Order in Council of 10 August, 1840

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Order in Council

WHEREAS Your Majesty was graciously pleased, by your Royal Commission, dated the 3d May 1838, to appoint certain Commissioners for the purpose of "inquiring into the several modes of promotion and retirement now authorised and granted to the officers of Your Majesty's Naval and Military forces, of ascertaining the comparative situation of the officers in each branch, and of reporting whether, due regard being had to economy and the efficiency of the service, it may be practicable and expedient to make any and what changes in the present system:"

And whereas the said Commissioners have, in obedience to Your Majesty's commands, made a report to your Majesty on the points referred to them, including therein propositions for an increase of full pay and half pay to certain ranks:

We beg most humbly to state to Your Majesty that we have taken the same into our serious consideration, so far as it relates to Your Majesty's officers of the Royal Navy and Marines; and we most humbly submit to Your Majesty whether Your Majesty will not be pleased, by your Order in Council, to direct that the recommendations and suggestions contained therein, which are recited below in the order in which they stand, shall be carried into effect:—

lst. As Relates to Officers of the Royal Marines.—That every officer of Marines removed from the corps on becoming a general officer, shall receive the full pay of his last regimental commission, or 400l. a year, when the pay of his last regimental commission is not of that amount.

That the number of lieutenant colonels allowed to retire on full pay, under the provisions of Your Majesty’s Order in Council of the 21st June 1837, be increased from four to six.

That the regimental field officer so retiring, and all those who may have heretofore retired upon full pay, as such shall be eligible to be promoted in succession by brevet to the rank of general officer, and that the retired full pay of such of the field officers as may attain the rank of general officer, shall be made up to 4001. a year, if the retired pay they receive shall be below that amount.

That Your Majesty may be pleased to authorise us to admit of the permanent retirement, annually, of two lieutenant colonels to half-pay, at their own request; but that these officers shall not be eligible for any further promotion, by brevet or otherwise.

That the pay of captains of Royal Marines, when serving on shore and not victualled, shall be increased to 11s. 7d. a day, being at the same rate as that of captains of infantry of the line.

2d. As to Flag Officers.—That so much of the Order in Council of the 30th June 1827, as relates to the promotion of captains to be flag officer, be rescinded; and that those officers who have been placed on the Retired List, under that Order in Council, shall be placed on the list of flag officers, according to their seniority as captains.

That in all flag promotions, every captain whose seniority brings him in turn for advancement and shall be placed on the list of flag officers, provided he has served, or offered to serve, as a captain, and shall not have declined service at any time when called upon, and that there be nothing against his character as an officer and a gentleman; but that the half-pay of those flag officers who have not commanded one or more of Your Majesty's rated ships four complete years during war, or five complete years of war and peace combined, shall not be increased beyond that of rear admiral, unless they shall have rendered, as flag officers, sea service of equal length to complete the period above-mentioned, of which they were deficient as captains.

That those captains who are not considered eligible to be promoted shall be removed from the list of officers of the Royal Navy, and receive a civil pension equal to their half-pay, to be provided for in the Naval Estimates, and that their widows shall be considered eligible to pensions (90l. per annum) as captains' widows, according to such regulations as are now in force, or may hereafter be established.

3d. Commanders.—That 50 of the senior commanders on the list shall have the option of receiving the retired rank of captains, with the pay of 10s. 6d. a. day, being the lowest rate of half—pay allowed to a captain, and that they shall be laced on a separate list as retired captains; and) we would further most humbly propose, that the widows of these retired captains shall be entitled to receive at their husband’s death pensions of 75l. a year, if otherwise entitled thereto.

4th. Lieutenants.—That the full pay of Lieutenants of seven years' standing in that rank, being senior lieutenants of sea-going ships, or in command of any of Your Majesty's ships or other than those on the packet or surveying establishment, shall be 11s. a day, or 15l. 8s. a lunar month, and that the full pay of all other lieutenants shall be 10s. a day, or 15l. a lunar month.

That the extra pay of 6d. a day, at present allowed to all lieutenants in flag ships, be discontinued.

That the half-pay of lieutenants hereafter promoted to that rank shall be 4s. a day, to be increased to 5s. after three years' service in seagoing ships as lieutenants, advancing, as at present, by seniority, to the rates of 6s. and 7s. a day; but we humbly propose that we may be empowered to place any lieutenant upon the 5s. list, who, through illness contracted in the service, shall have been unable to serve three years at sea in that rank.

5th. Masters.—That the full pay of masters serving in first, second, and third rates, shall be increased to 11s. 8d. a day, or 16l. 6s. 8d. a lunar month.

That the full pay of masters serving in other rated ships shall be increased to 10s. a day, or 14l. a lunar month, and that the full pay of masters serving in sloops and smaller vessels shall be increased to 8s. 4d. a day, or 11l. 14s. a lunar month.

6th. Mates.—In order to improve the situation of mates, it is highly recommended that, instead of receiving, as at present, warrants under the hand of the captain or commanding officer of the ship in which they may be serving, they shall in future be appointed by commissions or warrants from us; and that during the first three years of their actual service as such, the mates of Your Majesty's Navy shall take rank with ensigns in the army, and, after three years' service with lieutenants in the army, according to their seniority as mates, to be computed from the dates of their original warrants under the former regulations in respect to mates.

That the sea-pay of mates shall be increased to 3s. 7d. a day, or 5l. a lunar month.

That after three years' actual sea service as mates, and when unable to obtain employment in Your Majesty's service, they shall be entitled to half-pay at the rate of 2s. 6d. a day, provided their conduct during such service shall have been satisfactory, and provided that they do not decline or avoid service when called upon.

That we may be empowered to allow any mate to retire from the service with a pension of 2s. 6d. a day, after 20 years' actual service, during ten of which he must have held that rating.

7th. Secretaries.—That secretaries to flag officers be appointed by commissions or warrants from us, upon the recommendation of the officer under whose flag they are to serve.

That the full pay of the secretary of the Admiral of the fleet shall be, as at present, 1l. 7s. 4d. a day.

That the full pay of secretaries to all flag officers, commanders-in-chief, shall be 400l. a year, and that of all other flag officers and commodores of the first class shall be 3001. a year; and that after 12 years’ service they shall be entitled to half-pay, at the rate of 12s. a day.

8th. Medical Officers.—With a view of placing the medical officers of the Royal Navy, in respect to rank, pay, and additional pay for length of service, and also with respect to half-pay, on a scale more nearly corresponding with that assigned to officers of the Army Medical Department than at present, it is most humbly submitted that the scale of rank, pay, and half-pay, marked A., attached hereto, be established for the naval medical officers; but that the benefit of any new regulation in this respect shall not be extended to any medical officer on half-pay, or who may hereafter come upon full pay, until he shall have served a period of three years, subsequent to the 1st January 1838. That the medical officers of the Navy shall be permitted to reckon the whole period of their full pay service as assistant surgeons and surgeons, in claims to increased pay or retirement, and when employed in any naval hospital at home or abroad, or in the Royal Marine Infirmary at Chatham or Woolwich, which are also-naval hospitals, they shall be entitled to the rates of pay and half-pay, agreeably to the length of their respective services in these establishments, set forth in the Table B. also attached hereto.

9th. Loss of Instruments.—It is most humbly recommended that officers of all ranks in the Royal Navy and Marines shall receive a compensation or the loss of their instruments, clothing, and other effects, subject to such relations as we may think fit to establish, provided such officers shall be acquitted of all blame as to the cause of any such loss; but that this boon should not in any case be retrospective.

And we beg, in conclusion, most humbly to submit that no officers of the Royal Navy or Marines, of whatsoever rank, who shall retire from their respective employments without our approbation, or who shall refuse or avoid service, if found capable of serving, shall be allowed to receive half-pay, and that their names shall be removed from the list of officers of the Royal Navy.

We further propose that the several increases of pay and half-pay contemplated by these recommendations shall take place from the 1st July instant.

Tables A & B not reproduced.