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should not now been pestered with the ravings of the disaffected radicals and wining tractarians at "the inhuman massacre of human beings by the court-martial sentence of three youths,' three striplings,' three beardless boys,' and 'some such inferior officers”” of Mr. Bright's imagination.
The evidence of Vice-admiral the Earl of Lauderdale, K.C.B. a practical and distinguished officer, is of importance on the subject of Naval rank in answer to questions by the Committee in the House of Commons.
1240 by Sir John Hay. “With reference to the plans which have been suggested for changing the names of the various ranks of Naval officers, especially the rank of lieutenant, it has been stated, that while in the Crimea and in China, Naval officers were con. stantly serving in the Army, and mistakes arose in consequence of the fact of the rank of lieutenant in the Navy corresponding with the rank of captain. Do you think that there would be any advantage in changing the titles of the Naval ranks in order to meet the difficulty ? I do not know what you are to call the lieutenants. There is no doubt that when serving with the Army, a captain in the Army must be naturally supposed to be the senior-officer, the only difficulty is what you are to call the lieutenants.”
1241. The proposal is to call the captains in the Navy, Commodores, and to transfer the title of captain to the lieutenant of the Navy, leaving the commanders as they are, should you approve of that change? It requires some consideration. All I am clear about is, that there is sometimes an inconvenience when you are serving with the Army between the rank of captain in the Army, and lieu. tenant in the Navy; I have seen the inconvenience and difficulties connected with it."
The proposal to change the titles in this question 1241, and the answer thereto is consequential.
1242. Chairman. Is it an inconvenience of such a nature that you think some alteration is requisite or not? It is only a question as to what you are to call them. As to changing the old established
captain," into a "commodore,” that requires a little consideration; I think it desirable, if you could do it. (It can be done by styling the "commodores," flag commodores, which would be more expressive of equality with brigadier-generals.)
The evidence of Captain A. C. Key R.N., C.B., at present commanding the Excellent, gunnery ship, is equally conclusive as to the advantage of a change in Naval titles.
2026. A proposal has been mentioned before the Committee, which was to change the titles of the different ranks in the Navy, more especially the rank of lieutenant, and the reason given was that when serving in alliance with other Powers, and where there was a combination of land and sea forces, some difficulties have arisen on account of the fact that the rank of the Naval lieutenant corresponds with the rank of captain in the Army. It has been suggested that the captains might be called commodores, and lieutenants captains. What is your opinion upon that? I have heard of a great inany mistakes being made on account of the difference of those ranks in the two services, and I am favourable to a change.
2029. Would you have a lieutenant at sea called captain ? If lieutenants are called captains in the Navy List, they would be so called on all occasions, it would cause great confusion at first, but there is such a jarring between the ranks in the Navy and the Army that I think a change should be made.” (This jarring, produces jealousy in the fleet between the Naval lieutenant, Naval sub-lieutenants, and the captains and lieutenants of the Marines. Prevent that iarring, by an equality of Naval and Marine titles, then social fraternity would be cherished afloat, and in the Naval and Marine brigades on shore.)
Captain Key of the Naval gunnery ship, has generally twenty Naval lieutenants under his command for practical instruction, the working of field piece, (including field battery) company, battalion and light infantry drills, yet these captains and majors of Naval gunnery from field pieces to 300-pounders are only termed Misters. * Messieurs,' as La Fleur would exclaim, c'est déroger à la noblesse navale.'
The proposal for changes in Naval titles was not to include those above that of captain ; we are, however of opinion, that the change of title, "adiniral of the fleet, to that of sea-marshal is of paramount consideration to front rank it with military nobility, the "field marshal.” The admiral of the fleet possesses a similar staff of dignity. A baton of Royal Naval blue, surinounted with a gold crown. The field marshal, a baton of military scarlet, surmounted with a gold crown. If in the next Navy List,
, “sea marshals," appeared instead of admirals of the feet, there would be direct proof, by titles and batons, that Sea Marshal, Sir William
Field Marshal, the Right Parker Bart, G.C.B., (First Hon. Sir Edward Blakeney, and principal Naval Aide-de- G.C.B., G.C.A., Colonel-incamp to the Queen.)
Chief Rifle Brigade, Governor Sea Marshal, Sir Lucius įrank ) of Chelsea Hospital.
with Curtis, Bart, K.C.B.
Field Marshal Right Hon.
Viscount Gough, G.C.B., Sea Marshal, Sir Thomas K.P., KSI., Colonel of John Cochrane, G.C.B.
Horse Guards, and Colonel
60th Rifles. The Navy List should also front rank, as admirals are front ranked with generals. Flag Commodores.
with Brigadier Generals. Commodores, (present captains)
Colonels. Commanders, as at present,
Lieutenant Colonels. First Captains of seainen, eight years' standing, present lieutenants,
Captains of seamen under eight years, with Captains.
Ensigns. The last quarterly " Navy List,” for a wonder, appears without any removals, resignations, dismissals, or desertions of Naval lieutenants. From January 1864, till 1865 inclusive, there were successively five removals, seven resignations, nine dismissals and one desertion of lieutenants of the Navy, from Her Majesty's Service. Would it not be considered worthy of inquiry into the cause if twenty-two captains had been so disposed of from the Army? The cause is comprehensively explained, for the majority of the Naval lieutenants having been so summarily turned adrift from so honourable a profession by the proof that, from theic being only misters, whilst their marine shipinates are captains, they are not supported in their position of responsibility and rank in the fleet, otherwise than subaltern officers as their title of lieutenant applies.
The Admiralty are informed of the great number of sub-lieutenants and midshipmen who are removed from the Navy for questionable causes, and resignations in consequence of dissatisfaction, the sub-lieutenants as commissioned officers being kept in the gun-rooun mess, when their subordinate officers the second-lieutenants of marines mess in the ward room-and the midshipmen to strut, until they pass for Naval lieutenants, in coats, with white patches on the collar, the menial badges of livery footmen, and a carving knife stuck by their side--when their equals the marine second lieutenants are uniformed and sworded according to their recognized rank.
These Naval subordinates, from the age of sixteen having been trained and nautically educated at the country's expense in trainingships and sailing vessels, are qualified for superintending ship duties on deck and aloft, and become essential to the discipline and order of the between decks—therefore the numerous removals of these experienced officers from seagoing ships must tend to the disadvantage of the service in general.
Give the qualified midshipman at sixteen a Naval ensign's uniform, and to the executive officers professionally superior titles, then their lordships would check the junior officers from quitting the service for any other profession, and confer the greatest boon to the Navy since the reign of Queen Anne, when a corporal proudly declared that, “ he would sooner be a corporal of dragoons than an adıniral at sea,” to that of Queen of Victoria, whose Order in Council could equalise the titles of officers in her Majesty's sea and land forces, with those of Naval and Military Ensigns up to those of sea-inarshals and field-marshals, and prevent the enrolling of Naval captains, (sea colonels,) with Military captains in the muster roll of th Queen's levees and drawing-rooms, and the echo of the court cuckoo-crv-captains in the Navy 'and Army are all alike captains, in the roll-call from the Lord Chamberlain's office.
Style the Royal Naval Captain “commodore” in the reign of Queen Victoria, we should hear no more of the corporal's preference in that of Queen Anne, but that of, “I would sooner be a a commodore of one ship of war, than a colonel of dragoon horsts.”
MUSKETRY PRACTICE IN THE ARMY DURING THE
Our army is very small compared to that of any of the great Powers of Europe, and therefore its thorough efficiency alone can be the guarantee of that position which we have a right to hold amidst the nations. To be equal to the requirements of our “situation,” every British soldier should be, at least, and in every respect, superior to ten foreigners, whoever they may be; and in no respect can be afford to be less qualified than in musketry or the power of accurate shooting. For this training of the British soldier the nation cheerfully pays a considerable som per annum — not less' than £69,740, being expended on our Schools of Musketry at Hythe and Fleetwood, besides additional pay to the musketry instructors of the regiments, which, although very small in itself, amounts to a respectable sum per annum.
It is, therefore, not without some little concern that we findnot, indeed, any retrogradation—but certainly no improvement in the shooting of the army generally, during the past year—a result which we could scarcely deem possible, with reference to the fact that every year since the establishment of the Schools of Mosketry, has strikingly increased this most desirable efficiency in shooting throughout the British Army,
Nor is the cause of this want of progress less surprising, since it happens to be the neglect of that which is so emphatically insisted on in the Regulations of Musketry—the practices of Position Drill. Major. General Hay, the Inspector-General of Musketry, speaks very plainly on this startling fact in his Annual Report just issued. He says :
“I would remark that if I have not been able to report improvement in the shooting of the army generally, I feel perfectly satisfied that the cause is solely attributable to the fact that the men are not habituated to the proper position in handling their rifles.
“Having closely watched the men at practice, I am not surprised that the shooting is not better, but that it is so good. The man who is not trained to the proper position in the first instance as a recruit, and confirmed in and habituated to it during the ordinary weekly drills and parades (and a very little time will soffice, if often repeat ed,) cannot possibly fire in the same position twice running,
particularly when shooting on the knee-an essential position for effective volley-firing, and for long-range shooting.”
Thus, for the first time we think, a very significant hint is given to our army-men and instructors—that « the great object," as it is emphatically called, of all: their training has, during the past year, been slighted or neglected. But, as we have stated, there is, apparently, no falling off in efficiency; and perhaps it may be thought that we should be satisfied with the stationary “figure of merit,” without exacting more, since it is really very imposing. Indeed it is rather a curious fact that the figure of merit of the best shooting regiments is exactly the same as it was last year. The 2nd Battalion of the Scots Fusilier Guards still stands, as last year, at the head of the list, claiming the high figure of 117.37 points—which unmistakeably means that the proportion of " dead shots" must be formidable in that battalion. The 4th battalion of the 60th Rifles figures next at 112:01, as last year, followed pretty closely by the 1st battalion of the Grenadier Guards, and six more battalions or regiments, against five last year, all of them ranging over 100 per cent. in their “ Figure of Merit the sixth being the 26th Foot, scoring 101.45 points. The “ order of merit” in which these regiments stand is as follows.
1. Scots Fusilier Guards, 2nd Battalion, 117.37
111.57 4. 49th Foot.
109.92 5. 7th Depôt Battalion.
109.04 6. Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion.
107.57 7. 15th Depôt Battalion.
103.85 8. 26th Foot.
101.45 Last year thirteen regiments ranged in their order of merit from 98.47 to 81:11. This year we find seventeen Regiments in that category, which, perhaps, the reader will consider a decided improvement in spite of the very laudable discontent of the veteran Inspector-General, who, we know, goes on himself improving from year to year in his magnificent shooting, as all will testify who have had the pleasure of witnessing his performance at Hythe. The order of merit of these seventeen regiments is as follows :
1. Coldstream Guards, 2nd Battalion. 98.47
96-65 4. Grenadier Guards, 2nd Battalion 93-83 5. 47th Foot.
93.48 6. 42nd Highlanders.
91.58 7. 6th Foot, 1st Battalion.
91.19 8. 8th
88.56 9. 30th
87.25 10. 87th Fusiliers.
85.28 11. Coldstream Guards, 1st Battalion. 85.21