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when a Meinber suggested that, “ four dozen lashes were quite sufficient for the bare back of any offender.” “ Let it be forty-eight” was the generous reply of the noble Secretary of the Admiralty.
It is not the number of lashes, bnt the ignominy of the lash which should create the most efficacious example. Sorne hardened offenders in the Army, have backed off thousands. “A soldier who had been frequently punished, was brought to the halberts, and when he was under the infliction of the cat, he turned round to the officers and exclaimed with a laugh.” “Well, I get my three thousand a-year, which is more than many of you can say."
In Marshall's “Military Miscellany,” are several other cases, where the offenders have hazarded the incst Indicrous jokes in the presence of their comrades, at the expense of a hundred lashes in the Army, and five or six dozen in the Navy.
while he commanded the African corps, a corps which was always notorious for corporal punishment, was one Sunday reading the morning service of the Church to the men who were formed into a square. The Major who was from the north of the Tweed, spoke and read the English language with the broad accent of the natives of one of the countries in the North of Scotland. Upon reading the Creed, and pronouncing in his own queer way, the words, suffered under Pontius Pilate,' a wag in the ranks, well known for his uncontrollable propensity to joking and fun, exclaimed, Wha's Ponshews Peelate, I wonder The Major paused, and laying aside the prayer book, said, 'Ah, Johu, is that you at your jokes again? just come out here my man ?The soldier stepped forward, a drum-head court-martial was held, the triangles rigged out, and John received 100 lashes without saying a word. The flogging having been completed, the Major resumed the prayer book, and finished the service of the day.”
Those were soldiers' jokes, here is a sailor's whilst he was going to take a comfortable nap under the infliction of the naval cat for the purpose of annoying his captain, and showing himself a bravado at the gangway, and a trump of hearts to his shipmates. The author of “The Port Adiniral" asserts as a fact that a seaman named Collins, who had received four dozen without a word, when the captain nodded to the master-at-arms, saying, “Cast him off," quietly turned his head towards his superior, and with an indescribable air of drollery said, "Thank ye, your honour, thank ye; I was just a dozing off to sleep." A suppressed laugh among the crew, and a look of rage from the captain, was the effect of this sally; the latter ordering the boatman's mate to give him two dozen more, which failing to move his stoicism, he was at length liberated.
Fifteen hundred lashes in the Army, or 500 in the Navy in the Old Wars, did not create a greater degree of obedience and discipline,
* This barbarous number of lashes was inflicted upon three soldiers at Amboyna in 1813, or 14 for marauding and ill-treating the natives. One of these hardened wen, was afterwards shot for mutiny.
or reformation in character or conduct, than the present fifty military, and forty-eight naval lashes, which could be vet further reduced, without impairing discipline, or respect, to forty la-hes in both services, under our Lady Sovereign the Defender of the Faith, the worshiper of the Lord's Book, The Bible, “ Deuteronomy, chapter xxv., verses 2nd and 3rd.” “And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him and not exceed, lest, if he should exceed and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee."
The Act to amend the Naval Discipline Act, 1864, (5th July, 1865) was expressly and solely enacted in order to increase the Penal Servitude from four to five years.
As Penal Servitude is increased, so could corporal punishment be decreased to forty lashes, and Britons hear their defenders by sea and land, "sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!" “Part IV. The Constitution of Courts Martial.” The new code of Naval Martial Law, is conspicuous for its conciseness in its regulations, the judiciousness of its clauses and great judgment in its composition.
Section 1. A Court-Martial shall consist of not less than five nor more than nine officers.” (This reduction of the members is of general advantage to the service, and decidedly in favour of the prisoner. Less the doctors, greater the chance of cure. Less the members of a court-martial, greater the chance of justice and mercy, because lesser the number, greater the responsibility felt by each member.)
“Section 2. No officer shall be qualified to sit as a member of any court-martial held in pursuance of this Act, unless he be a flag-officer, captain, commander, or lieutenant of her Majesty's Navy on full pay.” (Staff captains, and staff commanders are not eligible to sit as members of a naval court-martial, as their staff of office in a ship of war is non-executive.)
“ Section 3. A court-martial shall not be held unless at least three of Her Majesty's ships, not being tenders, and coinmanded by captains, commanders, or lieutenants of Her Majesty's Navy on full pay, are together at the time when such court-martial is held.”
“ Section 15. No commander or lieutenant shall be required to sit as a member of any court-martial when four officers of a higher rank and junior to the President can be assembled at the place where the court-martial is to be holden (but the regularity or validity of any court-inartial, or of the proceedings thereof, shall not be affected by any commander or lieutenant being required to sit, or sitting thereon, under any circumstances); and when any
commander or lieutenant sits on any court-martial, the members of it shall not exceed five in number." (The proviso in brackets is a most consequential amendinent to the act of 1861 as cases might arise where it would be doubtful whether a court-martial could be held when more than three ships of war were present, in consequence of members junior to the President being called to it according to seniority by Section 16. For instance, suppose two flag-ships only present in any foreign port. They will have on board the flag-officers, two captains, and two commanders. The senior flagofficer orders the court-martial, and the second in command to preside, who has two captains and two commanders to constitute a court-martial, but it could not be held as two ships only were present. The wisdom and justice of human law are to have the judges independant of each other, hence “The Naval Discipline Act' requires that “there shall be three ships present," thus ensuring three officers in separate command out of the least number of five officers who can doly constitute a naval court-martial. Suppose again, the third ship arrives with a coinmander, the court asseinbles and the officers called “ to sit according to seniority.” 1st, the president, and the senior captain, 3rd, the junior captain, 4th, the senior commander, 5th, the junior commander, but both these commanders of the two flag-ships are senior to the commander of the third ship; therefore, the president could not have called, previous to the proviso of last year, the commander of the third ship, as a commander, or a lieutenant, cannot be called on a court-martial “when four officers of a higher rank and junior to the president can be assembled at the place where the court-martial is to be held.”
The proviso in the last year's Act would render valid the proceedings of a court-martial were the president to leave ont the junior commander of the two flag-ships, and call in the junior commander in command of the third ship, or rather vessel. Suppose another case. Two ships, with a captain and a commander to each ship, and a vessel commanded by a lieutenant are present. The junior captain presides, and summons the two commanders and the two senior lieutenants of the three ships present, whien he finds that the lieutenant in command of the third ship is junior to two, or more, lieutenants in the first and second ships. Therefore no court-martial could be held in either case, though any number of ships were present, whose commanders were junior to the two commanders in the first and second ships, and the whole flotilla of gunboats, whose lieutenants in command are junior to the lieutenants in the first and second ships, as the third clause enacts that, the officers constituting a court-martial must belong to three ships, and the sixteenth clause enacts that the members junior to the president "shall be next in seniority to himself.” However, by the proviso in the 15th clause, the president in each case would be authorized to call in the junior cominander of the third ship, or the lieutenant in command of the third ship, and the proceedings would be valid, viz., (“ But the regularity or validity of any courtmartial or of the proceedings thereof shall not be affected by any commander or lieutenant being required to sit, or sitting thereon, under any circumstances).”
To avoid being accused of plagiarism, Tristram submitted those observations in print five years ago, to all whom they might concern. And it is again repeated, with every deference, that certain words are required to be inserted in the Naval Discipline Act, in order to render it as near perfection as possible, and all that every class in the British fleet could possibly expect in support of their own welfare, of their various duties under their cherished Sovereign's Royal Standard, and in defence of their country, Old England's, commerce and navigation, the wonder, the pride, and envy of the universe.
P.S. -The essence of the contents of a lady's epistle is extracted for the postscript: and the pith and the marrow of the “Coinments on the Naval Articles of War” may be concentrated in the question emanating from the wording of the following article, viz.,
“90. For any offence, or offences, committed by any officer or seamnan, or officers and seamen, after the wreck, loss, destruction or capture of any such ship, a separate court-martial shall be held for the trial of such offender or offenders.”
Query. Could any inarine, or marines, be tried for any offence, or offences, particularised in the Naval Discipline Act, after the wreck, loss, destruction, or capture of any such ship; bearing in ipind that a ship’ is not a gun-boat, barge, boat, or raft, nor is a murine a seaman, no more than " paper is parchinent,” as quoted from an Act of Parliament by the Attorney-General.
“Did not I tell you so," as the ladies say, " that the United States would not claim indennity for the prizes taken by the Alabama and Shenandoah, which were built in England, navigated to foreign ports, and there surreptitiously converted into vessels of war by Commissions from the Confederate Government.
The President of the United States has proclaimed to the maritime world, that he does not honour the “ Bill of Indemnity" clajined by his Minister in London, which was sumined up by his French advocate in the Paris Press, to the amount of £2,880,000for the prizes taken or destroyed by the Alabama, which were not “ fitted-out, manned, and armed in British ports for immediate warfare." The President now declares that, “British ships manned by British subjects and prepared for receiving British arınaments, sailed from the ports of Great Britain to make war on American comerce under the shelter of a Commission from the insurgent States.” Let Earl Russell's true version of the case of the Alabarna and others—in the United Service Magazine, December, 1865, page 500—be considered with the inoderated explanation given by the President of the United States; and Tristram may ask the pertinent, but amiable question : “ To thy French fabrication of the American Bill of Costs against England, what sayest thou, now, mon Prince de Joinville şi
SUPPLEMENTARY DESPATCHES, CORRESPONDENCE AND MEMORANDA OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.
(July 1817 to end of 1818.)
(Concluded.) Amid all the conflicting interests involved, the Duke alone was looked upon as above all influence or partiality, and appeals to him were made by nearly every potentate on the Continent whenever any difficulty arose in the adjustinent of the amount which each should receive for his subjects, or any other matter in which the Allies were interested. We have already adverted to the satisfaction with which each of the Powers received his consent to conduct the negotiations with France on the subject of the claims, and, as examples, we may mention the despatch written by the Saxon Minister, stating that the King, his inaster, placed the whole matter of the claims of Saxony in bis hands, with the most lively gratitude for the trouble he was willing to take in sotiling them with the rest, and thoroughly convinced that he could rely on his wisdom, equity and impartiality. And on the saine subject the King of Prussia writes to the Duke, thanking bin in the warmest terms for his willingness to negotiate a settlement of the various clains, which he thought would be greatly facilitated by the independence of the Duke and the complete confidence that was placed in him.
The final decision come to between the Duke and his colleagues was to ascertain the real amount of the clains upon France, and to negotiate with that Power for a sum sufficient to settle them all li leaving it to each separate Power to distribute the amount it received among its own subjects. Great delay was occasioned before this was arrived at, and, but for the firmness with which he adhered
to the determination he had laid down not to admit exceptional • claim.s, the matter might have remained unsettled until the revolution
he foresaw had placed another ruler on the throne of France, and what had been accomplished would have had to undergo revision. The Duke was not quite satisfied with the way in which the French Ministers dealt with the matter. He appears to have held the opinion that their anxiety to satisfy the claimants ought to have equalled his, and disapproved their hesitation to admit a total amount which the Allies had agreed among themselves to accept as a composition, thinking that it was not the best way of reconciling the French nation to the payment for its government to consider