Order in Council of 19 May, 1899

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The Order in Council of 19 May, 1899, was a piece of legislation affecting the definitions of service for officers of the Royal Navy.

Order in Council

WHEREAS by Your Majesty's Order in Council of the Twenty-second day of February 1870, Your Majesty was graciously pleased to sanction certain changes in the definition of Sea and Harbour Service, which was divided into—

(a.) Service in a Ship of War at sea,
(b.) Sea Service,
(c.) Harbour Service,

and in the manner in which each class of Service should respectively count for Pay, Half-Pay, Promotion, and Retirement, certain Service counting in full for all purposes, while other Service counted only in part.

And whereas by Your Majesty's Orders in Council of the Fourth day of August 1873, the Twenty-ninth day of June 1882, the Third day of May 1888, and the First day of May 1890, further changes were sanctioned by Your Majesty, all of which were designed to allow Harbour Service to count either as 'Sea Service,' or as equivalent to 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea' so as to make it full qualifying service for retirement and promotion.

And whereas the introduction of various changes and modifications in the system of counting service for the several purposes set forth above has resulted in the creation of many complications and anomalies:

We are of opinion that it is desirable in the interests of Your Majesty's Naval Service that the regulations should be simplified, keeping in view the following points, which, in Our opinion, are of much importance, viz.:—

(a.) The necessity for a more rigid definition of 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea,' a minimum period of which is indispensable to qualify an Officer for promotion.
(b.) The desirability of the abolition of the categories 'Sea Service' and 'Harbour Service.'
(c.) The desirability of all 'Service' counting in full for promotion and for increase of Full Pay, Half Pay, and Retired Pay, provided the conditions as to Service in a Ship of War at Sea are fulfilled.

We beg leave therefore humbly to recommend that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased by Your Order in Council to sanction the following rules and definition of Service as regards Flag Officers, Captains, Commanders, and Lieutenants in Your Majesty's Navy:—

I.—'Service' to mean service on Full Pay.

II.—All 'Service' to count in full for promotion and for increase of Full Pay, Half Pay, and Retired Pay, provided (1) that, as regards promotion, the Officer has completed the minimum qualifying period of 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea' specified in Rule IV., and has never avoided service: and (2) that, as regards increase of Full and Half Pay, he has completed the periods of 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea' required by existing Regulations.

III.—Service in a Ship of War at Sea to be defined as follows:—

(a.) All time served on board Her Majesty's Ships or Vessels commissioned for Sea Service or in Vessels actually employed in Surveying (Coast Guard and Port Guard Ships are provided for in Clause b).
(b.) Service in the following Classes of Ships whilst kept fully manned for Sea Service—
Coast Guard Ships,
Port Guard Ships (at Home and Abroad),
Royal Naval Reserve Drill Ships,
(c.) Service in Seagoing Tenders to Coast Guard Ships, in Training Tenders during the cruising season, and in such other Tenders to Harbour Ships at home and abroad as the Admiralty may declare to be Seagoing Tenders.

IV.—The periods of 'Service' qualifying for promotion to be as follows:—

(a.) To qualify a Captain whose seniority brings hirn in turn for advancement to the Active List of Flag Officers, he must have served the following periods in command, of which three years must in each case have been in a 'Ship of War at Sea'—
During Peace Six years.
During War Four years.
During Peace and War combined Five years.
Note.—The first two years' Service to qualify for advancement to Flag rank, must be in command of a ' Ship of War at Sea.' Captains who arrive at their turn for promotion without having completed the qualifying service to be retired.
(b.) To qualify a Commander for promotion to the rank of Captain on the Active List, he must have completed two years' Service as Commander, of which one year must have been in a ' Ship of War at Sea.'

A Commander may be promoted to the rank of Captain for gallantry in action provided he has completed one year's' Service in a Ship of War at Sea.' No Commander to be eligible to command a Stationary Ship at home who has not had one year's 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea.'

(c.) To qualify a Lieutenant for promotion to the rank of Commander on the Active List, he must have completed four years' Service as Lieutenant, of which three years must have been in a 'Ship of War at Sea.'

A Lieutenant may be promoted to the rank of Commander for gallantry in action provided he has completed two years' service, of which one year must be in a ' Ship of War at Sea.'

We would further beg leave to recommend that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to direct that 'Civil Employment' as defined in Section Five, paragraph Nine, of Your Majesty's Order in Council of the Twenty-second day of February 1870, shall count as Service for all purposes, except that it shall not qualify for promotion without the requisite period of 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea,' and that it shall not be deemed to be Service to prevent compulsory retirement.

We also recommend that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased to direct that, for the purposes of retirement, the new rules and definition of Service shall apply to all Officers retired after the Thirty-first day of March 1899, and that, as regards promotion, Service shall be calculated—

(1) under existing rules up to the Thirty-first day of March 1899 inclusive, and
(2) under the new rules from the first day of April 1899 inclusive.
Note.—No change to be made in the existing qualifications for increase of Full and Half Pay except that where periods of 'Service in a Ship of War at Sea' are required, such Service, from the First day of April 1899, shall be as defined in paragraph III.

We do not recommend that Your Majesty should direct any change to be made either in the present regulations in regard to counting time when on Half Pay, or when employed on Committees, nor (except so far as the abolition of the terms Sea and Harbour Service, and of the distinction existing between those terms, affects their cases) in regard to—

(a.) Officers in Colonial employment.
(b.) Officers undergoing Gunnery and Torpedo Courses in the rank of Lieutenant,
(c.) Officers studying at Greenwich.
(d.) Officers studying Foreign Languages abroad.

We further beg leave to recommend that the provisions of the following Orders in Council, so far as they are affected by these proposals, be repealed :—

Orders in Council of the—

Ninth day of July 1864,
Ninth day of May 1866,
Tenth day of November 1866,
Twenty-eighth day of March 1868.
Twenty-second day of February 1870,
Fourth day of August 1873,
Twenty-ninth day of June 1882,
Fifteenth day of September 1887,
Third day of May 1888,
First day of May 1890,
Twelfth day of December 1891,
Nineteenth day of May 1898.

The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have signified their concurrence in these proposals.

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