Order in Council of 21 November, 1855
The Order in Council of 21 November, 1855, was a piece of British legislation concerning promotion in the Naval Service.
It is not, however, generally known that by the Order in Council of 21st November 1855, in response to the Memorial of the Board of Admiralty of the 19th November of the same year, the Board possess full power to confer on any Naval Officer temporary or local rank, and that a Captain, being granted the temporary or local rank of Rear Admiral under this Order in Council, would enjoy the same authority, precedence, emoluments, profits, and advantages, in all respects as if he held such rank by the ordinary course of promotion in the Navy. The reason why this reserve power of the Board of Admiralty has not been more widely known is that, by some error in editing, this Order in Council was headed in the published book of Orders in Council by the words "Flag Officers," and has accordingly been held hitherto to confer on the Admiralty only the power of giving the temporary or local rank of Admiral to a Vice-Admiral or of Vice-Admiral to a Rear Admiral. In the original document, however, no such heading appears, and there is no doubt that the real scope of the Order in Council is as I have stated.
Order in Council
WHEREAS we would most humbly represent to Your Majesty that we are of opinion, that it would tend to the advantage of Your Majesty's Naval Service, were we empowered to confer such steps or steps of temporary or local rank as we may deem fit on Officers in Your Majesty's Naval Service, notwithstanding the restrictions contained in Your Majesty's Order in Council of the 25th of June 1851; we would therefore most humbly propose, that Your Majesty be graciously pleased to extend to us such power, anything in Your Majesty's said Order in Council notwithstanding; and we would further suggest, that any Officer, while holding such temporary or local rank, shall, subject to such regulations as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty for the time being may be pleased to adopt, enjoy the same authority, precedence, emoluments, profits, and advantages, in all respects, as if he held such by the ordinary course of promotion in Your Majesty's Navy.
- Statement of the First Lord of the Explanatory of the Navy Estimates, 1904-1905. Cd. 1959. p. 5.