serving 
his country for 50 a year. His bombardier is receiving 56 
a year ; so this officer returns to serve his country and shed 
his blood, if necessary, for a smaller sum than is given to a 
non-com. It seems to me that the matter has only to be 
stated to show that it is not quite right. It is fair to say 
that he is given for each year he serves a bonus of 25 per 

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cent. You can calculate a bonus of 25 per cent, on 275, 
and even then he is working for very little indeed. The 
Navy man, I admit, suffers under exactly the same disability. 
On return to the Service, if he is a pensioned officer, he loses 
his pension for the time being and receives his full pay. 
But the retired officer of the Navy continues to take steps 
in his profession. If he retired as lieutenant he may be made 
a commander or a captain, or may even rise to admiral, and, 
of course, his pension naturally moves with him. The Royal 
Marines should have that privilege. If an officer is not to 
have his pension during the time he is serving, he ought to 
be allowed a step, or two steps, as the case may be, according 
to the time he serves, so that the matter may be in a measure 
equalised. 

There is another point, that of apprentices in dockyards. 
This is a matter which, though it concerns only a very few, 
is, I consider, of very considerable importance. These men, 
of course, are very highly educated, and they rise, in many 
cases, to be designers of our ships. There is an examination 
once a year, and the last examination ended on loth August 
the year before last. In the case of Portsmouth Dockyard 
there are three young apprentices who were allowed by the 
Admiralty to join the Territorial Force in June, and immedi- 
ately war broke out they were called up to their units. If 
these men had been allowed to wait five days in the dockyard, 
if they had not been good-plucked ones, or even if they 
had gone sick, they would have been fully qualified men on 
loth August, but because they had lost five days they are 
still rated as apprentices, and they must return after the 
war is over to complete five days in the dockyard before 
they receive the wages of a man. They are now with their 
regiment, and they are receiving the difference between 
soldiers' pay and the pay of apprentices, which is, of course, 
a very small sum. This, it seems to me, is a matter which 
should be looked into and rectified. It can only occur once 
every year, and it can only affect a very limited number of 
men, or rather boys. In five days these apprentices could 
have completed their time and been accepted as men, and, 
in these generous times, it seems to me it is ungenerous not 
to give them their five days. 

Another point to which I desire to refer is the position 
382 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

.of ships' stewards. It will be generally admitted that the 
lower deck as a whole suffers from not being in the limelight. 
The soldier is in the limelight, and any brave deed he may 
accomplish is immediately reported on. But the sailor, and 
in a less degree, of course, the ship's steward, serves in what 
you might call a watertight compartment under the observa- 
tion of one officer only. In fact, they do not fight as they 
did in olden days, on an open deck, where the whole of the 
crew and officers could see them. That is naturally a dis- 
advantage. There was a Committee the Thursby Com- 
mittee which was to report on these ships' stewards, but 
the finding of the Committee has been deferred, and the 
consequence is that these men are in the position they have 
been in for a good many years, and they think and I think 
they have a strong case that they ought to be moved forward 
and upward. They think they ought to be allowed to be 
advanced to flagships, to naval bases, to depot ships, and to 
the Royal Naval Division, and I do not see and have not 
been able to find any reason why they should not. They do 
not see why they should not be employed at the Crystal 
Palace, for instance, as quartermasters. At the Crystal 
Palace at present there is a schoolmaster from an industrial 
school. No doubt he is a very able and very exceptional 
man, and is qualified for his post, but he is there as quarter- 
master, and these men who have served in the Navy all their 
lives think they have the first call on such posts. There is 
a petty officer in the R.N.V.R. there as an assistant-paymaster. 
The ships' stewards think they have a greater claim to be 
made quartermasters than even a petty officer in the R.N.V.R., 
and I entirely agree with them. 

These men in my opinion, and in their own, would have 
made better assistant-paymasters than even the men whom 
the Admiralty has taken on for temporary service, however 
good these men may be. The examination for writers and 
for ships' stewards is exactly the same, and it takes place 
at the same place and on the same day. Both were insti- 
tuted at the same time, and warrant rank was given to both 
at the same time. There were twelve warrant officers among 
the writers and ten among the ships' stewards, but quite 
recently fifteen new warrant officers have been made among 
the writers not undeserved, I am quite sure but not a 

383 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

single one has been given among the ships' stewards, and the 
consequence is that now there are twenty-seven writers who 
are warrant officers and there are only ten ships' stewards, 
as there were before. They think it may be that because a 
great number of them are at sea the Admiralty forgets them. 
Here I do not agree with them. The Admiralty's eye is big 
enough and intelligent enough to follow a man even when 
he is at sea. But that is what the Service feels. That is 
what the ships' stewards think, and they think that higher 
ranks should be open to them they should not be shut off, 
and they should receive augmentations of pension, not only 
for themselves but for their widows. They have not received 
augmentation either for themselves or for their widows for 
a very considerable number of years. 

There is one other point that I have frequently discussed 
with the right hon. gentleman, and that is the separation 
allowance to warrant officers. It is the most difficult subject 
I have touched, but I should be very glad if he would give us 
any information on that subject. I do not refer to the older 
warrant officers, but I think the warrant officers of the first 
five years might be included in the separation allowances, 
for they have for the first five years very considerable 
expenses new expenses and they are in very responsible 
posts. A friend of mine, who has been obliged to leave the 
House, has asked me to put to the right hon. gentleman 
the question of the prize money in the Persian Gulf. It is 
not the amount of prize money as it arises after the new 
Resolution, but the prize money between 1910 and 1914. 
That money has in many cases not yet been paid. I shall be 
grateful to the right hon. gentleman if he can give us any 
indication when that prize money is likely to be paid. 

MR. HOHLER : I regret that I was not present when the 
right hon. gentleman the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty 
replied to the speech I made yesterday. I was unavoidably 
absent, and did not expect that he would reply so soon. I 
understand that the hon. member for the Blackfriars Division 
(Mr. Barnes) thinks that the case of a stepchild should be 
considered in connection with the pension scheme. I under- 
stand that the scheme deals first with married men and 
unmarried men. It deals also with widows and their children 
and the dependants of unmarried men. It is obvious that a 
384 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

stepchild is not the child of the soldier or sailor ; conse- 
quently a stepchild does not come into that branch. I 
gather that the right hon. gentleman is going to look into 
the point and make it clear. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I will consult my Committee. 

MR. HOHLER : I quite understand that. The only other 
point on which I desire to say a word is travelling allowances. 
I desire, on the part of the men of His Majesty's Navy, to 
acknowledge the concession which the Admiralty have made. 
They appreciate it enormously. It is of very great value. 
I wish to ask whether the Admiralty will consider its exten- 
sion. Roughly stated, the concession given is that if a ship 
comes into a port which is not its own port, then travelling 
expenses are given, or a free pass is given to the man who is 
going to his home. A further concession is given. If a man 
comes from action he gets a free pass ; if he comes from action 
on land, which, of course, would apply generally to a Marine, 
he gets a free pass. Obviously these are very great advan- 
tages, and the men greatly appreciate them. I ask the 
right hon. gentleman to consider whether, in the stress and 
emergencies of this war, the concession could not be given 
to those going home on leave. I have in my mind the case 
which I think the right hon. gentleman has before him. It 
is the case of a youth from London. His ship came to Ply- 
mouth, and I believe his port is Portsmouth. I have a 
letter from his father to the effect that the lad in coming 
home to see his father in London had to pay i8s. 8d. for his 
return fare. His wages are 45. id. per week. It seems to 
me that the Admiralty might in a liberal spirit consider 
whether they could not extend the concession so that when 
a man comes home on leave to see his parents he should be 
entitled to do so at the expense of the country. I think it 
has been largely done in the case of soldiers from the front. 
I think we should extend a similar concession to the men of 
the Navy. You never can tell but that the visit may be 
the last, and I think that if something could be done in the 
way of giving this concession, the Admiralty would earn the 
gratitude of the whole of the men in the Navy. 

MR. DENNISS : I wish to refer to an impression that is 
very widely held all over the country, and which has been 
expressed in many communications to the Press, namely, 

NAVAL 3 2 B 385 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

that the commerce of this country is suffering by reason of 
the large number of ships that have been commandeered by 
the Admiralty for the purposes of the war. I should like to 
quote the most authentic figures that can be obtained on the 
subject. The figures I have are from the report by Sir 
Norman Hill to the Liverpool Steamship Association. They 
are figures which, I believe, have been supplied to the Govern- 
ment, and which the Prime Minister relied upon when he 
made his speech the other day. The overseas trade of 
Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Belgium which have all 
ceased now amounts to 22 per cent, of the world's trade ; 
but the trade of some neutral countries has increased and 
the trade of some other countries of the world has decreased. 
In the result Mr. Hill finds that the overseas trade of the 
world has decreased by 30 per cent. In regard to the ships 
of the world which have to carry that trade the ships of 
Germany, Austria, and Hungary form 14 per cent, of the 
world's shipping. The value of the imports into this country 
during five months to the end of December has decreased 
20 per cent, and the exports have decreased 41 per cent. 
Therefore it follows, I think, that there are plenty of British 
ships to carry on British shipping, and there are certainly suffi- 
cient ships in the world to carry the whole commerce of the 
world. Without in any way trenching on the debate which 
is to take place to-morrow I would only say in a sentence 
that apparently the shortage of ships in the world is put down 
to the Admiralty taking the ships. It is not true. The truth 
is that British ships at this moment are carrying cargoes of 
foodstuffs to Italy and Sweden, leaving their own country in the 
cold. These cargoes are getting into the country of the enemy. 
SIR J. HARMOOD-BANNER : I wish to refer to the pro- 
hibition on the export of wire, which I think has been done 
to a considerable extent by the Custom House authorities 
beyond what was intended by the Admiralty when they put 
on the prohibition. With regard to anything which the 
Admiralty themselves require for the purposes of the Navy, 
it is perfectly correct to put on that prohibition and to carry 
it to its greatest extreme. The manufactures of the country 
should^ be at the command of the Admiralty. But the 
prohibition which is now being carried out has gone so far as 
to prevent the export of wire to Portugal for the purpose of 
386 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

making sardine box openers. It is a very large trade, and 
yet the -export of this wire to Portugal is prohibited. The 
effect of the prohibition will be that there will be no sale. 
The Admiralty will not buy the wire and customers will not 
buy it, so that men will be put out of work. The effect 
will be that if the Admiralty want the wire there will be no 
men to make it. Unless the Admiralty want the wire, I ask 
them not to put on the prohibition. I do not mean the pro- 
hibition to any countries which are not playing the game and 
which might supply Turkey, Austria, or Germany. Put on 
the prohibition as much as you like to these countries, but as 
regards our Allies, the Argentine and the East Indies, there 
are certain qualities of wire which might be exported. Do 
not let the Admiralty say, * We will neither buy the wire nor 
allow it to be exported. If they take that line the effect will 
be that the wire will not be made at all, and the people who 
are now employed in making it will be turned out of work. 

DR. MACNAMARA : If I dwell very briefly on the points 
which have been raised in the debate, it must not be assumed 
that I have not taken note of the views expressed or that 
they will not be looked into so far as possible. The hon. 
and gallant member opposite asked if I could tell him what 
has been done in regard to certain matters. He always asks 
his questions so perfectly that I am sorry that I have to tell 
him I can give him no information as regards the arming of 
the vessels of the Royal Indian Marine. I understand that 
this matter has been under consideration for some time 
between the Home Government and the Indian Government. 
I think the hon. and gallant member understands that when 
the Indian Navy was given up at the end of the 'sixties the 
Royal Navy was made responsible for naval defence, and 
that the vessels retained in the marine were vessels required 
for Indian transport and for the policing of the waters. As 
to whether we shall ever get any further with these matters 
I cannot give any undertaking. The hon. member for East 
Kent made an interesting comment on the difficulties that 
confront us in reference to the distribution of prize money, 
and made a comparison with the adoption of the much 
simpler method of awarding the proceeds of capture to 
the captors. We shall have to do our best to solve these 
difficulties, and we do not underestimate them. The hon. 

3*7 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

member referred to a question which was put yesterday by 
the hon. and learned member for Chatham (Mr. Hohler). 
The hon. member for Chatham said : ' A number of quarter- 
master-sergeants were sent to France with the Royal Marine 
Brigade and the Royal Naval Division, and there acted as 
officers. They have been brought home with the Royal 
Naval Division, and now a number of young fellows, without 
any experience and little or no training, have been put over 
their heads with commissions/ As I understand it, there 
was a member of the Royal Marines who went out with 
acting-warrant rank ? 

MR. HOHLER : I understand that there are sixteen. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Then I must look into it a little more. 
Do I understand that sixteen of them received acting- 
warrant rank ? 

MR. HOHLER : Sixteen of them are now acting as officers, 
but have received no commissions, while a number of young 
fellows from public schools have been placed over their heads. 

DR. MACNAMARA : They got acting-warrant rank, but 
other people have got commissions. Is that your point ? 

MR. HOHLER : Yes. 

DR. MACNAMARA : It is quite impossible that I should be 
familiar with the whole of the details of the administration, but 
if there is anything in the contention of the hon. and learned 
gentleman I will look into it. My attention was called also to 
another point raised by the hon. and learned gentleman, as 
to the status of quartermaster-sergeants, Royal Marines, dis- 
charged to pension Royal Fleet Reservists. The suggestion 
is that in the pamphlet we undertook that they should return 
to a certain rank, and that as an actual fact we broke faith ? 

MR. HOHLER : Yes. 

DR. MACNAMARA : I do not know whether the hon. and 
learned gentleman has looked into the pamphlet ? 

MR. HOHLER: I have, and I will send the right hon. 
gentleman a copy of it with pleasure. 

DR. MACNAMARA : Then I will send the copy back with 
my comments. I think that the hon. gentleman will find 
this, that Royal Fleet Reservists, according to the pamphlet, 
have to be paid according to the rank in which they are 
enrolled. But all who are enrolled above the rank of colour- 
sergeant will be enrolled as colour-sergeants. That is the 
388 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

meaning of the pamphlet. However, when so clear-minded 
an hon. member misreads it, I can well understand other 
persons, quartermaster-sergeants themselves, misreading it. 
The point is that all who join above the rank of colour- 
sergeant are enrolled as colour-sergeants. However, that 
matter is receiving our consideration with a view to seeing 
whether there is any injustice being done in enrolling quarter- 
master-sergeants as colour-sergeants. Then I was asked by 
the hon. member for East Wilts (Mr. Peto) to consider the 
question of the pay of the Royal Naval Reserve officers. I 
do not suppose that he expects me here and now to give any 
undertaking upon this matter or to raise hopes that may 
not be fulfilled. I will look into the matter. Then with 
regard to life insurance policies, I gave an answer the other day, 1 1 [See 
and said that the Government were considering the question P- 226 -] 
of making representations upon the subject. I have not lost 
sight of that. The hon. member asked whether officers in the 
Royal Naval Reserve or the Royal Volunteer Naval Reserve 
should not be given some distinction in order that they might 
exercise greater authority over their crews. I do not know 
whether that was the sole reason. If that was the sole reason, I 
pointed out the other day that it would have no effect, be- 
cause these crews were not under the Naval Discipline Act. 

MR. PETO : I ask that considering the nature of their 
service they should be put under the Naval Discipline Act. 

MR. MACNAMARA : I cannot give an undertaking as to 
that. I would merely point out that a badge or uniform or 
commission would not give them any greater authority, 
because the crews are not under the Naval Discipline Act. I 
understand that the hon. gentleman thinks that they should 
be. I cannot undertake to do more than consider the matter, 
and neither can I do more than consider the proposition that 
there should be a war bonus paid. All these points I have 
taken down for consideration. The hon. member for South- 
East Lanes. (Mr. Tyson Wilson) raised a point as to a number 
of joiners being discharged at Portsmouth, and suggested 
that the work had been done by others at lower rates, so 
low apparently that he seemed to think that it was worth 
our while to give them a subsistence allowance of 2os. a week. 
I shall be very glad if the hon. gentleman will give me par- 
ticulars about this. I imagine that it is the old question of 

389 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

demarcation of work between the joiner and the skilled 
labourer. I imagine that the skilled labourers are being 
asked to do rough joinery the knocking together of crates 
and so forth, which is common in the dockyard organisation. 

MR. FALLE : Is the right hon. gentleman aware that 
joiners are being discharged at the present moment ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I can say that we do not want any real 
tradesman's work to be done by other persons than trades- 
men. When it comes to the rough work of joinery and so 
forth, it can be done by the skilled labourer, and I rather 
imagine that that 's the sort of thing which my hon. friend 
has in mind, though I doubt very much whether we should 
be paying a subsistence allowance of 2os. a week to a number 
of skilled labourers brought from a distance, and certainly I 
do not think that it can be correct to say that we deliberately 
brought skilled labourers from a distance and paid them 205. 
a week in order to turn them on to rough work. And for 
this reason, that it would be financially unsound. The skilled 
labourer doing joinery might be getting from 245. to 28s. a 
week, and the 2os. subsistence allowance would bring the 
total amount paid up to from 445. to 485. per week ; whereas 
the joiners who would be dismissed to make room for the 
men brought from a distance would certainly get nothing 
like that. I forget for the moment the rate for the joiners. 
It is certainly not from 443. to 485. So, if the suggestion is 
that we send joiners away and bring skilled labourers from a 
distance and pay them a subsistence allowance, that would 
be an unsound operation from the financial point of view, 
because we should have to add the skilled labourer's wage 
to the 2os. a week, which would bring the total amount 
above what would be paid to the joiners. My hon. friend 
referred to our putting trawlers in private yards for repair 
work, and seemed to think that more of that work should 
come to the Royal dockyards. The same thing was said 
about contract work which is put out. There, again, the 
exigencies of the Service must control our policy. If there 
should be a trawler, or maybe some other craft, near some 
port or other where it might be difficult to get it down to one 
of the Royal yards, and she is put into a private yard, the 
mere fact that there was a desire to put her into a Royal 
yard would not justify a long journey, and perhaps a dangerous 
39 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

journey, to get her into Chatham or Portsmouth. I do not 
think that either of the hon. members who represent those 
districts would make that claim. I am familiar with the 
contention as to the Royal Marine pensioned officers when 
called up for service. I am familiar with the contrast made 
between their treatment and that of the pensioned Army 
officer, and even the pensioned Navy officer. Again I regret 
greatly that I cannot undertake to do more than continue 
to consider their case. I cannot give any undertaking that 
we shall be able to make any change. I am familiar also 
with the case of the apprentice who has only got a week or 
two to close his apprenticeship when he joins the colours 
and who then receives his civil pay as an apprentice, minus 
75. a week, his soldier's pay. If he had joined five days later 
in the case stated, or some weeks later in cases which have 
come to my knowledge, he would be rated as a man, and 
he would get his pay as a civilian at a man's rate, and the 
difference between that and the 75. would be a great deal 
more than the difference between his pay as an apprentice 
and the 75. I do not deny that that is a rather hard case, 
but the hon. member for Portsmouth will realise that there 
will be all sorts of cases of a similar kind in the Civil Service 
where men are on the verge of promotion, and would have 
had promotion if they had stayed on in their office for some 
time longer, and he will see, on reflection, that he raises a 
much bigger question than he imagines. 

MR. FALLE : These men should not be penalised because 
they happened to go and serve their country. 

DR. MACNAMARA : The hon. gentleman is raising a larger 
question than he imagines, though the case he quotes, I 
admit, is a hard one. However, it does not lie in my hands. 
He will recognise that there are other Departments con- 
cerned in this, but I will take note of the representations 
which he makes. With regard to ships' stewards, I have 
noted very carefully the point which he raises ; and with 
regard to the separation allowance for warrant officers, the 
White Paper provides a separation allowance for the warrant 
officers, Marine, and for chief petty officers, and equivalent 
ratings. I understand that the hon. gentleman asks separa- 
tion allowances for commissioned warrant and warrant 
officers in the Royal Navy, and Royal Marine gunners. But 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

again I say I cannot give any undertaking. With regard to 
free passes, the hon. member for Chatham said that we 
have shown a considerable amount of generosity in the 
treatment of that matter, and he suggested that we should 
still further extend our system of giving free passes. I took 
a note of the case which he mentioned about a boy paying 
i8s. 6d., though his pay was much smaller than that. That 
is again a matter which is not entirely in our hands. There 
are three Departments concerned the War Office, the 
Admiralty, and the Treasury. All I can do is to consider 
carefully the representations which have been made. Then 
there was the question of the export of wire, which was 
referred to by the hon. member for Evert on (Sir J. Harmood- 
Banner). I will look into that, although it had not been 
brought to my notice until he mentioned it. I am not quite 
sure that we are the only Department responsible for that, 
though I am sure that those who have made the prohibition 
are well advised. I think that I might now ask the Com- 
mittee to give us the Vote. 

MR. DUNCAN MILLAR : May I ask if any further assistance 
is to be rendered to the fishermen ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : In regard to that matter we have 
very largely satisfied what is known as the Admiralty List, 
and we are very much in touch with the Local Government 
Board and the Board of Trade to ascertain where unemploy- 
ment and hardship are likely to arise, so that we may act 
as effectively as possible. It is said that these fishermen 
have lost their employment and that, as they have had good 
training, something might be done to give them employment. 
I am not sure that something has not already been done 
in that direction to some small extent, but at any rate I will 
consider whether anything can be done. 

MR. PETO : Will the right hon. gentleman answer one 
question, whether the rise given to lieutenants in the Navy 
applies also to lieutenants with temporary commissions who 
are now serving. There is also the case of lieutenants who 
are serving on mine-sweepers. 

DR. MACNAMARA : The question of pay is a very compli- 
cated one, and perhaps the hon. gentleman will put a question 
on the paper. 

Question put, and agreed to. 
392 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DEATH OF THE BLUCHERS CAPTAIN 

The death of Captain Erdmann, of the German cruiser Times, 
Blucher, which was sunk in the action off the Dogger Bank, Feb - J 7. 
occurred yesterday at Edinburgh Castle Military Hospital. I9I5> 
Captain Erdmann was on January 25, the day after the 
battle, taken to Edinburgh as a prisoner of war, and fell ill 
shortly afterwards. The exposure to which he was subject on 
his ship had affected his health, and he developed pneumonia, 
from which he died. Captain Erdmann was one of the best 
authorities in the German Navy on naval gunnery, and had, 
since January 1913, been president of the German experi- 
mental gunnery staff. 

The funeral, with military honours, took place yesterday Times, 
from the Military Hospital at Edinburgh Castle, of Alexander Feb. 19, 
Karl Erdmann, captain of the German cruiser Blucher, which 1915- 
was sunk in the North Sea battle. 

The coffin, over which was laid the German flag, was 
carried on a gun-carriage drawn by six horses. There was 
a firing party of forty men of the 4th Royal Scots, and another 
party of fifty men of the same regiment followed. Behind 
the gun-carriage were two naval officers. As the procession 
left the Castle the pipers played ' The Land of the Leal/ 
Crowds of people lined the route to Newington Cemetery, 
where the burial took place. The service at the grave was 
Lutheran, and was conducted by the German pastor in 
Edinburgh. 

FURTHER AIR RAIDS ON THE BELGIAN COAST 

Admiralty, February 16. 

The Air operations of the Naval Wing against the Bruges- Times, 
Ostend-Zeebrugge District have been continued. Feb. 17, 

This afternoon forty aeroplanes and seaplanes bombarded I 9 I 5- 
Ostend, Middelkerke, Ghistelles, and Zeebrugge. 

Bombs were dropped on the heavy batteries situated 
on the east and west sides of Ostend Harbour; on the 
gun positions at Middelkerke; on transport wagons on the 
Ostend-Ghistelles road ; on the Mole at Zeebrugge, to widen 
the breach damaged in former attacks ; on the locks at 

393 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Zeebrugge ; on barges outside Blankenberghe ; and on 
trawlers outside Zeebrugge. **'* 

Eight French aeroplanes assisted the naval machines by 
making a vigorous attack on the Ghistelles aerodrome, thus 
effectively preventing the German aircraft from cutting off 
our machines. 

It is reported that good results were obtained. 

Instructions are always issued to confine the attacks to 
points of military importance, and every effort is made by 
the flying officers to avoid dropping bombs on any residential 
portion of the towns. 

Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to announce that 

Feb. 25, j n |.j ie recen t naval air attacks on the Ostend-Zeebrugge- 
Bruges districts four flying officers were reported to be 
missing. 

One of these officers Flight-Lieut enant D. Murray has 
since reported himself from Flushing. Lieutenant Murray 
was compelled to alight in the open sea, and was eventually 
picked up by a Dutch torpedo-boat. 

The three other officers reported missing, are Flight- 
Lieutenant E. G. Rigall, Flight-Lieutenant the Hon. D. 
O'Brien, and Flight-Sub-Lieutenant T. Spencer, and it is 
regretted that no further news has been obtained of them. 



Paris, March 5. 

An official statement issued here says : 

The daily communiques described the bombardment of 
the German positions on the Belgian coast carried out by 
French aircraft about February 20. Dutch newspapers to-day 
state that these operations achieved the following results : 

1. At Zeebrugge, parts of the Gare Maritime were destroyed 
and submarines were damaged. 

2. Thirty-three German soldiers were killed and fifty-two 
wounded by a bomb which fell on a train near Blankenberghe. 

3. Several batteries along the coast suffered and many 
members of the gun crews were killed. 

4. At Knocke, a German officer and seven men were 
killed. No civilian was hurt, and no damage was done to 
buildings. Renter. 

394 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

ADMIRAL BEHNCKE ON THE NAVAL SITUATION 

Berlin, February 16, 1915. 

Admiral Behncke, of the Marine Department, has made a New York 
statement to Lieutenant-Commander Walter R. Gherardi, Times, 
Naval Attache of the American Embassy at Berlin, which Feb - Z 7> 
is given out officially as the best exposition of the situation 
with respect to Germany's declaration of the waters round 
the British Isles as a war-zone. Admiral Behncke's state- 
ment follows : 

' Up to the present time Germany in the war at sea has 
followed the London Declaration. Great Britain has not 
followed such Declaration, nor the stipulations of the Paris 
Treaty, whereon the conduct of war on the sea was based 
before the London Declaration. In waging this commercial 
war Great Britain had in view the subjugation of Germany 
by starvation. Germany has in every way sought to call 
the attention of the neutral Powers and all others to the 
necessity that she is under to obtain food for her civil popula- 
tion, which is her right under the laws of war. 

' No results could be obtained from her efforts. Since the 
shutting off of food has now come to a point where Germany 
no longer has sufficient food to feed her people, it has become 
necessary for her to bring Great Britain to terms by the 
exercise of force. Germany knows that by the use of sub- 
marines Great Britain can be placed in a position where food 
will be lacking. Germany has the submarine force to do it. 
Her life as a nation and the lives of her people depend upon 
putting this campaign into action, and she must do so. 
Difficulties lying in the way of this campaign have been 
largely connected with the care which it is desired to bestow 
on neutral ships and the lives on board all commercial ships, 
whether neutral or enemies. 

' First, in arming her merchantmen with guns for self- 
defence Great Britain has adopted a policy against which 
Germans have strongly protested. The United States took 
the British point of view. It is impossible for German 
submarines to approach British merchantmen and make 
examinations without exposing themselves to gunfire or bomb 
attack, against which a submarine boat would be helpless. 

' Secondly, Great Britain has advised her merchant fleet 

395 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL [FBI 

to fly neutral flags, to cover the names, and to alter funnels 
and painting so as to escape the consequences of their 
nationality (here Admiral Behncke produced a copy of an 
English wireless message sent broadcast to ships to this 
effect). This plan was designed to bring Germany into 
conflict with other nations. Germany does not wish in the 
slightest degree to harm American or other neutral ships or 
cargoes unless carrying contraband. She is, however, in the 
position where her life depends upon putting into effect the 
only means she has of saving herself. She must, and will, 
use this means. Commanding officers of submarines have 
been given orders to make every effort to safeguard neutrals. 
In spite of the precautions which a submarine might take 
without risking her own destruction, it is possible that 
neutral ships may be destroyed through error or accident. 
For this reason a strong warning has been issued. In addition, 
the British coast is mined by the British themselves for 
protective reasons, and will be mined by Germans as an act 
of offensive warfare. Ships are therefore in danger from 
mines. 

' In spite of the great effect that the Admiralty feels that 
the use of submarines will have in bringing the war to a 
rapid close, they do not wish to put it into effect to the 
detriment of neutral commerce and the rights of nations on 
the high seas. They have, therefore, stated that if Great 
Britain will abide by the Declaration of London without 
modification or by the Treaty of Paris, whereby food supplies 
necessary for the civil population can be freely brought into 
Germany, the whole matter of a submarine blockade will 
be dropped by Germany. This proposal has been transmitted 
through diplomatic channels, and, if accepted, the matter is 
no longer one provocative of trouble between America and 
Germany/ 

Admiral Behncke called Commander Gherardi's attention 
to the fact that Great Britain when, by her proclamation, 
she closed the North Sea, did not give free passage to American 
ships bound for the neutral country of Holland, but com- 
pelled the ships to pass through certain channels, take an 
English pilot aboard, and undergo a search for contraband 
of war at the hands of officers of British warships. 

Admiral Behncke then said Germany was prepared to 
396 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

suggest to the United States an even freer and safer method 
for American ships bound either through the Channel or to 
English ports namely, that several American warships 
should wait in some port on the south-west coast of Ireland, 
and when communicated with by wireless by an American 
merchantman, one of them should proceed to the place 
indicated and convoy the merchantman through that portion 
of the sea which Germany, following the example of Great 
Britain, had declared to be dangerous. 

' Of course/ said the Admiral, ' ships under convoy, by 
the rules of international law, are not subject to search, but 
the country to which they belong is upon its honour, as it 
were, to see that they do not carry contraband. 

' American warships have distinctive masts and are well 
known to the officers of the German Navy, and either by 
night or day they and the vessels under their convoy would 
be respected by German submarines. 

' This is a safe method to follow for American ships which 
desire to enter those portions of the seas proclaimed dangerous 
by Germany, and differs only from the rule adopted by 
Great Britain with reference to American ships passing 
through the Channel in that American ships, instead of being 
compelled to enter a British port, take a British pilot, and 
be searched by officers of a British warship, would be per- 
mitted to pass unmolested to their destination without being 
subjected to search, the Imperial German Government being 
willing, of course, to accept the implied word of honour of 
the United States that the ships carry no contraband of war/ 

[For the text of this interview we are indebted to the courtesy of the 
New York Times.] 

SUPPOSED FOREIGN SPIES 

The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following Times, 
announcement : Feb. 17, 

' Information has been received that two persons, posing I 9 I 5- 
as an officer and sergeant, and dressed in khaki, are going 
about the country attempting to visit military works, etc. 

' They were last seen in the Midlands on the 6th inst., 
when they effected an entry into the works of a firm who 
are doing engineers' work for the Admiralty. They made 

397 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



K.D., 
Feb. 17, 
19*5- 



Times, 
Feb. 17, 



Hansard. 



certain inquiries as to the presence or otherwise of anti-air- 
craft guns, which makes it probable that they are foreign 
agents in disguise. 

' All contractors engaged on work for His Majesty's Navy 
are hereby notified with a view to the apprehension of these 
individuals, and are advised that no persons should be ad- 
mitted to their works unless notice has been received before- 
hand of their coming/ 

LOSS OF TWO GERMAN AIRSHIPS 

We are informed that the airship ' L 3,' whilst on a 
reconnoitring trip, went down owing to motor damage in a 
southerly gale on the Island Fano on the west coast of Jutland. 
The airship was lost, but the whole crew was saved. We 
are also informed that during the violent southerly gale to 
which the ' L 3 ' fell a victim on February 17, the airship 
' L 4 ' was also lost. She went ashore owing to damage 
to her motors, near Blaavands-Huk in Denmark, and was 
eventually driven out to sea. Eleven men of the crew are 
saved including the commander ; four are missing. The 
rescued men are provisionally being taken care of at Varde. 

BRITISH COLLIER BLOWN UP 

The Admiralty have received information from the French 
Government that the British collier Dulwich has been blown 
up six miles north of Cape Antifer. Twenty-two men out 
of a crew of thirty-one were saved by the French cruiser 
Arquebus, [See p. 406.] 

ROYAL MARINE OFFICERS 

House of Commons, February 17, 1915. 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked how many general officers 
and other senior officers of the Royal Marine forces are at 
present retired whose age and physique would allow of their 
employment ; and whether the Board of Admiralty can see 
their way to recommend the employment of some of these 
officers in the New Army ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : There are twenty-eight general officers, 
Royal Marines, retired. I have taken the noble Lord's 
398 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

definition ' other senior officers ' to cover the cases of colonels 
and lieutenant-colonels retired. Of these officers there are 
twenty-one on the retired list. I should imagine that few 
of the forty-nine retired officers in question are now available 
by age and physique for active service. There are thirteen 
Royal Marine general officers and four officers on the Reserve 
List of Colonels, Royal Marines, of whom fifteen were unem- 
ployed at the outbreak of hostilities. Since that date two 
of these officers have been given appointments. 

CARGO SHIPS (SHORTAGE) 

MR. PETO asked the Prime Minister what proportion of ibid, 
the steamships waiting their turn to discharge cargo at Genoa 
are on the British register and are carrying cargo from foreign 
countries ; and, in view of the shortage of ships for carrying 
foodstuffs to Great Britain and cargo for British industries, 
if he will take steps to regulate the supply of shipping so 
that British needs may have the first call of British ships ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : My right hon. friend has asked me to 
reply to this question. I understand that nineteen British 
ships, all carrying cargo from foreign countries, are awaiting 
their turn to discharge at Genoa. As regards the latter 
part of the question I cannot say more than that steps are 
being taken to add to the amount of tonnage available for 
the trade of the United Kingdom by the utilisation of prize 
ships and detained ships, and by dealing with congestion 
at ports. 

COAL TRANSPORT 

MR. GRANT asked the President of the Board of Trade ibid. 
whether, in view of the shortage of tonnage for the transport 
of coal from the Whitehaven area, and to the consequent 
distress thereby threatened, he can entertain a proposal for 
the use of interned German cargo boats for such purpose ? 

MR. RUNCIMAN : All the available enemy steamers de- 
tained in the United Kingdom are being used at the present 
time for the purpose of bringing coal to London. Inquiries 
have been set on foot as to enemy sailing ships which may 
be made available for the needs of Whitehaven. 

399 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

TRANSPORT, COALING, AND MINE- 
SWEEPING OPERATIONS 

Hansard House of Commons, February 17, 1915. 

MR. PETO asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether 
he has obtained the services of all the officers of the merchant 
service that he requires for transport, coaling, and mine- 
sweeping operations in connection with the work of the 
naval and military forces of the Crown ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : Yes, sir ; I should like to take this 
opportunity of expressing the appreciation of the Admiralty 
of the valuable services which these officers are rendering to 
the country. 

MR. PETO asked the Prime Minister out of what funds he 
intends to compensate sufferers through the bombardment 
of East Coast towns ; and whether out of the same funds 
he will grant compensation to those captains, officers, and 
crews of merchant ships who through the operations of the 
war suffer in a similar way by the loss of the necessary effects 
and nautical instruments which they carry with them ? 

MR. LLOYD GEORGE : My right hon. friend has asked me 

to answer this question. Relief for damage caused by the 

raids which have already taken place will be given from 

l r See Imperial funds. With regard to the latter part of the question, 

p. 234.] I would refer the hon. member to the answer 1 given by my 

right hon. friend the President of the Board of Trade to the 

noble Lord the member for Portsmouth on the nth instant. 

PRIZES OF WAR 

ibid. MR. FELL asked if the steamship Apolda, 4930 tons, the 

steamship Hamm, 4598 tons, and the steamship Birkenfels, 
5639 tons, were captured by British cruisers as prizes of war 
in August, and taken to Capetown ; if these prizes, with their 
cargoes, are still at Capetown ; if steps will be taken to at 
once utilise the cargoes and use the ships, and what is the 
reason for the delay which has taken place in the matter ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The vessels referred to are still at the 
Cape. I understand that the Overseas Prize Disposal Com- 
mittee have been using every endeavour to send the cargoes 
on to Australia, but that many serious difficulties have been 
400 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

encountered. As regard the Birkenfels, I am informed that 
an agreement for the navigation of the ship to Australia is on 
the point of conclusion. In the case of the Hamm and 
Apolda, which are not prizes, but detained ships, it is hoped 
that it will be possible to make an arrangement at no distant 
date. There are difficulties in their case which were not 
present in the case of the Birkenfels. It was necessary to get 
into touch with a very large number of consignees before any 
steps could be taken to make any arrangements for completing 
the journey. I may say that the proportion of enemy cargoes 
in these vessels is small. 

MR. FELL : Cannot the Government do something to 
expedite cases like these ? There are three very valuable 
ships, and their cargoes, which have been for more than 
three months absolutely wasted ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I have endeavoured to show the serious 
difficulties that have been encountered. 

ADMIRALTY TRANSPORTS (RATES OF PAYMENT) 

House of Commons, February 18, 1915. 

MR. ANDERSON asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
whether certain shipowners whose ships are in the employ 
of the Admiralty Transport Department have recently held 
a meeting to demand increased rates for the hire of those 
ships ; whether he is aware that Lord Inchcape, the chairman 
of the Arbitration Committee, in delivering his award deter- 
mining the rates of payment, said that he trusted that the 
shipowners would not look upon the rates as a minimum on 
which increases might be built ; whether any and all additional 
working expenses are to be charged to the Government by 
specified prearrangement ; and whether the shipowners men- 
tioned are basing their demands for advances, ranging from 
25 per cent, to 40 per cent., upon the claim that others are 
doing much better in the open market ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The answer to the first part of the 
question is in the affirmative. Lord Inchcape was chairman 
of certain sub-committees of the Arbitration Board, which, 
on 22nd October last, reported to Lord Mersey, President 
of the Admiralty Transport Board of Arbitration, for his 
information and advice, the basis, general scale, or rate at 
NAVAL 3 2 c 401 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

which payment to owners of ships requisitioned for Govern- 
ment service should be assessed. In forwarding these recom- 
mendations of the sub-committees to the President, Lord 
Inchcape made the statement referred to. The sub-com- 
mittees recommended that the owners should be indemnified 
against any extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses arising out 
of the requisition. The rates suggested to us on 22nd October 
as equitable by Lord Inchcape's sub-committee have been 
agreed to by the shipowners for the period from the date of 
requisition down to 3ist December last. Many, indeed, have 
agreed to the rates in question for the whole period of char- 
tering, however long. But it is the fact that a very large 
section .of the shipowners are asking higher rates to meet 
altered circumstances since ist January. The whole matter 
of these requests is at this moment the subject of careful 
consideration by the Board. 

INTERNMENT SHIPS 

House of Commons, February 18, 1915. 

Hansard. SIR HAROLD ELVERSTON asked how much per ton is being 

paid for the hire of the old ships on which aliens are now 
being interned ; and what is the approximate amount paid 
per month for the hire of these ships ? 

MR. BAKER : The vessels, which are not correctly described 
as old, were requisitioned, not hired. The rate of payment 
ranges from 153. 6d. to 175. 6d. per ton per month, with a 
reduction of 6d. per ton per month after two months. The 
approximate monthly payment for the first two months was 
86,000, afterwards 83,000. 

NAVAL BRIGADE, CRYSTAL PALACE 
(DEATHS FROM MENINGITIS) 

ibid. MR. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty 

whether he has had any recent report on the health of the 
naval troops at the Crystal Palace, and whether there have 
been any deaths from meningitis ? 

MR. RONALD M'NEILL asked the First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty how many men of the Naval Division are in training 
at the Crystal Palace ; how many medical men are there 
402 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

available for attendance upon them ; and how many cases 
there are among the men there in training ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : There are at present 6578 officers and 
men victualled at the Crystal Palace. Fourteen medical 
officers are attached. There were on Tuesday 184 men on 
the sick list. As regards cerebro-spinal meningitis, there 
have been fifteen cases up to date, the first case occurring on 
i6th January. I regret to say that eight of the cases have 
proved fatal. Every declared case has, of course, been 
transferred to an infectious hospital, and contacts have been 
removed for purposes of observation to another naval hos- 
pital, where, of course, they are carefully isolated. A special 
medical officer with expert knowledge of the disease has been 
appointed to the Division at the Palace, to devote himself 
solely to dealing with the matter. Further, a special bac- 
teriologist has been attached for the purpose of elucidating 
the origin of the disease in this case. Apart from cerebro- 
spinal cases, the general health at the Palace is very good. 
The average number on the sick list is about 2 per cent. 

MIDSHIPMEN (ROYAL NAVY) 

MR. SHIRLEY BENN asked the First Lord of the Admiralty ibid. 
whether the increased rates of pay of certain grades of junior 
officers in the Navy will apply to officers of the Royal Naval 
Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and to other 
officers at present in the Admiralty service not entered on 
the regular staff of the Navy ; and whether he will consider 
the desirability of improving the financial position of mid- 
shipmen serving in the Navy ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The increased rates of pay of certain 
grades of junior officers recently introduced apply to officers 
of the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer 
Reserve, whether permanent or entered temporarily for the 
war. I am afraid that I can give no undertaking as regards 
the second part of the question, but I may remind the hon. 
member that, as I stated in reply to the hon. member for 
Cambridge on the I5th instant, 1 where real necessity exists l [See 
the Board of Admiralty is prepared to give favourable con- p- 240. 
sideration to applications for whole or partial relief in respect 
of the -private allowance payable on behalf of midshipmen. 

403 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



Hansard. 



Times, 
Feb. 18, 



NAVY SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATE, 1914-15 

House of Commons, February 18, 1915. 

Motion made, and question proposed, ' That an additional 
number, not exceeding 32,000 officers, seamen, and boys, be 
employed for the year ending on the 3ist day of March 1915, 
beyond the number already voted for the year/ 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF 
ADMIRALTY (DR. MACNAMARA) : I ought shortly to explain 
why this Supplementary Estimate is necessary. In the first 
Estimates for the year 1914-15 we took power to work up to 
a maximum of 151,000 active service ratings in Vote A. On 
mobilisation we turned over all the Reserves to Vote A 
Royal Fleet Reserves, Royal Naval Reserves, and Royal 
Naval Volunteer Reserves. On the 5th August we came for 
a Supplementary Estimate of 67,000 men, very largely due 
to the fact that on mobilisation we turned the Reserves over 
to Vote A. Recruitment has still gone on, and will go on 
to the 3 ist March. I am speaking now of the present financial 
year. It will no doubt go on after that. In order that we 
may not have more men on Vote A than Parliament has 
granted, we now ask to include 32,000 more, making the 
total for the year 250,000. I should explain that we do not 
need a Supplementary Vote for the pay, as we took 8,800,000 
in the 1914-15 Estimates, and any excess beyond that we 
shall be able to finance out of the Vote of Credit. 

(Question put, and agreed to.) 

WAR RISKS AT SEA 

The Board of Trade announce that arrangements have 
been completed under which compensation will be payable 
in the case of all persons employed in any capacity on board 
British merchant ships who may be injured owing to hos- 
tilities. A special scheme has been brought into operation 
to provide for cases which are not already covered by the 
Workmen's Compensation Act. The arrangement also applies 
to fishing vessels insured under the Government scheme. 

The Government scheme for insuring British fishing vessels 
against war risks, which was started in August last by the 

Board of Trade in co-operation with the British Fishing 
404 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Vessels War Risks Insurance Association, is being continued 
for a further period of three months at a reduced rate of 
premium. The scheme has proved very successful in enabling 
fishing vessels to continue to ply their industry, thus main- 
taining a supply of fish, keeping fishermen in occupation, 
and assisting the trades which are connected with the fishing 
industry. 

NAVAL BENEFITS FOR MERCHANT SEAMEN 

The President of the Board of Trade makes the following Times. 
announcement : Feb. 19, 

' Under the War Risks scheme the Government have I 9 I 5- 
decided to extend to such British crews of British merchant 
vessels as may lose life or limb owing to attacks by an enemy 
warship, submarine, or aircraft the same scale of benefits 
as would be payable to the men or dependants of men of 
similar rank in the Royal Navy. 

' This will take the place of the lesser payments receivable 
under the Workmen's Compensation Act, for the amounts of 
which the shipowners will continue to be liable, the additional 
sums necessary to provide the naval scale of benefits for 
merchant seamen being provided from the War Risks Insur- 
ance Fund. 

FIRST NEUTRAL VICTIM OF SUBMARINE 
CAMPAIGN 

The Secretary of the Admiralty last night made the Times, 
following announcement : Feb. 20, 

The Rear-Admiral at Dover reports that the Norwegian I 9 I 5- 
tank ship Belridge was struck by the torpedo of a German 
submarine to-day near Folkestone. Pieces of the torpedo 
have been found on board the ship. The Belridge was a 
neutral ship proceeding from New Orleans to Amsterdam. 

THE CAMBANK TORPEDOED 

Liverpool. The steamer Cambank on passage from Cardiff K.V., 
to Liverpool was torpedoed without warning by a German Feb. 20, 
submarine off the coast of Anglesey. Three of the crew were I9I5< 
killed by the explosion, two, who jumped overboard, were 
drowned. The rest of the crew were rescued. 

405 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



GERMAN SUBMARINES IN THE CHANNEL 

C.0., On the evening of 15th February, off Cape d'Antifer, a 

Feb. 20, German submarine torpedoed without previous warning the 
19151 English collier Dulwich, which was on passage from Hull to 

Rouen. The vessel foundered quickly, but the crew, thirty- 
one in number, were able to lower their boats and embark 
in them. The destroyer Arquebus which was cruising in the 
neighbourhood, picked up twenty-two men shortly afterwards. 
[See p. 398.] A boat containing seven other men put in at 
Fecamp. 

On the i6th at 1.30 A.M. the French steamer Ville de Lille 
on passage from Cherbourg to Dunkirk sighted the German 
submarine U 16 to the northward of the Barfleur light. She 
attempted to escape, but her speed was insufficient. The 
submarine overtook and sank her by means of bombs placed 
in the hold, after giving the crew ten minutes to save them- 
selves in the two boats she carried. 

The submarine next approached a Norwegian steamer 
with similar intent, but she withdrew to the eastward, dived, 
and disappeared, on the arrival of the Cherbourg division of 
torpedo craft. 

At 2 A.M. on i8th February, a German submarine, probably 
the U 16, torpedoed the steamer Dinorah off Dieppe. As 
the watertight bulkheads held, the vessel did not founder and 
was able to reach Dieppe. The Dinorah is an Austrian 
steamer captured at the outset of the war and since in French 
employ. 

BRITISH STEAMERS SUNK BY GERMANS 

Belfast. 

K.V., On Saturday afternoon towards five o'clock a German 

Feb. 22, submarine held up an English collier in the Irish Sea. It 

allowed the crew five minutes' time to get into the boats and 

then sank the vessel. Reuter. 



Buenos Ay res. 

K.V., The German steamer Holger arrived yesterday with 

Feb. 22, passengers and crews of the English steamers Highlandbrae 
I915 ' 406 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORYNAVAL 

(7600 tons), Potaro (4400 tons), Hemisphere (3500 tons), 
Semantha (2850 tons), and the sailing ship Wilfrid, all of 
which were sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser Kronprinz 
Wilhelm. The Holger was unable to leave within twenty-four 
hours, and was interned. Renter. 

ATTACK ON THE DARDANELLES 

Admiralty, February 20. 

Yesterday morning at 8 A.M. a British fleet of battleships Times, 
and battle cruisers, accompanied by flotillas, and aided by a Feb. 22, 
strong French squadron, the whole under the command of I 9 I 5- 
Vice- Admiral Sackville H. Garden, began an attack upon the 
forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles. 

The forts at Cape Helles and Kum Kale were bombarded 
with deliberate long-range fire. Considerable effect was 
produced on two of the forts. Two others were frequently 
hit, but, being open earthworks, it was difficult to estimate 
the damage. The forts, being outranged, were not able to 
reply to fire. 

At 2.45 P.M. a portion of the battleship force was ordered 
to close and engage the forts at closer range with secondary 
armament. The forts at both sides of the entrance then 
opened fire, and were engaged at moderate ranges by 
Vengeance, Cornwallis, Triumph, Suffren, Gaulois, Bouvet, 
supported by Inflexible and Agamemnon at long range. The 
forts on the European side were apparently silenced. One 
fort on the Asiatic side was still firing when the operation was 
suspended owing to failing light. 

No ships of the Allied Fleet were hit. The action has 
been renewed this morning after aerial reconnaissance. His 
Majesty's aeroplane ship Ark Royal is in attendance with a 
number of aeroplanes and seaplanes of the Naval Wing. 



Constantinople, February 19. 

Headquarters reports that early this morning British and K.D. 
French warships bombarded the outer forts of the Dardanelles, 
firing some four hundred shots without achieving any result. 
One soldier was slightly wounded in the leg by stone splinters. 



407 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Constantinople, February 20. 

K.D. Headquarters states that eight armoured ships bombarded 

the outer forts for seven hours without silencing them. The 
enemy fired six hundred shots from great calibre and 15-centi- 
metre guns. Three hostile armoured ships were damaged, 
one flagship heavily. On the Turkish side one man was 
killed and another slightly wounded. 



Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following 

Feb. 24, announcement : 

1915. Unfavourable weather with low visibility and a strong 

south-westerly gale has interrupted the operations at the 
Dardanelles. 

The outer forts were seriously damaged by the bombard- 
ment of the i gth. 

Times, The Secretary to the Admiralty makes the following 

Feb. 26, statement : 

1915- The weather moderating, the bombardment of the outer 

forts of the Dardanelles was renewed at 8 A.M. this morning 
(February 25). After a period of long-range fire a squadron 
of battleships attacked at close range. All the forts at the 
entrance of the Straits have been successfully reduced. The 
operations are continuing. 



Admiralty, February 27. 

Times, The entrance to the Dardanelles was guarded by four 

Mar. i. principal forts, namely, Cape Helles Battery, Fort Sedd-el- 
Bahr, Fort Orkhanieh Tabia, and Fort Kum Kalessi Tabia, 
which will be described for convenience as A, B, C, and D. 

These forts are armed as follows : A, two 9. 2-inch guns ; 
B, six io.2-inch ; C, two 9.2-inch ; and D, four 10. 2-inch and 
two s.g-inch. 

The weather having improved, although the wind was 
still from the south-west, the attack on the above forts was 
resumed on Thursday morning (February 25) at 10 A.M. 
The Queen Elizabeth, Agamemnon, Irresistible, and Gaulois 
began by deliberately bombarding Forts A, B, C, and D, 
408 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

respectively, at long range. Fort A replied, and one shell 
at 11,000 yards hit the Agamemnon, killing three men and 
seriously wounding five. 

The Irresistible and the Gaulois made excellent practice 
on Forts C and D, while the Queen Elizabeth concentrated 
with great accuracy on Fort A, putting both of its guns out 
of action by about 11.30 A.M. The Vengeance and Cornwallis 
then ran in under cover of long-range fire and engaged Fort A 
at close range. The reduction of Fort A was completed, 
while Forts C and D opened a very slow, inaccurate fire. 

The Suffren and the Charlemagne next delivered an attack 
on Forts C and D, advancing to within 2000 yards of them. 
It was then seen that they were in no condition to offer 
effective resistance. The Vengeance, Triumph, and Albion 
were then ordered in to complete the reduction of the forts. 
All four were reduced by 5.15 P.M. 

Sweeping operations, covered by a division of battleships 
and destroyers, were immediately begun. The enemy set 
fire to the village at the entrance as darkness fell. 

A report has also been received of the operations on the 
26th. The Straits have now been swept up to four miles 
from the entrance. The Albion and Majestic, supported by 
the Vengeance, proceeded to the limit of the swept area and 
began an attack on Fort Dardanus (E) (four 5.Q-inch guns), 
and some new batteries which have been erected on the 
Asiatic shore. Fire in reply was ineffective. 

After being shelled from inside the Straits, the enemy 
retired from the forts at the entrance, and during the after- 
noon demolishing parties were landed at Kum Kale and 
Sedd-el-Bahr from the Vengeance and the Irresistible. Forts 
A, B, and C, were then completely, and Fort D partially, 
demolished. The enemy encountered in Kum Kale were 
driven out over Mendere Bridge, which was partially destroyed. 
Two new 4-inch guns concealed near Tomb of Achilles were 
also destroyed. Four Nordenfelts covering the entrance were 
destroyed. 

Our casualties on the 26th were one killed and three 
wounded. 

The operations are proceeding. 



409 



K.V., 
Feb. 26, 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Paris, February 26. 

The bombardment of the forts at the entrance' to the 
Dardanelles was resumed yesterday at long range at eight 
o'clock in the morning. This was followed by a cannonade 
at shorter range. Four forts, one of which was completely 
manned by Germans, were totally destroyed. 

Mine-sweeping in the straits has been begun under the 
protection of battleships and cruisers of the combined fleets. 
Renter. 

Constantinople, February 26. 

Headquarters reports as follows : 

Ten large armoured ships began a bombardment of the 
forts at the entrance of the Dardanelles yesterday at ten 
o'clock in the morning. 

The firing lasted until half-past five in the afternoon, when 
the ships retired in the direction of Tenedos. According to 
observations made, a hostile ship of the Agamemnon type 
and two other armoured ships were damaged by the fire of 
the forts on the Anatolian coast. 



Times, 
Mar. i, 



Paris, February 27. 

It is officially announced that the Suffren, the Gaulois, 
and the Charlemagne played a very active part last Thursday 
(February 25) in the destruction of the forts at the mouth of 
the Dardanelles. While three British battleships opened a 
slow and methodical fire on the three forts Cape Helles, Sedd- 
el-Bahr, and Orkhanieh, the Gaulois took as its target the 
great fort of Kum Kale, which defended the entrance to the 
straits on the Asiatic side. 

The firing of the Gaulois was of remarkable precision. 
When this slow and methodical fire had brought about the 
expected results, the other battleships fired at a closer range 
to complete the destruction of the enemy's batteries. The 
Suffren and Charlemagne thus approached to less than two 
kilometres from the forts of Sedd-el-Bahr and Kum Kale, 
which were only able to fire a few shots without effect. The 
forts were effectively reduced at 5.15 P.M. Our three battle- 
ships sustained no damage. 

410 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Constantinople, February 27. 

Last Wednesday hostile ships bombarded the outer forts Times, 
of the Dardanelles with heavy guns for seven hours, causing Mar. i, 
damage at some points. Notwithstanding the bombardment I 9 I 5- 
our casualties were only five killed and fourteen wounded. 
The enemy fleet continued the bombardment to-day, but in 
the afternoon they retreated out of the range of our batteries 
at Sedd-el-Bahr. * 

Amsterdam, February 28. 

The Headquarters Staff announces that the enemy's fleet Times, 
has shelled at great intervals the fort of Sedd-el-Bahr at the Mar - * 
entrance to the Dardanelles. I9I5- 



CUNARD STEAMSHIP COMPANY. 

House of Commons, February 22, 1915. 

MR. LOUGH asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether Hansard. 
the Admiralty have taken the various steps contemplated in 
the agreement with the Cunard Steamship Company entered 
into in 1903-4 ; whether the two ships built under the agree- 
ment, or other ships of the company, have been utilised as 
contemplated in the agreement ; and whether the rates of 
remuneration paid to the Cunard Company for services 
rendered during the war, as compared with that paid to 
other steamship companies, have been sufficiently favourable 
to recoup the Government for the total annual expenses 
incurred under the agreement ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The answer to the first part of the 
question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part 
of the question, the Lusitania and Mauretania have not been 
used as armed merchant cruisers, but other vessels of the 
Cunard fleet have been so used under the provisions of the 
agreement, one of the vessels being the Carmania, which 
achieved success in action with the Cap Trafalgar. As regards 
the last part of the question, the rates of remuneration paid 
to the Cunard Company for the services of their steamers 
as armed merchant cruisers during the war are less than 

411 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

those conceded to other owners of the same class of ship, 
but the question whether the saving so made is sufficient to 
recoup the Government for the annual outlay under the 
agreement must be considered in conjunction with the other 
advantages to secure which Parliament sanctioned the sub- 
vention, and can hardly be discussed within the limits of 
question and answer. 

DECLARATION OF LONDON. 

House of Commons, February 22, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. DENNiss asked the Secretary of State for Foreign 

Affairs, with reference to the Convention known as the 
Declaration of London, which of the Powers engaged in the 
present war and which of the other great maritime Powers 
have ratified or adhered to its provisions, and in respect of 
which, if any, of its articles reservations have in any case 
been attached ? 

MR. PRIMROSE : No ratification of the Declaration has 
yet been deposited. 

LORD C. BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister whether he 
can now lay upon the Table of the House the modifications 
in the Declaration of London, in view of the recent German 
announcements of their intention to disregard the laws and 
customs and international obligations connected with the 
sea ? 

MR. PRIMROSE : I am not yet in a position to make any 
announcement. 

NAVAL RECRUITING STATION, EDINBURGH. 

ibid - MR. HOGGE asked whether advantage will be taken of the 

present circumstances to remove the naval recruiting station 
from Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, to a more prominent 
thoroughfare where the advantages of joining the Navy could 
be more prominently displayed ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : As far as I am aware, the premises 
at Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, which I understand have 
been used as Naval and Marine recruiting offices for many 
years, meet all requirements in the existing circumstances, 
and I do not think that there are sufficient reasons for making 
412 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

a change. Recruiting is quite satisfactory, and it would 
appear that if greater activity should be necessary a more 
fruitful plan than the payment of higher rentals would be 
expenditure on advertisements in local newspapers and on 
posters. 

NAVAL BOMBARDMENT (EAST COAST). 

MR. KELLAWAY asked the Prime Minister the number of ibid. 
women and children killed or wounded during the recent 
naval raid on the East Coast of England ? 

The PRIME MINISTER (MR. ASQUITH) : The number of 
women killed was thirty-nine, of children killed, thirty-nine. 
The Scarborough authorities have been unable to give the 
number of women and children wounded. The number at 
the Hartlepools and Whitby were, women 133, children 177. 
The figures of killed include those who died of wounds. 

MR. KELLAWAY : Might I ask if the Government will be 
prepared to suggest to the Recruiting Committee the advisa- 
bility of issuing these figures as a recruiting poster ? 

The PRIME MINISTER : They are now, I think, very well 
known. 

MR. KELLAWAY asked the Prime Minister whether he will 
give the number of persons killed or wounded amongst the 
civil population during the recent naval raid on the East 
Coast of England ? 

The PRIME MINISTER : The total number of killed among 
the civil population was 127 ; of wounded (including an esti- 
mated figure for Scarborough), 567. 

GERMAN BLOCKADE 
ANNOUNCEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER 

LORD CHARLES BERESFORD asked the Prime Minister ibid. 
whether he can now make an announcement as to whether 
the British Government will immediately place all food and 
raw material used to foster German industries on the list 
of absolute contraband of war ; and whether he will consider 
the possibility, in order to make this declaration more powerful, 
of sending a joint Note from the Allies, France, Russia, Japan, 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

and Great Britain, all equally concerned in ending the war, 
stating their determination to enforce these stringent measures 
with a view of hastening the end of the war ? 

The PRIME MINISTER : The allied Governments are con- 
sidering what action it would be proper for them to take by 
way of reprisals against the German policy of attacking and 
destroying British, allied, and neutral merchant vessels with- 
out warning, and without any attempt to save the lives of 
the civilian and innocent crews. Pending such decision, 
which I hope will soon be announced, I can make no state- 
ment as to the nature and scope of the measures to be taken 
or the form in which they will be made public. 

LORD C. BERESFORD : Might I ask the Prime Minister, 
with regard to his reply, whether it will be a joint Note, and 
not a Note specially from Great Britain ? 

The PRIME MINISTER : I cannot yet say that. There 
certainly will be a Note from Great Britain, and I hope a 
joint Note. 

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE (CADETS) 

House of Commons, February 23, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. BARNSTON asked if cadets at Dartmouth College and 

the midshipmen in the training cruisers were distributed 
among the ships of the Fleet for active service at the outbreak 
of the war ; if some of these lads have lost their lives ; if 
under the regulations their parents are charged 50 a year ; 
and will he see that in the future, while these lads are 
risking their lives for their country, the parents are not 
compelled to pay the Admiralty for the services of their 
sons ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : The answer to the first three parts of 
the question is in the affirmative. As regards the last part, 
I may remind the hon. gentleman that, as I stated in reply to 
1 [See the hon. member for Cambridge on the I5th instant, 1 in the 
P- 240.] case of the private allowance payable on behalf of midshipmen, 
the Board of Admiralty is prepared to give favourable con- 
sideration to applications for whole or partial relief where real 
necessity exists ; and, further, that in the case of midshipmen 
killed on active service, any sums deposited in advance in 
respect of a period subsequent to the date of death are returned 
414 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORYNAVAL 

to the guardians upon the closing of the private allowance 
accounts of the officers concerned. 

SUPPLY NAVY ESTIMATES, 1915-16 

Resolution reported, 

' That 250,000 officers, seamen, and boys, Coastguard, and ibid. 
Royal Marines be employed for the Sea and Coastguard 
Services for the year ending on the 3ist day of March, 
1916.' 

Motion made, and question proposed, ' That this House 
doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.' 

MR. HOGGE : If the point I desire to raise is in order, it 
will take but a very short time to explain it. A question 
was addressed to the Secretary of the Admiralty the other day 
with regard to the methods of recruiting for the Navy, and I 
suggested that in Edinburgh which is now the heart of naval 
activity and enterprise the recruiting station is situated in 
a street which is not accessible to the general public, and where 
the advantages of joining the Navy cannot be adequately 
displayed to the public. I am perfectly certain, in view of the 
fact that there is great activity in the city, it would pay the 
Admiralty to make further efforts to advertise the Navy in a 
better manner. It has been suggested that Princes Street 
would be a better place for the recruiting office, and I hope the 
Government will be able to fall in with the local desires in that 
respect. 

MR. BOOTH : I want to refer to a matter also affecting 
recruiting for the Navy, and that is the uncertainty that exists 
in the minds of some men whether their life policies will carry, 
without any extra premium, when they join the Regular 
Forces. I think this opportunity should be taken by the 
Admiralty to point out the concession made under that head. 
I find in an answer which the Secretary to the Admiralty gave 
to the hon. member for Devizes (Mr. Peto) he seemed to be 
under the impression that there had not been as many con- 
cessions on this point as is really the case. I should like to 
read to the House a short letter which was sent to the right 
hon. gentleman on this point on the 5th October. It is as 
follows : 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



' ASSOCIATION OF INDUSTRIAL ASSURANCE COMPANIES AND 
COLLECTING FRIENDLY SOCIETIES. 

High Holborn, W.C., October 5, 1914. 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of the 2nd instant addressed to the Secre- 
tary of the Pearl Assurance Company regarding the case of Corporal 
C. C. Morgan has been handed to me. 

In reply to your letter generally I should like to say that at the 
meeting of this Association (of which you will observe the Pearl Assur- 
ance Company are members) held on the i6th ultimo, as to the result 
of a report submitted by the actuaries of several of the offices hi the 
Association, who had been giving the subject their consideration for 
the previous two or three weeks, it was decided that for the present all 
claims ordinary and industrial in respect of the Regular Forces be 
honoured in full without any abatement or without any surcharge in 
respect of an extra premium ; and further, that no extra premium be 
imposed or any abatement made in the sum assured in respect of Terri- 
torials, new levies, etc., for this war only. These recommendations 
apply only to policies effected up to and including the 4th August, 
1914. With regard to new contracts, the tariffs recommended by the 
Life Offices Association were adopted. 

I have no doubt you will be interested to learn the foregoing decision 
of this Association, which I trust will afford you considerable pleasure 
and satisfaction. Yours truly, F. D. BOWLES, F.S., 

Hon. Sec.' 

That letter was sent to the Admiralty as well as to the War 
Office. It elicited only a formal acknowledgment from the 
Admiralty. I am afraid they did not give that attention to 
it which the document deserved, and which the War Office 
gave to it. I do not know whether I am in order in referring 
to the answer from the War Office I am only doing it by way 
of contrast but the War Office concluded their acknowledg- 
ment by saying : ' The Council propose to make known this 
decision to the Army generally, and are sure that it will be 
received with the greatest satisfaction by all concerned/ I 
suggest that the Admiralty might have taken the same course. 
I do not know that they have not, and I should like some 
assurance from the Secretary to the Admiralty, if he takes the 
same favourable view, that pains will be taken to circulate 
the information among the men generally. 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY 
(DR. MACNAMARA) : With regard to the point raised by the 
416 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

hon. member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) that the recruit- 
ing station at Edinburgh is not in a suitable place, I have to 
say that the present office has been used for a good many 
years for the purposes of recruiting, and we are quite satisfied 
with the recruiting which has been carried on. We are of 
opinion, if we desire to spend more money in this matter, our 
best policy would be to devote it to newspaper advertisements 
and posters rather than paying increased rental. With regard 
to the point raised by the hon. member for Pontefract, I am 
familiar with the facts, as I was a party, with officials from the 
War Office, to the negotiations which ultimately led to these 
concessions. I have paid, I hope, a tribute to the assurance 
companies for what they have done. When I replied to my 
hon. friend the other day there was an unexplored part of the 
matter still remaining to be dealt with. It was a question 
whether something could not also be done for the mercantile 
marine. That point had been put to me by the hon. member 
for Devizes, and it had not been taken up in the communica- 
tions between the companies and ourselves. I thought it 
was a point which we might consider, and I still think so. But 
I am very mindful of what the assurance companies have 
done, and if the hon. member thinks that the tribute I have 
paid to them is not sufficient, I hope he will now accept my 
assurance that we fully appreciate the concession. 

Question put, and agreed to. 

Resolution reported, 

2. ' That a sum, not exceeding 1000, be granted to His 
Majesty, to defray the Expense of Wages, etc., to Officers, 
Seamen, and Boys, Coastguard, and Royal Marines, which 
will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 
3ist day of March 1916.' 

Resolution agreed to. 

Resolution reported, 

' That an additional number, not exceeding 32,000 Officers, 
Seamen, and Boys, be employed for the year ending on the 
3ist day of March, 1915, beyond the number already voted 
for the year/ 

Resolution agreed to. 



NAVAL 3 2 D 417 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

A GERMAN STEAMER SUNK BY A MINE 

OFF* EMDEN 

Berlin. 

K.V., The cotton steamer Evelyn, which came in contact with 

Feb. 23, a mine an d was sunk off Borkum on her way to Bremer- 

1915 haven, was sailing along the East Frisian coast without a 

German pilot in spite of the warnings issued by the Germans. 

We hear from competent authorities that the captain of the 

Evelyn declared in his evidence that it was his intention to 

steer a course leading farther North. He was, however, 

held up by an English warship on the way, and advised by 

an officer to choose the more southerly course and to keep 

as near as possible to the East Frisian coast. 

BRITISH TRANSPORT SUNK 

Berlin, February 23. 

K.D., Yesterday afternoon at 4.45, the British troop-transport 

Feb. 23, steamer 102 was sunk off Beachy Head by a German submarine. 
1915. 

FRENCH ATTACK ON A GERMAN SUBMARINE 

C.O., On February 23 a flotilla vessel attached to the second 

Feb. 27, French light squadron discovered and fired at a German 

submarine navigating on the surface some eight miles S.W. 

of Cape d'Alprecht, near Boulogne. The submarine was hit 

several times before she dived. A coating of oil marked the 

place where she disappeared. 

SUBMARINE ATTACK ON PASSENGER BOAT 
FROM FOLKESTONE TO BOULOGNE 

Times, The Secretary of the Admiralty last night made the 

Feb. 24, following announcement : 

The Folkestone and Boulogne cross-Channel passenger 
boat was attacked last night, shortly after leaving Boulogne 
Harbour, by a German submarine. 

The torpedo passed thirty yards ahead of the ship. 
The passengers, numbering ninety-two, consisted of 
civilians and included among their number some neutrals, 
418 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

RESTRICTION OF NAVIGATION 

The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following Times, 
announcement : Feb. 24, 

Mariners are warned that the navigation and use of the I 9 I 5- 
undermentioned area is entirely forbidden to all ships and 
vessels of every size and nationality : 

Bounded on the North- West by a line joining (a) and (b) : 

(a) Latitude 55 22%' N., longitude 6 17' W. 

(b) Latitude 55 31' N., longitude 6 02' W. 
Bounded on the South-East by a line joining (c) and (d) : 

(c) Latitude 55 ioj' N., longitude 5 24%' W. 

(d) Latitude 55 02' N., longitude 5 401' W. 
Bounded on the South- West by a line joining (a) and (d). 
Bounded on the North-East by a line joining (b) and (c). 
All traffic wishing to proceed through the North Channel 

must pass to the southward of Rathlin Island between sun- 
rise and sunset ; no ship or vessel is to be within four miles 
of Rathlin Island between sunset and sunrise. 

This order is to take effect from the 23rd February, 1915. 

THE DESAIX IN THE RED SEA 

As a result of a demonstration by the cruiser Desaix, the C.O., 
Turkish authorities have released the French Consul at Feb. 20, 
Hodeidah, who had been carried off into the interior. The I 9 I 5- 
Desaix has brought the Consul back to Suez. 



Paris, February 26. 

It is officially announced that on the 23rd inst. the French 
cruiser Desaix made a demonstration at Akaba. A landing 
party, supported by the fire of the warship, dispersed a small 
force of Turks holding the village. Renter. 

BLOCKADE OF GERMAN EAST AFRICA 

Foreign Office, February 23, 1915- 

His Majesty's Government have decided to declare a L.G., 
blockade of the coast of German East Africa as from midnight Feb - 
February 28th-March ist. The blockade will extend along I915 * 

419 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 



K.V., 
Feb. 24, 



Times, 
Feb. 25, 



Hansard. 



the whole coast, including the islands i.e., from latitude 
4 41 ' South to latitude 10 40' South. 

Four days' grace from the time of the commencement of 
the blockade will be given for the departure of neutral vessels 
from the blockaded area. 

THE DAGUE SUNK AT ANTIVARI 

Paris, February 26. 

It is officially announced that the French torpedo-boat 
Dague, which was escorting a supply convoy for Montenegro, 
struck an Austrian mine in the harbour at Antivari on 
Wednesday (February 24) and sank. Thirty-eig;ht men of 
the crew are missing. The work of landing supplies was not 
interrupted, and the convoy returned safely. Renter. 

A FRENCH MINE-SWEEPER SUNK 

Paris. 

The Temps announces that the mine-sweeper Marie 
struck a drifting mine in the Eastern harbour of Dun- 
kirk on Sunday evening (February 21) and sank at once. 
Four men of the crew were drowned, several others, including 
the master, were seriously injured. 

CLAN MACNAUGHTON PRESUMED LOST 

Press Bureau, February 24. 

The Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to announce that 
H.M.S. Clan MacNaughton, armed merchant cruiser (Com- 
mander Robert Jeffreys, R.N.), has been missing since the 
3rd February, and it is feared that the vessel has been lost. 

Unsuccessful search was made, and wreckage supposed to 
be portions of this ship has since been discovered. The last 
signal received from the Clan MacNaughton was made in the 
early morning of February 3, and it is feared that she was 
lost during the bad weather which prevailed at that time. 

GERMANS HOLDING PILOTAGE CERTIFICATES 

House of Lords, February 24, 1915. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I beg to ask His 
Majesty's Government how many certificates for pilotage for 
the River Thames or for any part of the United Kingdom 
420 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

were held by German or Austrian subjects, or by naturalised 
Germans or Austrians, when the war broke out. 

The UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES 
(LORD ISLINGTON) : My Lords, at the outbreak of war five 
pilotage certificates for the London district and three for 
the Humber (except in and out of Grimsby) were held by 
German subjects, all being masters in the employment of the 
Argo Steamship Company, of Bremen. No pilotage certifi- 
cate for any other port in the United Kingdom was held by 
a German or Austrian subject. So far as the Board of Trade 
have been able to ascertain, no pilotage certificate was held 
by a naturalised German or Austrian, but the pilotage 
authorities are not in all cases in possession of information 
with regard to the antecedents of the holders of certificates. 
The total number of pilotage certificates held by masters and 
mates in the United Kingdom at the date mentioned was 
about 2500. 

DETAINED ENEMY VESSELS 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : My Lords, I beg to ask the ibid. 
noble Lord opposite whether His Majesty's Government have 
considered the case of the seventy-three enemy vessels, with 
a gross tonnage of 93,354 tons, which Mr. Churchill stated on 
February 10 in the House of Commons are now detained in 
the ports of the United Kingdom ; whether this number and 
tonnage represent all the enemy vessels that are now so 
detained ; how long those vessels have been thus detained ; 
whether he can say why His Majesty's Government have not 
instructed Mr. Attorney-General to apply to the Prize Court 
for a condemnation of these vessels ; and whether there is 
any reason why, in default of such an application by the 
Attorney-General to the Prize Court for condemnation of 
any enemy vessel, the captors of such vessel may not them- 
selves apply for its condemnation. 

LORD ISLINGTON : Including a number of small vessels, 
the total number of ships belonging to enemy subjects detained 
in the United Kingdom is eighty-three, with a total gross 
tonnage of 100,448 tons. All these vessels were seized in 
ports in the United Kingdom at the outbreak of war with 
the countries to which they respectively belong, and have 
since been detained. The Attorney-General has applied to 

421 



Hansard. 



ibid. 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the Prize Court for adjudication in each case, and the order 
of the Court was that the vessel should be detained until 
further orders. The cases have thus been dealt with, and 
there is no reason to reopen them. The detention of the 
ships rather than their condemnation is in accordance with 
the Sixth Hague Convention, 1907, ratified by His Majesty's 
Government in 1909. The judgments of the Prize Courts 
have been so framed, however, that in the event of reciprocal 
treatment not being obtained for British ships which were 
seized in enemy ports on the declaration of war, the Crown 
will be at liberty to apply to the Court for condemnation of 
the ships. The Crown, acting through the officers of Customs 
and Excise, is the captor of these ships. 

PRIZE MONEY 

House of Commons, February 24, 1915. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE had the following Notice on the 
Paper : * To ask His Majesty's Government whether it is 
true that they have set up a Prize Claims Committee to 
consider of a distribution to individuals, whose claims have 
been rejected by the Prize Court, of portions of Prize Money ; 
and if so, whether he can inform the House what are its 
qualifications, and what cases in respect of what vessels and 
of what persons are now under consideration by that Com- 
mittee ; and whether it is intended that while all Prize 
Money is withheld from the officers and men of the Navy, 
part of it shall be distributed to persons selected by the 
Prize Court Committee/ 

The noble Earl said : My Lords, the noble Marquess who 
leads the House has asked me to defer this question, for he 
is not able to be here to-day, nor would he find it, I under- 
stand, convenient to answer the question yet. I also under- 
stand from the message I received that he will be good enough 
to let me know as soon as he is in a position to answer it. 
I hope that there will not be great delay, because the question 
involved is one of considerable importance. 

ADMIRALTY COURTS-MARTIAL 

The EARL OF SELBORNE rose to move to resolve : ' That 
this House is of opinion that the established custom of the 
422 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Navy by which a court-martial is held to investigate the 
loss of any of His Majesty's ships is founded on the best 
interests both of the Navy and of the public, and that it is 
expedient that it should be maintained/ 

The noble Earl said : My Lords, the subject of my Motion 
is one, I venture to think, of great importance, and your 
Lordships must bear with me if in the course of my speech I 
read a certain number of quotations. But before proceeding 
to my argument I wish to refer to some remarks 1 which * [See 
the First Lord of the Admiralty made on this subject P- 2 54-] 
in the House of Commons a few days ago. He pleaded that 
Parliament and the country should repose confidence in the 
Board of Admiralty. I have said before, and I wish to repeat 
to-day, that we have confidence in the Board of Admiralty 
and wish to support that Board to the best of our ability. 
The Board of Admiralty contains some very distinguished 
men. I suppose no member of your Lordships' House has 
had a better opportunity than I have of gauging to the full 
the great ability of Lord Fisher, and I wish to say without 
any reservation that we are conscious of the very special and 
immense responsibility which rests on the First Sea Lord in 
time of war, and desire to give him and the whole of the 
rest of the Board of Admiralty all the help we can in the 
fulfilment of that great responsibility, for which his most 
singular gifts so admirably fit him in a time of national crisis.. 

But, my Lords, if we have misgivings, they have been 
entirely caused by the conduct of the First Lord of the 
Admiralty. If he (Mr. Churchill) had been content, if he 
was now content, to fill that great part which is his own as 
a member of the Board of Admiralty as Lord Goschen put 
it, primus inter pares he would have far less criticism than 
he has to meet. But it is because he has so often separated 
himself from the Board of Admiralty, because he has so 
often made pronouncements in which his own personality 
alone appeared and in which the Board of Admiralty was 
never mentioned, and because we know he has made weird 
excursions of his own to Belgium in semi-naval uniform that 
we feel in doubt sometimes whether he is speaking as Mr. 
Churchill or as First Lord of the Admiralty. If we could 
be reassured when he speaks and acts that he is only speaking 
and acting as part of that great body, then he may be assured 

423 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

of our constant confidence. We do not pretend to have the 
same confidence in his private individual judgment as we 
have in the collective judgment of the Board of Admiralty. 

When the noble Marquess who leads the House was 
referring to this question of naval courts-martial, I think in 
the beginning of January, he said that there was no statutory 
obligation to hold a court-martial in the case of the loss of a 
ship ; that it was more a custom than a legal obligation. 
He was perfectly correct. But the best comment upon that 
which I have seen was written to me by a distinguished 
Admiral. This is what he wrote : ' The British Navy is 
very much like the British Constitution. Many of its most 
important customs are unwritten/ There is a very wide 
field for research into this matter, wide in its bulk though 
not wide in the multitude of authorities. As your Lordships 
know, the historian of the Navy was the late Sir William 
Laird Clowes. His work extends, I think, into seven bulky 
volumes, and he is the only man, I suppose, who has read 
through the records of all the naval courts-martial. There- 
fore there is no authority extant, either in the Admiralty or 
outside, greater than that of Sir W. Laird Clowes on this 
question of the custom of the Navy in the matter of courts- 
martial. 

Let me state to you the effect of Sir W. Laird Clowes's 
views on this matter. I do not think any one could study 
his works without coming to the conclusion that the Admiralty 
has made a complete departure from the established practice 
of the Navy in declining to hold a court-martial in the cases 
of the loss of His Majesty's ships since the outbreak of the 
present war. An examination of the naval records by Sir 
W. Laird Clowes reveals the fact that since 1652 the rule 
was established that in the case of every ship lost, captured, 
or surrendered, a court-martial should be assembled to deal 
with the captain or other survivor of the vessel. I will give 
your Lordships two illustrations to show how, in Sir W. 
Laird Clowes's mind, this rule practically did not admit of 
an exception. There was a ship called the Jack, which 
struck her colours on July 21, 1781, and upon which no 
court-martial was held. Sir W. Laird Clowes infers from 
that fact that she was not a King's ship at all, but probably 
a merchantman. Again, in referring to the case of the 
424 



[FEJ 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Blanche, a 44-gun frigate which in 1805 surrendered to a 
French force of four ships and one hundred guns and sank 
within a few hours, Sir W. Laird Clowes writes as follows on 
the subject of the court-martial held over Captain Mudge : 
' In this case it is clear that the Blanche was in a desperate 
condition when she surrendered. The usual court-martial 
on the loss of the ship honourably acquitted Captain Mudge 
and congratulated him on his able and gallant conduct/ 

I find, from the same authority, that from the Revolution 
of 1688 down to the year 1901, when he finished his researches, 
there was a total of 1008 of the King's ships that were lost, 
and no one can find in Laird Clowes any evidence whatever 
that any one of those in which there were survivors was not 
the subject of a court-martial. I do not say there were no 
such cases. I am not in a position to prove that. I say that 
any one studying Laird Clowes, who is the greatest authority, 
cannot find that he thought that there were any exceptions 
in this great list. I see that the Attorney-General the other 
day, speaking in the House of Commons, said there were 
twenty ships, all I think of a date somewhere between 1815 
and 1840 or thereabouts, that were lost in which there was 
no court-martial. I dare say he is quite right, but I should 
be glad if the noble Lord who is going to reply on behalf of 
His Majesty's Government would give me the names of those 
ships, because it would be a very interesting matter for 
investigation to see what Laird Clowes said about them and 
what the explanation is. Of course, there never were courts- 
martial in cases of ships of which there were no survivors ; 
but Laird Clowes certainly thought that the custom of the 
Navy was practically universal in cases of ships lost where 
there were survivors. 

I should like next to quote the Admiralty Regulations 
on this subject, because they entirely bear out the contention 
which I am trying to advance. I will first read No. 177 of 
the King's Regulations : ' When one of His Majesty's ships 
shall be wrecked, or otherwise lost or destroyed, or taken 
by the enemy, the command, power, and authority given to 
the captain, and to the other officers and the crew with 
respect to each other, shall remain and be in full force, as 
effectually as if such ship were not lost, until a court-martial 
shall have inquired into the cause of the loss or capture of 

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such ship, or the officers and crew shall be otherwise disposed 
of and separated, as directed by the Naval Discipline Act/ 
Then there is Regulation No. 616. It is a long one, and I 
will read only half of it ; but the second half, which I shall 
omit, has no bearing on the argument. The Regulation is 
headed, ' Lives, Stores, Books, and Papers/ and runs : 
' If a ship is wrecked or otherwise lost or destroyed, the 
captain will use every exertion to preserve the lives of the 
crew ; and when as many of them as possible have been saved, 
he is to use his utmost endeavours to save the stores, pro- 
visions, and furniture of the ship. He is to give his particular 
attention to the saving of all books and papers relating to 
the ship's accounts, that he may be enabled to cause the 
necessary books to be made out for transmission to the 
Admiralty immediately after the court-martial to inquire into 
the loss of the ship has taken place/ Then Regulation 
No. 1355, which is headed * When Ship has been Wrecked/ 
runs : * In the event of a ship being captured, wrecked, or 
otherwise lost or destroyed, the officers and ship's company 
shall, subject to provisions of the Naval Discipline Act in 
force at the time, be entitled to full pay until the time of 
their being discharged, or removed into other of His Majesty's 
ships, or of their dying, unless the sentence of the court- 
martial held on the loss of the ship shall otherwise direct/ 
I do not think anybody could read those extracts from the 
King's Regulations without coming to the conclusion that the 
Admiralty have always hitherto contemplated the continu- 
ance of the custom of holding a court-martial in the loss of 
any one of His Majesty's ships. 

Now I pass to the reasons given in the House of Commons 
the other day by the First Lord himself why this custom of 
the Service has been suspended. I must say that this part 
of his speech was very poor stuff, quite unworthy of his 
intelligence ; and I think I can show your Lordships that 
those words are not unjust. First of all, the First Lord of 
the Admiralty said : ' To hear the talk in some quarters, 
one would suppose that the loss of a ship by mine or sub- 
marine necessarily involved a criminal offence. . . . One 
would suppose that it involved a criminal offence for which 
somebody should be brought to book/ Again he said : 
' Losses by mine and submarine must frequently be placed 
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on the same footing as heavy casualties on land. They 
cannot be treated as presumably involving a dereliction of 
duty or a lack of professional ability/ Those are the words 
of a man who knows what the naval view of courts-martial is, 
but who is trading on the ignorance of the public and throwing 
dust in their eyes ; because there never has been connected 
with the holding of a court-martial any presumption of 
professional incapacity or of dereliction of duty, nor has it 
ever cast a slur on the officers tried. If the First Lord did 
not know that, then all I can say is that he was ignorant of 
a fundamental principle of naval discipline of which he ought 
not to have been ignorant ; but if he knew it, then it was not 
an honest argument to attempt to cast discredit on the 
suggestion that courts-martial should be held by saying that 
the loss of a ship necessarily involved a criminal offence or 
a lack of professional ability. 

The First Lord's next argument was concerned with the 
altered conditions of naval warfare a perfectly legitimate 
point to discuss, but, as I think I shall be able to show, not 
really germane to the question. The First Lord said : ' The 
circumstances and conditions of modern naval warfare are 
entirely different from all previous experience. In old wars 
the capture or destruction of ships was nearly always accom- 
panied by an act of surrender, which was a proper and very 
necessary subject for investigation by court-martial/ There 
were quite as many cases of court-martial when ships were 
lost by wreck. The real fact is that the particular cause and 
the circumstances of the loss have nothing whatever to do 
with it. The only question is that the ship has been lost. 
How or why it has been lost has nothing whatever to do with 
the principle that because the ship has been lost it ought to 
be the subject of a court-martial. Therefore however much 
the conditions of naval warfare change, those conditions 
may have some effect on the expediency or convenience of 
the time of holding the court-martial, but they have no 
bearing whatever on the principle whether or not a court- 
martial ought to be held. The First Lord's next argument 
referred to that particular point. He said that the conditions 
of naval warfare now are such that sometimes the actual 
holding of a court-martial might be very difficult and incon- 
venient. I concede that at once. No reasonable person 

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would ever say that it should be other than a matter entirely 
at the discretion of the Admiralty when the court-martial is 
to be held. And with regard to the losses, there is a long 
list of which we know, beginning with the Amphion and 
ending with the Formidable. I am quite prepared, if the 
Admiralty say so, to bow to their decision and admit that 
the time may not yet have come when a court-martial can 
be held in all these cases with convenience, or possibly without 
disadvantage, to the public service. But I am not prepared 
to believe that in the case of none of these ships could a 
court-martial have been summoned without grave loss to 
the public service. 

The First Lord went on to say : ' Nothing could be worse 
for the Navy or the Admiralty than for public attention or 
naval attention to be riveted on half a dozen naval causes 
celebres.' That is a quite deliberate erecting of a figure of 
straw in order to be able to knock it down. In the whole 
history of the Navy there has been no case except the case, 
perhaps, of Admiral Byng, which I think became a cause 
celebre after Admiral Byng ceased to exist that I know of 
in which public attention was riveted on a naval cause celtbre 
when it was going on. The proof of the absurdity of the 
First Lord's argument lies in the fact that only the other 
day Admiral Troubridge was tried by court-martial by order 
of the Board of Admiralty in connection with the escape of 
the Goeben. Was public attention then riveted on a naval 
cause c&tebre ? Why, the public never knew that the trial 
was being held. The evidence has never been published. 
The Admiralty had it entirely in their power to keep the 
matter secret, and they have the same power with respect 
to any court-martial that may be held. So that the First 
Lord's argument will not stand examination for a moment. 
The fact is and this is what I wish to lay particular stress 
upon that this question of the holding of a court-martial 
in the case of ships that are lost in war or in peace is not 
merely a question between the Board of Admiralty and the 
captain or officers concerned. It is a much wider question 
even than that. It is a question between the officers involved 
and the rest of the naval service, and it is a question between 
the Navy and the public. The officers who are involved in 
the loss of a ship have the right that they should be cleared 
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of responsibility before the rest of the great Service to which 
they belong, and the nation has a right to know under what 
circumstances the valuable ships that belong to it have 
been lost. 

I will now quote Sir W. Laird Clowes to show your Lord- 
ships how this matter has been viewed for many generations 
past by the Navy, and how false is the impression on this 
subject which the First Lord attempted to give. This is 
the substance of Sir W. Laird Clowes's observations : ' It 
was understood that a court-martial on the loss of a ship 
need not necessarily imply any charge against the captain 
or other survivor. The whole story of the British Navy 
makes it clear that a captain and his ship are always associated 
for administrative purposes, and the captain has, of course, 
always been held absolutely responsible for the safety of his 
ship. If a ship is lost, no matter in whatever circumstances, 
the incident must be accounted for by the captain ; and if 
the captain has been lost the court-martial is held upon 
any survivor with the object of determining, from such facts 
as are available, the causes of the disaster/ Again : ' The 
attitude of mind of officers of the Navy towards the supreme 
importance of courts-martial will be gathered from the action 
of Captain Pakenham, of the Crescent, who, when his ship 
struck to the Dutch in 1781, refused to resume his command, 
considering that a court-martial was necessary to clear him 
from guilt/ And further : ' The principle of holding courts- 
martial achieved in its fulfilment two practical results : 
(i) Ascertaining the cause of the loss of the vessel and fixing 
responsibility of those concerned ; and (2) providing for 
public information such facts relating to the destruction of 
public property as the taxpayers of the country are entitled 
to be made acquainted with/ I had a letter from a distin- 
guished Admiral, and these were the words he used : 
' Courts-martial are not at all meant as a slur on the captain 
or surviving officers and men, but a public opportunity for 
them to clear themselves/ And lastly I would give you the 
opinion on the same subject of two distinguished naval 
correspondents who write to the daily Press. It is necessary 
to make this evidence cumulative because I want the public 
to understand that the attitude of mind of the Navy to 
courts-martial has been quite different from what was sug- 

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gested by the First Lord. The first of these naval corre- 
spondents writes : ' When a ship of His Majesty is lost, it is 
the rule that the captain of the ship is tried by court-martial, 
or, if he is lost with the ship, the survivors are tried. The 
assembling of a court-martial does not necessarily imply that 
an offence has been committed. The principle is that the 
reason why the ship was lost must be made clear/ And the 
other naval correspondent writes : ' The institution was 
maintained in olden days quite as much for the protection of 
officers who lost ships innocently as for the punishment of 
officers who lost them wrongfully. It was to the naval 
officer what the verdict of a jury is to the subject the 
palladium of his liberties, the final acquittal of his peers/ 
I think in the face of that evidence it will be impossible for 
the noble Lord who is going to answer me, or for any other 
speaker or writer on this subject, to pretend, whether these 
courts-martial should be held or not, that the holding of 
them involves any slur necessarily on the officers who are the 
subject of the investigation. 

I do not want to weary your Lordships with extracts, but 
I have some interesting cases here which I should like to 
cite because they all bear on and illustrate the subject and 
enable one to understand what the custom of the Navy has 
been. I have taken them as particularly interesting cases 
extending over a great period of years. After the action of 
the Dutch on July 26, 1657, William Howe, of the Virgin, 
was tried by court-martial and shot. The captains of the 
Blacknose, John Elizabeth, and the Blessing were dismissed 
the Service. The next case is that of the captain of the 
Cumberland, which was lost on October 10, 1707. He was 
court-martialled on his release from captivity I ask your 
Lordships' particular attention to that fact and honourably 
acquitted. Captain Wyld, of the Royal Oak, whose ship was 
lost on the same occasion, was dismissed the Service ; and 
Captain Bolton, of the Chester, was absolved from all blame. 
I pass on to May 8, 1744, when the Northumberland was lost. 
The captain, Thomas Watson, was killed. The first-lieu- 
tenant, Thomas Craven, and Allison, the master, were court- 
martialled. Craven was honourably acquitted, but Allison 
was condemned for surrendering the ship and was sentenced 
to imprisonment for life. In 1756 the Warwick was taken 



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by the French. This is a very remarkable case. Captain 
Molyneux Shuldham was a prisoner of war for two years, 
and on his release was tried by court-martial and adjudged 
to have done his duty. The officers of the Berwick, taken by 
the French on March 7, 1795, were court-martialled as soon 
as prisoners were exchanged, and they were honourably 
acquitted. On August 18, 1812, the Attack was forced to 
strike her colours to Danish gunboats. Lieutenant 
Simmonds and his officers and men were most honourably 
acquitted by court-martial. H.M.S. Tiger, which was run 
ashore at Odessa on May 12, 1854, was tne subject of a 
court-martial which sat on board the Victory at Portsmouth 
in April, 1855 very nearly a year afterwards. The president 
of the Court was Rear-Admiral W. F. Martin, and the sur- 
viving officers and men of the ship were put on trial. The 
court-martial sat on the I2th, I3th, and I4th of that month, 
and resulted in the acquittal of the lieutenant, Alfred Royer, 
and the reprimand of Francis Edington, the master. 

I have given cases from every war, from the time of the 
Dutch wars and the wars of Cromwell right up to and inclusive 
of the Crimean War, to show how constant and how absolutely 
unbroken has been this custom. The last case that I am 
going to cite is that of the Captain, which, as your Lordships 
will remember, was lost, I think, off Finisterre on September 6, 
1870. Her captain, Captain Burgoyne, and the designer of 
the ship, Captain Coles, were both lost. Out of the ship's 
crew 475 were lost, and 18 saved. A court-martial was 
held on the survivors. I do not think there was a single 
officer among them ; there may have been a warrant officer, 
possibly there was a gunner, but certainly there was no 
higher officer. On June 16, 1871, Lord Lauderdale used 
these words in your Lordships' House : ' The court-martial 
that had sat to inquire into the loss of the Captain found 
that the ship capsized by pressure of sail, assisted by the 
heave of the sea, and that the sail carried at the time of her 
loss, regard being had to the force of the wind and the state 
of the sea, was insufficient to have endangered a ship endued 
with a proper amount of stability. And they added : " The 
Court, before separating, find it their duty to record their 
conviction that the Captain was built in deference to public 
opinion expressed in Parliament and in opposition to the 



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views and opinions of the Controller and his Department, 
and that the evidence all tends to show that they generally 
disapproved of her construction/' Those are remarkable 
words to be found in the finding of a naval court-martial, 
and they show, I think, the extraordinary value of investi- 
gations of this kind. Here was the Captain lost, and the 
court-martial had the courage to say that she was lost because 
of her defective design, and that her defective design was 
not due to the fault of the Controller of the Admiralty but 
because there had been political and Parliamentary inter- 
ference with the Controller, and the ship had been built to 
this design in spite of his remonstrance. You could not 
have a clearer case of the great value to the public of courts- 
martial in order that they may know why their ships are lost. 
Now I come to the words used by Lord Crewe in this 
House, in which he stated the circumstances under which in 
the opinion of the Admiralty, as voiced by him, courts- 
1 [See martial should be held. The noble Marquess said : l ' The 
p. 186.] general view which the Admiralty take is that, where there 
is any question of a failure on the part of an officer to obey 
orders, to act with due sense of responsibility, or to take 
proper precautions, or in cases in which misbehaviour on the 
part of a crew or any portion of it is alleged to have led to 
disaster, it is advisable that a court-martial should be held ; 
but in cases where those considerations do not in any degree 
arise, speaking generally the Admiralty hold that a court- 
martial may not be necessary/ I do not want to dwell now 
on the fact that those latter words, if that is the final view 
of the Board of Admiralty, imply a complete departure from 
the established custom of the Navy for more than two and 
a half centuries ; but I wish to lay stress on the words which 
Lord Crewe used as to the circumstances in which the Admir- 
alty think a court-martial should be held. Take the case of 
the Formidable. I know nothing whatever about the circum- 
stances of the loss of that vessel, but I have read in the 
public Press allegations in respect of the loss of the Formidable 
that exactly comply with the conditions laid down by Lord 
Crewe. The mere fact that these allegations have been 
publicly made seems to me a very strong argument indeed 
for holding a court-martial in this case ; and I would apply 
exactly the same argument, though perhaps in a lesser degree, 
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to the loss of such ships as the Cressy, the Rogue, and the 
Aboukir. It is not a question merely between the Admiralty 
and the officers concerned ; it is a question between those 
officers and the whole of the Navy, and between the Navy 
and the public. 

I have laid down what I believe to be the undoubted 
custom of the Navy, a custom practically unbroken in peace 
or war for 250 years. Because even if the noble Lord can 
give me the names of ships where there were survivors and 
where there was not a court-martial, he certainly cannot give 
me the names of many ; and the proportion that they can 
possibly bear to the numbers of cases in which courts-martial 
were held must be so small that my contention that this 
has been the unbroken practice of the Navy in peace and 
in war remains literally and actually true. I have tried to 
show what the attitude of the Navy to this question has 
been, and to dispose altogether of the suggestion that a 
court-martial necessarily involves a criminal offence or a slur 
on the character of the officers tried. I have, I think, 
succeeded in disposing of the arguments of the First Lord, 
which really were, as I have already said, quite unworthy 
of his powers and his intelligence. And I have shown also 
that the Admiralty, by its own Regulations, has always 
contemplated the holding of these courts-martial. 

Having said that, I wish to state quite clearly that the 
responsibility in this matter can rest only on the Board of 
Admiralty. The Board of Admiralty can hold these courts- 
martial when they choose. There is no obligation on them 
to hold the court-martial the week after the ship has been 
lost. From the cases I have read, I have shown that even 
at the time of the Crimean War a court-martial was held a 
year after the ship was lost ; and in the case of the Napoleonic 
wars courts-martial were held on the return of officers to 
England after years of captivity. Therefore the argument 
of immediate inconvenience, although it may be quite sound 
for the moment, cannot be held permanently valid as a reason 
for never holding a court-martial on the loss of these ships. 
Again, I can quite understand that evidence might come out 
in the course of some of these courts-martial which in the 
interests of the public service the Admiralty might not think 
should become public property ; but that, again, is entirely 
NAVAL 3 2 E 433 



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within the power of the Admiralty to control. They have 
controlled it ; not one single word has been published in 
respect of the court-martial on Admiral Troubridge. They 
could preserve exactly the same secrecy in respect of the 
evidence given at any court-martial. 

But I have one word to say about that. When the 
Admiralty hold a court-martial, although they have the right 
to withhold the evidence if they think it would be to the 
detriment of the public service to publish it, they have, in 
my opinion, no right to withhold from publicity the result 
of the court-martial. They have no business to bring an 
officer to trial and not publish the result. I say this with 
special reference to the case of Admiral Troubridge, because 
although it was announced with the authority of the Press 
Bureau that he had been ordered to haul down his flag and 
come home to be tried by court-martial, there has never 
been, so far as I know, any official announcement that he 
1 [See has been acquitted by that court-martial. 1 The whole of the 
Naval 2, public knowledge on that subject has been derived from 
P- 230.] unofficial information in the public Press, and I say, in the 
most emphatic way, that although the Admiralty have the 
right to withhold the evidence in the interests of the public 
service, they have no right to suppress the result of a court- 
martial when once an officer has been tried. 

In this connection I wish to read an extract from the 
* [See First Lord's speech the other day, 2 and I do so because 
P- 256.] whereas I have been obliged to differ from his attitude in 
respect to his other statements, I am in a position entirely to 
endorse and support this one. The First Lord said : * I must 
respectfully claim, on behalf of the Board of Admiralty, an 
absolute discretionary power with regard to holding courts- 
martial or Courts of Inquiry.' I have conceded that, though 
I think that the discretionary power would be very ill-used 
if the whole practice of holding these courts-martial is 
abrogated. The First Lord went on to say that the Board 
of Admiralty must also have absolute discretionary power as 
to ' the removal without trial of officers who have forfeited 
the confidence of the Board/ I entirely agree with that. 
In a period of great national emergency like the present there 
is no question that the Admiralty should have and must 
exercise the power of removing an officer from his command 
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even without trial if he has forfeited their confidence. Again, 
the First Lord said that the Admiralty must reserve an 
absolute discretionary power as to ' the publication of par- 
ticular information on particular incidents/ I have already 
said that I entirely concur with that. That, again, must be 
left to the judgment of the Board of Admiralty. 

I have detained your Lordships at great length, I fear, 
but to make my case it was necessary to build it up with 
some kind of historical sequence. I make the Motion with 
which I shall conclude my speech because I have a deep 
conviction that this custom was for the best interests both 
of the Navy and of the public service. I think the Govern- 
ment are in danger of confusing two different principles in 
their policy of secrecy. There are matters which in a time of 
war like this should be kept from the possible knowledge of 
the enemy at all costs. With that I quite agree. But there 
are other matters which it is more important that our people 
should know than that the enemy should not know, and I 
think the Government have sometimes forgotten that and 
gone too far. After all, the strength of the nation at this 
time is based on its unity, on its confidence in the public 
service, and on its belief that the Government trust it. No 
greater blow could possibly be given to our national strength 
than that the public should have any cause to believe that 
the Government was wavering in its confidence in their 
patriotism or in their power of endurance. It is because 
the complete screen of secrecy which has been shut down 
on these naval disasters is bad for the national temperament, 
because I believe it proceeds mainly from a want of confidence 
in the public which the public have not deserved, and because 
I believe also that the suspension of this practice is injurious 
to the naval service, that I make this Motion. 

The FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (LORD EMMOTT) : 
My Lords, the noble Earl has spoken with his usual ability 
in introducing this Motion, and he has been dealing with a 
subject of which he has evidently made a considerable study. 
I can assure him, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, 
that we have no complaint to make of his introducing this 
subject of debate to the House or the length of the speech 
which he has delivered on this important matter. He 
certainly has the advantage of me in one respect. He was 

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for a considerable time First Lord of the Admiralty, whilst 
I have never had the advantage of being associated with 
that Board. In the debate last week Lord Curzon said, with 
perfect truth, that a Department is better defended by a 
Minister who is familiar with the daily working of the Depart- 
ment than by some one who gets up the case for the occasion. 
I am sometimes inclined to wish that it were possible here 
to adopt the practice which obtains in some other countries 
of allowing a Minister to defend the policy of his Department 
in either House of Parliament. I wish it particularly to-day, 
for the noble Earl made a rather violent attack on my right 
hon. friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, and I think it 
would have added to the reality and to the liveliness of this 
debate were my right hon. friend able to come here and 
speak for himself on this occasion. 

The EARL OF SELBORNE : I entirely agree. 

LORD EMMOTT : However, that is not possible ; and I 
have been asked by the Government to reply in the first 
place to the noble Earl. If the noble Earl will allow me, I 
shall dismiss the personal part of the case and deal entirely 
with the matter on its merits. The Motion which the noble 
Earl has moved asks the House to express the opinion that 
it is the established custom of the Navy that a court-martial 
should be held to investigate the loss of any of His Majesty's 
ships. The noble Earl, I noticed, did not claim that it was 
illegal not to hold a court-martial ; but that has been said 
by some critics. I must in the first place state, in the most 
positive manner, that there is no law and no regulation which 
necessitates the holding of a court-martial in the case of the 
loss of any ship. I state that not only on my own authority 
but on the authority of the Judge Advocate of the Fleet, 
whose knowledge of the law in regard to this matter is, I am 
sure, unquestioned by anybody. 

When the noble Earl proceeded to prove his point, I 
confess that I did not altogether follow him. The first 
Regulation which he read Regulation No. 177 does not 
seem to me to bear out his point in the least degree. That 
Regulation says : ' When one of His Majesty's ships shall 
be wrecked, or otherwise lost or destroyed, or taken by the 
enemy, the command, power, and authority given to the 
captain and to the other officers and the crew with respect 
436 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

to each other, shall remain and be in full force, as effectually 
as if such ship were not lost, until a court-martial shall have 
inquired into the cause of the loss or capture of such ship, 
or the officers and crew shall be otherwise disposed of and 
separated, as directed by the Naval Discipline Act/ There 
is nothing in that to indicate that it is an invariable custom 
to hold a court-martial. 

Although during the long history of the Navy the line 
has never been very clearly drawn between them, there are, 
as a matter of fact, three methods of formal investigation 
which can be used in regard to casualties in the Navy. The 
first is a court-martial where it appears that there may be a 
prima facie case for a charge against an individual officer 
or individual officers. If, for instance, an officer is accused 
of not having used his utmost exertions to bring his ship into 
action when ordered to do so, or if he has failed to encourage 
inferior officers or men to fight courageously, or if he has 
surrendered his ship without sufficient reason or has im- 
properly withdrawn from the fight in such a case a court- 
martial may be held in regard to a specific charge of breach 
of statute against the officer impugned. In that case, of 
course, the charges are formulated and delivered, and the 
officer has every opportunity of knowing beforehand the 
case which he has to meet, and the court-martial is held 
under Sections 2, 5, and 29 of the Act. The second case of 
a court-martial is a different one. In that case a court- 
martial is held to inquire into the loss of a ship and to 
ascertain whether or not there is reason to believe that any 
one is to blame. Sections 91 and 92 of the Act refer to this 
kind of court-martial. It is usual in that case for all the 
survivors to be nominally before the Court, and sometimes 
during the course of the investigation it is found that a 
case is made out for blame against a particular officer, in 
which event the other kind of court-martial may be held 
later in order to investigate the specific charge. The third 
kind of formal investigation is a Court of Inquiry held under 
the King's Regulations. That is necessarily private ; no 
evidence is taken on oath, and in nearly all cases nowadays 
a Court of Inquiry precedes a court-martial. Those are the 
three methods of formal investigation that are adopted with 
regard to losses in the Navy. So far as the law goes, the 

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Admiralty has a complete discretion which, if any, of these 
methods of investigation should be adopted, or whether all 
of them should be dispensed with. It is quite evident that 
this must be so, for certainly the Admiralty has discretion 
which of the three should be adopted, and there is no law or 
regulation which says that any one of the three must of 
necessity be held. Neither has any officer in the Navy a 
right to demand a court-martial of his own will. 

I shall be told, of course, that it is not claimed that a 
court-martial is a legal necessity, but that a custom has 
grown up of holding a court-martial in the case of every loss 
of a ship a custom so universally observed that it has 
become a recognised practice, whatever the circumstances, 
whether we are at peace or at war. If so, I am not quite 
clear how far this custom is supposed to go. I presume that 
it only refers to cases of ships that are lost, and that it does 
not refer to all ships that are stranded or hazarded or to 
innumerable smaller accidents that occur. I gather, too, that 
it does not refer to a great many of the breaches of the Naval 
Discipline Act, as to which, again, the Admiralty has always 
decided whether or not a court-martial should be held. In 
regard to all these, the Admiralty decided on the merits of 
the case put before it. I gather that this discretion is not 
impugned. 

The claim, as I understand it, is that whenever a ship is 
lost, and particularly when valuable lives are lost at the 
same time, a rigid custom has grown up that a court-martial 
must be held into the circumstances. I have occupied such 
spare time as I have had during the last few days in examining 
the precedents. I do not want to overstate my case, and I 
willingly make this concession to the-noble Earl that in the 
majority of cases of the loss of a ship in the past a court- 
martial has been held but the rule has been by no means 
a universal one. The noble Earl referred to a return dealing 
with ships belonging to His Majesty's Navy that were lost 
between 1815 and 1840. My right hon. friend the Attorney- 
1 [See General said in another place * that in this return, which I 
P- 350J have in my hand, there were twenty-one cases of ships lost 
in regard to which no court-martial had been held, and out 
of those twenty-one only six were cases in which the ship and 
all on board were lost, so that there was nobody to hold a court- 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

martial upon. The noble Earl asked whether I would give 
him the names. I shall be very glad to do so, but he will 
not expect me to read them out now. In a later return I 
find one rather typical case. In 1878 the Helvetia collided 
with a coastguard cruiser, and the latter sank. In that case 
a Board of Trade inquiry was held into the collision. The 
finding of the inquiry was evidently considered quite sufficient, 
and apparently no inquiry of any sort or kind was held by 
the Admiralty into that occurrence. Therefore, whilst I 
admit that it has been usual to hold a court-martial, I cannot 
admit that a rigid custom has grown up. On the other hand, 
the only case of the loss of a ship during this war which is 
really comparable to these long lists of losses of which I have 
spoken in the period since 1815 was the case of the Oceanic, 
and in regard to that a court-martial was held and specific 
charges were framed against the officers in charge. 

When the noble Earl invited the House to say that it is 
an established custom to hold an inquiry into every loss, he 
puts his case far too high. He would take away the discretion 
always hitherto vested in and always hitherto used by the 
Admiralty, a discretion which certainly ought not to be 
interfered with at the present time. In opposition to the 
claim which the noble Earl makes, I venture to put forward 
another. It is not my own discovery. I have it from other 
people who have studied this question far more deeply, and 
who are far more competent to give an opinion upon it than 
I am. The view I put forward is this. I maintain that the 
precedents show that it has not been the custom to hold a 
court-martial in time of war unless a ship or some of the men 
on board were captured, or unless some definite charge was 
made against somebody. I believe that rule is far better 
justified by the facts than the Resolution which the noble Earl 
asks the House to adopt this evening. I have not had -time 
to study every precedent, particularly the precedents of 
Napoleonic times, but I believe that the view which I have 
just expressed is a correct induction from what occurred in 
Napoleonic times. In the Crimean War there were three 
cases of ships lost the Viper, the Tiger, and the Jasper. 
The only court-martial held to inquire in regard to those 
three ships was on the Tiger, and she was captured by the 
enemy. In the other two cases the officers were tried on 

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specific charges. In the China War there were three courts- 
martial on the only three ships lost, but they, again, were 
lost in an action with the Peiho Forts ; two of them sank 
and one was stranded. 

I have dealt with the law and custom of this case. The 
only other question I have to deal with is whether or not the 
recent action of the Admiralty as to courts-martial is justified 
by the circumstances of the time. I need not remind you 
that we are at war. We are in the greatest war, as regards 
numbers and armaments employed, that the world has ever 
seen. New factors appear in this war, factors different from 
any that our Navy has had to deal with in any previous war. 
The torpedo discharged from a submarine is a new factor ; 
the reckless sowing of mines on our trade routes without 
notice is a new factor, and the fact of those mines being large 
enough to blow up a huge battleship is a comparatively new 
factor. In these circumstances I say that the Admiralty is 
justified in holding that cases of loss may occur in which it 
may not be necessary to hold a court-martial. I speak on 
this question with some diffidence, for, as your Lordships 
know, I am only representing the Admiralty for the occasion. 
But I will venture to put before the House, before I sit 
down, some reasons which seem to me to be very strong 
and to justify the Admiralty in the course which it has 
adopted. The claim is that a court-martial should be held 
as to every case of loss. The Admiralty view is that in a 
number of cases of loss that have occurred a court-martial 
is unnecessary. But I desire to say on behalf of the Admiralty 
that, wherever they have felt that it would be useful or that 
information could be obtained which they had not in their 
possession, a Court of Inquiry has been held. 

My second point is this. The new factors to which I have 
alluded have fundamentally changed the position of naval 
warfare. Many more cases must occur under present con- 
ditions than have occurred in the past where a ship is lost 
without any blame being attributable to anybody. We 
cannot look into the minds of our predecessors, but I think 
it is abundantly clear that the customs before and even long 
after 1815 were not conceived in the light of the experience 
of 1915. In the old days practically no warships were sunk 

or captured in fight by the enemy except by gunfire or board- 
440 



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ing, and at that time all the fighting was above the level 
of the sea. In this war no ship of His Majesty's has been 
captured by the enemy ; not a single sailor has been captured 
from one of our ships by the enemy ; and therefore the 
conditions have not arisen under which, as a rule, courts- 
martial have been held in the past. 

In the third place, the holding of any considerable number 
of courts-martial a large number is asked for by the noble 
Earl at a time of intense pressure such as this, involving 
the presence, as they would, of officers of high rank whose 
services are urgently needed elsewhere at every moment, 
must necessarily interfere with the main work of the Navy. 
I do beg that your Lordships will not underrate the practical 
inconvenience. If an Admiral has to be tried by court- 
martial, the Court must be formed either of senior flag officers 
or captains who are not employed afloat at the present time 
and consequently have very little experience of war con- 
ditions and thus they would make a rather unsuitable 
Court or his judges must be the Admirals commanding the 
battleship and cruiser squadrons and captains commanding 
battleships and cruisers of the Grand and Channel Fleets. 
These Fleets have to proceed to sea at a moment's notice. 
Their squadrons are in constant movement. The difficulties 
of convening and maintaining a Court under such conditions 
are enormous. The greatest inconvenience was caused in 
this respect by the trial of Admiral Troubridge, which, while 
it lasted, sensibly impaired the mobility of a portion of the 
Channel Fleet and hampered the naval operations. Again, 
the witnesses may be very numerous, and they must be 
collected from ships all over the Fleet, which is in constant 
movement. Many of these witnesses would be men holding 
positions vital to the fighting efficiency of these ships. No 
one can tell how long a trial would last, as in cases of this 
importance counsel would be employed and every latitude 
given to the defence. If the Court were interrupted, the 
whole of the proceedings might have to be recommenced ; 
and as long as the Court sat the whole of the energies of the 
flag and other officers involved would be employed in con- 
nection with it. 

I must again remind your Lordships that we are at war, 
and, furthermore, that the great naval decision has not yet 

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been taken. At any moment the Fleets may have to go to 
sea, and the work and responsibility of the Admirals in 
command are of the most exacting and unbroken nature. 
The speed and scale of modern operations and their com- 
plexity are out of all relation to those of former times. But 
even in the time of Nelson it is not clear that serious military 
advantages were not lost by the holding of courts-martial. 
I would remind your Lordships particularly of the fact that 
the court-martial on Admiral Calder led to trie withdrawal 
from Nelson's fleet of one of its most important units on the 
eve of Trafalgar. If the absence of that unit had led to a 
diiferent decision at Trafalgar the whole course of history 
might have been altered by the holding of a court-martial. 
Even after the court-martial is over the practical incon- 
venience does not cease, because the members of the Board 
of Admiralty have to give the closest possible attention to 
hundreds of pages of evidence and prepare their opinions 
upon it. All this may be very well or necessary after the 
war is over or after the enemy has been decisively beaten, 
but it is not a position which should be insisted upon at the 
present time. 

Every effort has been made from hour to hour and day 
to day to cope with the dangers with which we are confronted, 
and the whole of the attention of the Admiralty must be 
concentrated upon the immediate urgency. It will be time 
afterwards to apportion responsibility for any mistakes that 
may have been made. For the time being the interest of 
this country is in the successful prosecution of the war, and 
that must be considered to have paramount claims. I desire 
most earnestly to impress that practical argument upon your 
Lordships. I think that practical difficulty must have been 
felt in old times, for I find one record of a court-martial held 
in 1814 on a ship which had come to grief in 1809. Well, 
that was after Trafalgar. Our command of the sea at that 
time was unchallenged and unchallengeable, but in this war 
the great naval battle has yet to be fought. I do not shut 
my eyes to the fact that this argument is carrying me rather 
far if it is pushed to its logical conclusion, but I use it for 
this purpose. It does, at any rate, clearly prove that it is 
undesirable at a time like this, whatever may be done later, 

to hold courts-martial which are unnecessary and from which 
442 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the Admiralty feels it has nothing to learn which it cannot 
learn in other ways. And if there are some here who think 
that my argument goes too far, I am authorised to state 
emphatically and I can give this amount of consolation to 
the noble Earl that the action of the Admiralty during the 
war is entirely without prejudice to any action it may deem 
desirable to take when the war is over. 

There is one other reason why in the middle of a war, 
if it can be avoided, it is not advisable to have courts-martial 
which call for great public attention. The experience of 
courts-martial in the eighteenth century shows that they led 
to great bickerings, to constant dissatisfaction, and not 
infrequently actually set the nation by the ears when the 
energies of the nation were badly needed for the war in hand. 
The case of Admirals Matthews and Lestock in 1744 was one ; 
the famous case of Admiral Byng in 1757 was another ; and 
an even more famous case was that of Admirals Keppel and 
Palliser in 1779. In all those cases there were pamphlets 
written and debates in Parliament, some of them of a highly 
personal character. There was a great stir in the country, 
and it cannot be said that this did other than harm to the 
prosecution of the war in hand. On all these grounds I ask 
the House to pause before it adopts the Resolution of the 
noble Earl. In matters of the greatest possible importance, 
in questions of the highest strategy, in the disposition of the 
Fleqt, in everything that is vital to the safety of these islands 
at the moment, we are bound to trust the Admiralty. Ought 
we to try to force on the Admiralty now, in regard to the 
loss of ships and even the loss of brave men who, alas ! have 
gone to their deaths, the holding of courts-martial from which 
they are convinced they have nothing of importance to learn 
which they cannot discover by other means ? 

I have shown indeed, it is not disputed that no law 
has been broken. I have shown, I hope conclusively, that 
no invariable custom has been disregarded. In these circum- 
stances the Board of Admiralty claim full and free discretion 
as to whether they hold courts-martial or not. This is a 
decision to which they have come after giving the matter 
their mature deliberation, and which they consider indis- 
pensable to the prosecution of the naval war in which they 
are engaged. In this matter they earnestly desire that the 

443 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

House will support them with its confidence and goodwill. 
I have stated the case to- the best of my knowledge and 
ability, and I am now content to leave it in your Lordships' 
hands. 

The EARL OF DESART : My Lords, I desire to say a few 
words on this matter, and having regard to the speech to 
which we have just listened, what I had thought of saying 
may be reduced to extremely small proportions. I do not 
think Lord Emmott would suggest that there was anything 
in the speech of the noble Earl or in the Resolution itself 
which would necessarily affect the absolute discretion of the 
Admiralty in any particular case to take the course they 
thought fit. If it were so, I can only say that I should not 
support the Resolution. But it does appear to me that a 
great part of the noble Lord's speech was directed to meeting 
a case which was not made at all by the noble Earl. The 
noble Earl appeared to me to concede to the full that there 
was no absolute legal or statutory obligation on the Admiralty 
to hold a court-martial. Notwithstanding that he urged I 
venture to think rightly that the custom was so nearly 
general as to be practically universal, but that in particular 
circumstances the Admiralty might exercise their discretion 
and abstain from holding a court-martial. I venture to 
think that there is no word in the Resolution that neces- 
sarily fetters the Admiralty's discretion. The words of the 
Resolution are : ' That this House is of opinion that the 
established custom of the Navy by which a court-martial is 
held to investigate the loss of any of His Majesty's ships is 
founded on the best interests both of the Navy and of the 
public, and that it is expedient that it should be maintained.' 
The noble Earl himself was at pains to say that he could 
conceive that at the time of or immediately after a disaster 
which might render a court-martial desirable it might be 
quite inexpedient to hold a court-martial ; and he gave 
instances in which courts-martial had been postponed to a 
convenient and proper time. The effect of this Resolution, 
therefore, would in no way be to force the hands of the 
Admiralty to hold a court-martial at a time when the holding 
of it could in any way affect the movements of the Fleet or 
the interests of the Service. 

I am not quite clear what the Government's position is. 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

It will be remembered that with the exception of the case of 
the Oceanic there have, in fact, been no courts-martial in 
respect of the losses of ships. I am not making and do not 
intend to make any complaint of that. I think that every 
one in the country is prepared to support the Admiralty to 
the utmost, and I can assure the noble Lord that I speak 
to-night in no spirit of criticism. My desire is to understand 
exactly the position which the Government take up. There 
having been no courts-martial held, it was not unnatural 
that this fact should be the subject of inquiry. In my opinion 
the noble Lord went too far if he contested I am not quite 
sure that he did contest the statement that the holding of 
courts-martial in these cases was the custom of the Navy. 
I think he must have overlooked some words contained in 
Section 91 of the Naval Discipline Act, 1866. It is a very 
short section, and I will read the whole of it : ' When any 
one of Her Majesty's ships shall be wrecked or lost or destroyed, 
or taken by the enemy, such ship shall, for the purposes of 
this Act, be deemed to remain in commission until her crew 
shall be regularly removed into some other of Her Majesty's 
ships of war, or until a court-martial shall have been held, 
pursuant to the custom of the Navy in such cases, to inquire 
into the cause of the wreck, loss, destruction, or capture of 
the said ship.' I think that the words ' pursuant to the 
custom of the Navy in such cases ' can only mean one thing 
that the draftsmen of that Act and the Parliament that passed 
it assumed that the holding of courts-martial was a general 
custom. I am not going to say it was invariable, for I think 
there were a good many exceptions. 

But the real point is that attention was called in Parlia- 
ment to the absence of these courts-martial, and I think that 
if the answer then given had been the answer that has been 
given to us to-night, it is quite possible that this debate 
might not be taking place. The First Lord of the Admiralty, 
in his interesting statement to the House of Commons, 1 l [ See 
and the Attorney-General, in the course of the same PI 2 55 
debate, said that as a matter of principle during the war 
disasters to His Majesty's ships would not form the subjects 
of courts-martial ; that it should be the rule that there 
should not be courts-martial, and the exception that there 
should. That seemed to me exactly the converse of the 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

true proposition, and I think the statement led to mis- 
understanding. 

An officer may meet wifh a disaster at sea in which to all 
appearance, as far as the public can judge, perhaps as far 
as his brother officers can judge, there may have been some 
want of caution or apparent negligence on his part. That 
may or may not be true ; it may or may not have been the 
result of superior orders ; but unless and until the officer 
in question has the customary opportunity of a court-martial 
he remains not only with his career damaged but with his 
reputation at stake. As regards the employment of officers, 
nobody would dispute the absolute discretion of the Admir- 
alty ; but there is something besides employment. The 
reputation of an officer is of great value to him, and the way 
in which he can re-establish his reputation, if he can, is by 
appealing to his brother officers who- are the most competent 
tribunal to try the issue and to pronounce upon it. It is, in 
fact, the trial by his peers to which he is entitled. I do not 
for one moment contest that it might be extremely unsuitable 
to hold a court-martial at a particular moment. If the 
answer given by the noble Lord to-night means that in 
important cases or in cases where there is any real reason 
for it, investigation will at some time or another be made, 
then speaking for myself, and myself only, I should say that, 
both as regards the public and as regards the Service, it 
ought to be a fairly satisfactory answer. 

But I still think there is some ambiguity in the speeches 
of the First Lord and the Attorney-General. Secrecy and 
silence, however right at the moment, are not right for ever, 
and at some time things may be disclosed which it might 
not be right to disclose at this time. In that connection 
there is one point that does rather press upon me. It is true 
that the law because it is the law under the King's Regula- 
tions, which are statutory provides that a court-martial 
should be open. I can conceive circumstances in which it 
would be most undesirable, certainly during the war and 
very likely after the war, that all the evidence produced 
before a court-martial and even perhaps the technical findings 
should be disclosed. I speak only for myself when I say 
that I should not be disposed to offer any opposition to an 
alteration of the Regulations which would empower the 
446 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Government or the Lords of the Admiralty in suitable cases 
and on their own responsibility to publish merely the finding 
the conviction or acquittal, or something which would 
indicate the general result of the finding without details. 
That would get rid of one difficulty. But I am certain that 
no member of the Government would desire to withhold 
anything in the way of justice from those who by their 
great gallantry are at this moment shielding us and providing 
us with relative immunity from the consequences of war, and 
I am sure that no action they may take or word they may 
say will lead any naval officer to think that at some time or 
another in a serious case he may not receive at the hands 
of his brother officers that justice which I contend with 
some confidence should be afforded him by the custom of 
the Navy over a period of certainly more than one and a half 
centuries. I am sorry to have troubled your Lordships at 
this length, but it seems to me most important that we 
should know to-night what is the real position taken up 
by the Government on this matter. I can assure them that 
in everything they do in the interests of the great Service 
for which they are responsible, they will have the support 
not only of this House and of the other House but of every 
man in this country. 

The MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE : My Lords, perhaps before 
the noble Earl on the front bench opposite replies to the 
extremely temperate observations of my noble friend who 
has just sat down I may be permitted to say half a dozen words. 
I noted with pleasure that the noble Lord who speaks for the 
Admiralty told the House that he made no complaint of my 
noble friend (Lord Selborne) for having brought this subject 
before us. Indeed, it would have been impossible for His 
Majesty's Government to complain of the course which my 
noble friend has adopted, because if one thing has been 
established clearly by these discussions it is this, that His 
Majesty's Government have introduced a very marked change 
of policy with regard to the granting of courts-martial. It 
was our duty to call attention to that new departure. We 
have never claimed that the old practice was founded upon 
the letter of any Act of Parliament, but we do point to the 
fact that the custom of the Navy is referred to again and 
again in various Statutes, some of which have been quoted 

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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

this evening. My noble friend Lord Desart, in particular, 
quoted with great effect a .clause from the Naval Discipline 
Act referring to the established ' custom of the Navy/ We 
have never contended that the custom was absolutely in- 
variable, but we have contended, and we contend still, that 
it was a well-established custom ; and I think the noble 
Lord who spoke for the Admiralty himself admitted that it 
was the general custom although there were exceptions, upon 
some of which he dwelt during the course of his argument. 

That there was to be a new departure was made clear 
by the noble Marquess who leads the House when he made a 
1 [See short speech upon this subject the other day. 1 We gathered 
p. 185.] f rom hi m that the old custom was to be abandoned, and 
that courts-martial were to be granted only in certain cases 
which the noble Marquess specified with great clearness. He 
mentioned, in particular, cases where there had been a failure 
on the part of the officer in charge of a ship to obey instruc- 
tions ; cases in which there had been a failure to take neces- 
sary and proper precautions ; cases where the officer had 
failed to assume responsibility which it was his duty to 
assume. Those were cited as the exceptional cases in which 
courts-martial might be granted, the rule being that trial 
by court-martial was no longer to be granted according to 
the old usage of the Navy. I think, if I may say so, that 
His Majesty's Government have made a mistake in attempting 
to minimise the extent of this change of policy. They have 
tried, by searching about in musty records for precedents, 
to show that the custom was not invariable. But beyond 
doubt this policy is a new departure, and a very conspicuous 
new departure which has attracted a great deal of attention 
both in and out of the Service. 

I was not greatly impressed by the reasons adduced in 
support of the change. The noble Lord who speaks for the 
Admiralty ran over them this evening. I confess that it 
struck me, as he proceeded, that most of his arguments had 
been anticipated by my noble friend behind me (Lord 
Selborne), and that some, at any rate, of the reasons which 
he mentioned were of a singularly inconclusive character. 

I take, in the first place, the plea that the conditions of 
naval warfare have been profoundly altered. No one will 
dispute that. The mine and the torpedo are new features 
448 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

in naval warfare. But is that really a reason why an officer 
who loses his ship should not have the right of claiming a 
court-martial ? The argument is founded upon what I believe 
to be a fallacy I mean the fallacy that a court-martial 
involves an accusation against a particular officer. That, I 
think, is not so. A court-martial is instituted for two reasons 
in the first place, to give the officer in charge of the ship 
an opportunity of clearing himself of any suspicion with 
regard to the manner in which he has handled her ; and, in 
the second place, to give the public an opportunity of knowing 
something of the facts of the case. Surely for both of those 
reasons a court-martial is not less necessary because a ship 
has wandered into a mine-field, or otherwise got into diffi- 
culties, than it was in the days when mines and torpedoes 
were unknown. 

Another reason that I have seen alleged seems to me also 
a most inconclusive one. I have seen it said that the appre- 
hension of a court-martial would lead officers to * play for 
safety ' and not take risks when in the interests of the Service 
they ought to take them. I believe that to be a profound 
misconception. Let us take the case of an officer who is 
hesitating whether he shall take a risk or not. What is it 
that makes him hesitate to take it ? Not because he is 
thinking of a court-martial when he comes home, but because 
he is thinking of the precious lives on board his ship, of the 
value of the ship itself, of the injury to the defences of the 
Empire if that ship should be lost. Those are the things, if 
anything, that would make him think twice, and not the 
fear of being tried by court-martial. If there is any doubt 
upon that point I believe that it can be resolved if His 
Majesty's Government would make it their business to 
ascertain how this matter is regarded by naval officers them- 
selves. I am assured that in the great majority of cases if 
they had to set upon one side of the account the liability to 
be tried by court-martial and on the other the denial of the 
opportunity of clearing themselves and the risk of being, 
perhaps, subjected to penalties without a court-martial 
which is a thing that may happen they will infinitely prefer 
to face the court-martial rather than to abide the issue in 
another way. 

Then comes a reason to which I am inclined to attach 
NAVAL 3 2, F 449 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

more weight than to the others. The noble Lord opposite 
(Lord Emmott) dwelt with great force upon the detriment 
which would be occasioned to the Service if, at a moment 
when all the energies of the Navy are concentrated upon 
the great naval struggle which is in progress, officers were 
withdrawn from their ships and made to serve upon courts- 
martial. I think that argument is entitled to weight if you 
are to assume that it follows of necessity that the court- 
martial must be convened at once. But I think the noble 
Lord himself gave us cases certainly my noble friend Lord 
Selborne did where the court-martial did not take place 
immediately, but took place months or even, perhaps, years 
after the loss of the ship, and when, consequently, there 
would not be the same difficulty in convening the Court. 
If we are to accept my noble friend's Motion, I should do it 
with the mental reservation that I did not for a moment 
contemplate that a Court ought always to be assembled 
immediately, but that it could be assembled at whatever 
time the Board of Admiralty in their discretion thought 
convenient. 

Another reason that the noble Lord advanced was the 
danger that in the course of these proceedings secrets might 
be revealed which it was desirable to keep from the public 
generally, and especially from the enemy. Cannot that 
difficulty be overcome by the simple expedient of carrying 
on the inquiry with closed doors and denying the publication 
of the evidence to the public ? The very thing happened 
in the case of the court-martial on Admiral Troubridge. 
That gallant officer was acquitted, but so far as I am aware 
the proceedings of the Court have been carefully kept secret. 
I own therefore that I am not greatly impressed by the 
reasons which have been brought forward on the part of the 
Board of Admiralty. But what impressed me much more 
is that I thought I detected throughout the speech of the 
noble Lord a desire to take a much less rigid view of the 
case than has hitherto been taken by the Department for 
which he speaks. He claimed that we must allow the final 
discretion to rest with the Board of Admiralty. We none of 
us dispute that. On the contrary, we recognise to the full 
that the ultimate decision in all these cases must rest with 
the Board of Admiralty ; and my noble friend went out of 
45 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

his way to guard himself against any claim to deny that 
discretion to the Board. But we venture to suggest that 
this new policy for it is a new policy should be applied 
with great care and tact ; and unless I misunderstood the 
noble Lord I gathered from him that he was prepared to 
admit that what was being done to-day was to be regarded 
as a special measure, justifiable while the war was in progress, 
but without prejudice to what might happen when the war 
was over. That is, I think, a not unimportant admission on 
the part of His Majesty's Government ; and if I have not 
misinterpreted the noble Lord, I am not sure that if I were 
in my noble friend's place I should not be content with that 
assurance. But if he desires anything more, I venture to 
suggest and I think that what I am suggesting is not out of 
accord with what was said by my noble friend on the cross 
benches (Lord Desart) that my noble friend's Resolution 
might end with the statement that it is expedient that the 
established custom should be maintained, with the insertion 
of the words ' subject to any necessary exceptions.' That 
would concede to the full that liberty of judgment of which 
we do not desire to deprive the Board of Admiralty ; and if 
the noble Earl (Lord Beauchamp) who is for the moment 
leading the House saw his way to accepting the Motion so 
amended, I am able to say that my noble friend behind me 
(Lord Selborne) would gladly insert those words. 

The LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (EARL BEAU- 
CHAMP) : My Lords,- the noble Marquess appreciates, I am 
sure, the difficulty to which he has already called attention 
in this House, under which we suffer when a debate of this 
kind is initiated here. It was only the other day that the 
noble Earl, Lord Curzon, referred to the disadvantage under 
which your Lordships' House suffers from the absence of any 
direct representative of the Board of Admiralty when we 
discuss naval matters. Your Lordships will therefore realise 
all the more readily the difficulty when I am asked at some- 
what brief notice to accept an amendment of or an addition 
to a Resolution of this important kind. The noble Earl who 
moved the Resolution realises, no doubt, that the mere 
passage of it by your Lordships' House would probably not 
of itself affect in any way the practice of the Board of 
Admiralty. It would be necessary for a similar Resolution 



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to be passed by the House of Commons before it would 
become operative. In those circumstances I confess that I 
should deprecate the passage of this Resolution at the present 
time, for the reasons which have been put before your Lord- 
ships by my noble friend behind me (Lord Emmott). 

It seems to me that a large part of the discussion which 
has taken place has ranged round one, perhaps not the most 
important, part of the Resolution which is now before your 
Lordships. Whether it be ' the established custom of the 
Navy ' has really been the question which has attracted the 
attention of the noble Lords who have addressed the House. 
I feel it would have been of greater use had we been able 
to devote more time and attention to the other part of the 
Resolution, and to have discussed whether the discontinu- 
ance of this custom was in the best interests of the Navy 
and of the public. It is true that the noble Earl on the 
cross benches (Lord Desart) referred to it from the point 
of view of the Navy, and it is to that I wish to refer. Mean- 
while I think it is only fair to point out that we have in the 
King's Regulations a perfectly clear Regulation which points 
out that the present practice of the Board of Admiralty is 
no sudden or new departure from what was contemplated in 
the past, because in Regulation No. 6660 it is laid down 
that a court-martial should not be called unless upon full 
consideration of all the available information there is reason- 
able ground for thinking that any one or more of the survivors 
is to blame. It is therefore not a sudden decision that has 
been come to by the Board of Admiralty since the beginning 
of this war. 

The noble Marquess who leads the Opposition was unready 
to lay the same emphasis upon the arguments which were 
used by my noble friend behind me with regard to the changed 
circumstances of modern warfare making any difference to 
the continuance of the former custom, and he specially said, 
I think, that courts-martial were held not only to find out 
what might be the cause of the loss of the ship, but more 
for the sake of the officer himself. To deal for one moment 
with the first of those questions, it is perfectly obvious that 
in a great many cases there is not now the same obscurity 
with regard to the loss of a ship as there very often was in 
times gone by. There does not seem to be any obscurity if 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

a ship has been lost by a mine. Therefore there is less need 
for an inquiry than there was in days when the loss might 
perhaps have been due to many other and different cir- 
cumstances. 

Let us take the case of the object for which these courts- 
martial should be held. I do not suppose it would be said 
that they should be held for the sake of the Admiralty. The 
Admiralty has the means, by a Court of Inquiry, of obtaining 
all the necessary information if the authorities do not think 
they possess it already. For the sake of the public ? In a 
great many cases it was suggested by the noble Earl opposite 
that some of the information which was collected by the 
Admiralty should be withheld from the public ; and I think 
we can all see how exceedingly reasonable that course of 
action would be in cases where matters of a technical kind 
would have to be given in evidence. On the question of 
privacy, it is perfectly true that in cases we can call to mind 
there has been no dispute on the ground that the evidence 
was kept private and only the conclusions given to the public. 
But in those cases generally the conclusions have been 
favourable to the officer. Your Lordships might very well 
consider that there might be charges, until the full evidence 
was given to the public, that the officer had not been fairly 
dealt with if the decision of the court-martial had not been 
in his favour. 

But on behalf of the officers, is not there this considera- 
tion namely, whether an inquiry on a specific charge is not 
very much fairer to the officers than such a roving inquiry 
as a court-martial to inquire generally into their conduct on 
this or that occasion ? But as the noble Earl opposite no 
doubt realises, a court-martial on a specific charge in a case 
of any difficulty is always preceded by a Court of Inquiry. 
Definite charges are framed, and a circumstantial letter that 
is the technical phrase, if I am rightly informed which 
corresponds to the opening speech of the prosecutor, is given 
to the accused some days before the trial. The letter so given 
is generally perfectly clear in showing the particular respect 
in which the accused officer will have to make his defence. 
I ask your Lordships to contrast this with the position of 
those people whose conduct is inquired into under the other 
kind of court-martial. In that case there is no charge ; there 

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is no circumstantial letter ; the accused has no means of 
knowing what points are made against him except in so far 
as he may gather them as he hears the evidence. In those 
circumstances I believe you would generally find, in a case 
of this kind, that the naval officer himself would not like the 
inquiry to be held under the specific paragraph in the Act 
to which we have been referred by more than one previous 
speaker. 

I do not know that I can usefully add anything more in 
answer to the observations which were addressed to your 
Lordships by the noble Marquess who leads the Opposition, 
except to deprecate once more the passage of this Resolution 
by your Lordships' House at a time when all our energies are 
concentrated upon the successful prosecution of the war. I 
can readily repeat the assurance which was given by my 
noble friend behind me with regard to the attitude of the 
Admiralty in these cases that the decisions which they have 
so far come to have been arrived at without prejudice. And 
it is not in my own opinion impossible, as time goes on and 
we see that the present practice has not had the detrimental 
effects which the noble Earl fears, that even noble Lords 
opposite will come to see that the course which has been 
adopted by the Admiralty is a proper and wise one. 

VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN : My Lords, I confess that I was 
more impressed by the opening sentences of the speech of 
the noble Earl who has just sat down than by the arguments 
which he adduced at a later stage. He began by saying that 
it was extremely difficult for him and for any noble Lord 
on the Government bench at present to say precisely what 
view the Admiralty would take of the Resolution if amended 
as my noble friend the Leader of the Opposition has suggested 
that it should be. What we on this side of the House feel 
is this. We do not want at all to interfere with the discretion 
of the Admiralty. We feel that there may be grave diffi- 
culties in detaching from the Service officers of high standing 
to attend a court-martial at the present time. We are 
perfectly willing to agree that the Admiralty should not be 
pressed in that matter, and that any court-martial that 
might be thought necessary by the Admiralty should be 
postponed until such a time as it can be conveniently taken. 
But we feel that the Admiralty have substituted another 
454 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

custom for what up to the present time has been the custom 
of the Navy in these matters. That my noble friend Lord 
Selborne has conclusively proved. In our view it is advisable 
that that custom, subject of course to exceptions, as every 
custom must be, should be continued. But the Admiralty 
have reversed the custom, and made it the rule not to hold 
a court-martial when a ship is lost or taken by the enemy. 

LORD EMMOTT : There has been no case of ' taken by the 
enemy/ 

VISCOUNT ST. ALDWYN : Then let me say lost. Lord 
Emmott mentioned three cases in the China War. I am not 
quite sure that he did not say that one or more of those 
three cases was of a ship taken by the enemy ; however, 
they were lost in an attack on forts, and that is precisely the 
kind of case in this war. Take the Formidable and other 
ships named by my noble friend. There the matters, so far 
as a layman can express an opinion, really did demand some 
kind of inquiry. It does suggest itself to me that it is 
not advisable for us to treat this as a Motion hostile to the 
Admiralty or to His Majesty's Government. We do not 
want to ask the House to divide upon it. We feel however, 
that, amended in the way my noble friend has suggested, 
it is a Motion that in substance the Admiralty, after con- 
sideration of this discussion, might find themselves able to 
accept ; and in order that an opportunity for further con- 
sideration may be given I would venture to move the adjourn- 
ment of the debate so that the House may not at the present 
moment, in the absence of the noble Marquess who leads 
the House, express any opinion at all upon the Motion. 

(Motion agreed to, and adjourned sine die.) 

BRITISH SHIPS (TRANSFER RESTRICTION) BILL 

House of Commons, February 24, 1915. 

Order for second reading read. Hansard. 

Motion made, and question proposed, ' That the .Bill be 
now read a second time/ 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE 
(MR. J. M'. ROBERTSON) : This is an emergency measure, to 
continue only during the continuance of the war. It is not 
so much a matter of serioits necessity as of expediency to 

455 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

make clear the legal powers of the Board of Trade. In 
December last the Board of- Trade issued a circular inviting 
all persons interested to consult with them, and they have 
had no difficulty whatever in persuading shipowners to 
carry out their wishes. I need not point out how dangerous 
it would be that ships should be transferred to neutrals in 
the present state of things. The shipowners have shown 
themselves very ready indeed to assent to the wishes of the 
Board of Trade. There is always the possibility of some 
person raising the question of the legal powers possessed by 
the Board of Trade, which are not so full as we wish. If we 
have no legal power to prevent an owner from transferring 
his ship, this Bill gives power to the Board to refuse to permit 
the transfer of a British ship unless the Board are satisfied of 
the expediency of the transfer. I need hardly point out 
that it gives power that the Board should be satisfied that 
there is no objectionable transaction. The object of the Bill 
is to make definite and clear the legal power of the Depart- 
ment to prevent an undesirable transfer. 

MR. RUTHERFORD : I think we ought to be grateful to 
the hon. member representing the Board of Trade who tells 
us that the object of the measure is to make matters clear. 
It seems to me that although he admitted the Bill now 
before the House is an emergency Bill it is really a piece of 
panic legislation. The first clause of the Bill says : 'A 
transfer made after the twelfth day of February, nineteen 
hundred and fifteen, of a British ship registered in the United 
Kingdom, or a share therein, to a person not qualified to 
own a British ship, shall not have any effect/ Down to that 
point the clause appears to be fairly clear. If a transfer 
were made to-day of a British ship registered in Great Britain 
to somebody who was not qualified to own it, it would not 
have any effect, and, therefore, the clause amounts to nothing 
whatever. Down to that point it simply states a self-evident 
fact. But going on another word or two, it says : ' Unless 
the transfer is approved by the Board of Trade/ I think 
that if the intention is to give the Board of Trade power to 
approve of the transfer of a British ship to somebody who 
is not entitled at present to have it transferred to him, then 
the Board of Trade ought to tell us so, and the House of 
Commons would know that it is sought to pass an Act of 
456 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

Parliament enabling somebody who hitherto has not been 
able to own a British ship to own one for the first time. I 
listened carefully to the explanation given by the hon. 
member, and certainly it did not convey to my mind that 
the effect of this Bill, if passed, was going to be to enable a 
British ship to be transferred to somebody who at present is 
not capable of owning it. 

MR. PRINGLE : Then it would cease to be a British ship. 

MR. RUTHERFORD : Then there is an end to the trans- 
action. But, if I may respectfully call the attention of the 
hon. member to the fact, this is the assent to the transfer 
of a British ship registered in the United Kingdom, and it 
does not say anything whatever on the lines indicated by 
the hon. member. It is perfectly true that that may be the 
intention, and if that is the intention of this Bill I think 
that we ought to be informed of it. Then the second clause 
makes an exception as regards ships registered in certain 
places, and we have had no explanation as to why British 
India, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand 
should be left out. Why British ships or ships belonging to 
British citizens who may live in parts of the world other 
than those mentioned here should be treated differently is 
something of which we have had no explanation. I think 
that when we are told that the new Bill, which is now being 
introduced, is intended to operate only during the war, and 
when it is placed before us and we are trying our best to 
make out what is its real intention, we ought to be very 
careful, for the sake of a few minutes in this House, to see 
whether we can really understand what is sought to be done. 

MR. ROBERTSON : I quite agree with the hon. member 
that we should be very careful in regard to all legislation of 
this kind. In reference to his first point, I may say that 
the clause simply follows the forms of words already found 
in the Merchant Shipping Act, and is simply to prevent a 
British ship from being transferred to any outside owner 
where it might not be desirable to allow the transfer to take 
place. The phrase ' person entitled to own a British ship ' 
is the wording of the Merchant Shipping Act, and it is desirable 
to keep the wording of the various Merchant Shipping Acts 
as far as possible on the same lines. In the cases mentioned 
in the Schedule, which are excluded from the operation of 

457 



DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

the Act, they themselves will regulate the shipping. British 
India, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of 
Australia, the Dominion of South Africa, New Zealand, and 
Newfoundland, will regulate shipping themselves. That is 
an understood thing. The purpose of the Bill simply is to 
regulate shipping in the United Kingdom and those ports 
where there is British control. 

Question put, and agreed to. 

Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee 
of the Whole House for to-morrow (Thursday). 

PRIZE SHIPS 

House of Commons, February 24, 1915. 

Hansard. MR. FELL asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why 

the three prize ships which have been lying at Cape Town 
since last August cannot be at once sent on to their respective 
destinations under prize crews and there unloaded, and the 
British cargo delivered to the British consignees and the 
doubtful or foreign cargo landed and left for future decision, 
and the ships then utilised for commerce, in which they are 
so needed ? 

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF 
ADMIRALTY (DR. MACNAMARA) : It is not possible to under- 
take the expense and risk of dealing with other people's 
property in this manner, unless the owners, or some one on 
their behalf, will indemnify the Admiralty against expense 
and loss. Arrangements with this object in view are practi- 
cally complete, and, as a matter of fact, one vessel the 
Birkenfels was on the nth instant handed over to the 
representative of the shipping company which has been en- 
trusted with the contract for the purpose of being prepared 
for the voyage. Arrangements for the other vessels are in 
progress. It should be understood that this procedure 
involves a departure -from procedure previously observed in 
regard to prize ships, and the arrangements have involved a 
great deal of telegraphing and communication with various 
authorities. 

MINE-SWEEPERS 

ibid. MR. TICKLER asked the Financial Secretary to the Admir- 

alty if his attention has been called to the services rendered 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

by the mine-sweeper Solon, No. 55, to the steamship Galtier, 
which had struck a mine off Scarborough on the night of 
25th December last ; that the skipper, T. Trengall, R.N.R., 
has been awarded the D.S.O. for approaching this vessel 
through a mine-field at great risk ; and whether he cannot 
see his way clear to recognise the services of at any rate some 
of the crew, who risked their lives so freely and ungrudgingly, 
as this has already been done in another case ? 

DR. MACNAMARA : I have only just received the hon. 
member's question, and I have not had time to make due 
inquiry. I will do so and communicate with the hon. member 
at once. 

FREIGHTS 

House of Commons, February 25, 1915. 

MR. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty Hansard. 
whether, in spite of the use of the interned steamers, the 
expected reduction in freights from the Tyne to London has 
not taken place ; and what is now the rate ? 

MR. ROBERTSON : My right hon. friend has requested me 
to answer this question. There was some reduction in 
freights when these vessels started running, but there was 
afterwards an upward tendency. I understand that 145. 6d. 
was the last rate paid to an outside boat, and I2S. to an 
interned steamer. 

MR. JOYNSON-HICKS asked the First Lord of the Admiralty 
whether, in order to ease the freight rates for coal from the 
Tyne to London, he can arrange for some of the colliers which 
take coal from Cardiff to the North Sea Fleet to take a cargo 
from the Tyne to London on the way back instead of returning 
empty ? 

MR. ROBERTSON : Certain colliers have already been 
temporarily released by the Admiralty for the purpose indi- 
cated, and the practice will be continued so far as Fleet < 
considerations permit. 

SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY : Would the hon. gentleman 
consider the desirability of representing to the Admiralty 
that they should pay part of the excessive rate out of the 
savings on the hire of these colliers at 45. per ton ? 

MR. ROBERTSON : I will convey the suggestion to the 
Admiralty. 

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INVALID MILITARY PRISONERS 

Hansard. House of Commons, February 25, 1915. 

MR. YERBURGH asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs 
whether he is aware that Admiral Chilcott and Colonel 
Stratton, both invalids of over sixty-five years of age, who 
were sent from Nauheim to Giessen en route for the concen- 
tration camp at Ruhleben, but were too ill to proceed there, 
were sent back to Nauheim and are still detained at that 
place ; and whether, as on the grounds that they were 
military prisoners of war they were not permitted to leave 
Germany with other British persons of over fifty-five years 
of age, steps can be now taken for their early release in 
exchange for invalid military prisoners in this country ? 

SIR E. GREY : The German Government refused to 
include Admiral Chilcott and Colonel Stratton among those 
who were released as being over the age of fifty-five on the 
ground that they were retired officers and possibly capable 
of performing some military duties. On loth December His 
Majesty's Government proposed that these two retired officers 
should be included among those to be released as certified 
incapacitated for military service. The German Government 
refused this suggestion, and stated that the release of these 
officers should form the subject of special negotiation. His 
Majesty's Government informed the United States Ambas- 
sador on 2Oth January that any reasonable proposal on this 
matter would be entertained. His Majesty's Government at 
the same time pointed out that they could not offer prisoners 
of the same category in exchange as such individuals had not 
been detained in this country, but that they were prepared 
to exchange for these officers two German subjects equally 
valueless from a military point of view. No reply has been 
received to this communication, but the matter will continue 
to receive the attention of His Majesty's Government. 

LOSS OF H.M.S. BULWARK (OFFICERS' PENSIONS) 

MR. PERKINS asked the Secretary to the Admiralty 
whether the scale of officers' pensions to be paid in respect of 
the loss of the Bulwark has now been settled ? 
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DOCUMENTARY HISTORY NAVAL 

DR. MACNAMARA : No, Sir. The matter is still under 
consideration, the present position being that the Admiralty, 
in conjunction with the War Office, are drawing up a scheme 
of pensions for the widows and children of officers which it 
is hoped to transmit for the consideration of the Select 
Committee at an early date. In the case of the Bulwark the 
pensions are meanwhile being paid under Scale B. 

MR. CHURCHILL'S INTERVIEW IN THE MATIN 

MR. JOWETT asked the Prime Minister if the opinion recently ibid. 
expressed by the First Lord of the Admiralty to a Matin 
interviewer, 1 to the eifect that should France and Russia l [See 
withdraw from participation in the European War Great p. 164. 
Britain would fight to the bitter end, was published with the 
authority and sanction of His Majesty's Government ?