Order in Council of 30 January, 1856

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The Order in Council of 30 January, 1856, was a piece of legislation affecting the retirement of officers in the Royal Navy.

Order in Council

WHEREAS we have had under our consideration the operation of the various Orders in Council now in force affecting the retirement of officers of Your Majesty's Navy, and more especially the Order in Council of 25th June 1851; and, moreover, having had under our further consideration a Memorial which has been addressed to us by certain commanders, praying for an improvement in their position, both as to retirement and half-pay, we would humbly represent to Your Majesty that, as regards the retirement of officers of the rank of Commander, we are of opinion that the operation of the several Orders in Council has been less satisfactory in its result than in the case of the retirement of officers of other ranks.

In order, therefore, to enable us to meet the claims as regards half-pay and promotion of officers of long and meritorious service, and, at the same time, to relieve the list of commanders of officers who, from advanced we or physical infirmities, are no longer available for active employment, we would most humbly submit that Your Majesty be graciously pleased to approve of our carrying into effect the alterations and suggestions as hereinafter recited:—

1. That the list of captains on the Reserved List, established by Your Majesty's Order in Council, of 25th of June 1851, be increased from 50 to 100, by selecting from the Active List of Commanders a number not exceeding 15 in the present, and in each succeeding year, till the number of 100 be complete, when the vacancies only are to be filled up by selection, also from the Active List.

2. That the list of Retired Captains (established by Order in Council of 10th August 1840, and increased by Your Majesty's Order in Council of 25th June 1851) be increased temporarily from 100 to 250, and permanently to 200. To offset this subsequent reduction we would humbly suggest that one officer only be promoted in two vacancies, till the list be reduced to its permanent number of 200, but that thenceforward one officer should be promoted in each vacancy. The result of this measure would not only be to extend the boon of promotion to 150 officers, who, after having served the Crown long and faithfully, are now old and unable to serve; but by their removal to the Retired List of Captains, it would raise a corresponding number of commanders to a higher rate of half-pay, to which we are of opinion that they have just and reasonable claims.

Further, with regard to the retirement of officers of the rank of lieutenant, and adverting more especially to Your Majesty's Order in Council of 25th June 1851, which established a reserved list consisting of 50 commanders to be selected from the list of Lieutenants, we would humbly suggest that Your Majesty be graciously pleased to authorise us to increase that list from 50 to 100; such increase to be effected by selecting from the Active List of Lieutenants a number not exceeding 15 in the present and in each succeeding year, till the number of 100 be complete, when the vacancies only are to be filled up, by selection also from the Active List. Lastly, we would humbly represent to Your Majesty the inexpediency of promoting to an Active List, officers who from their mature age can entertain but little reasonable prospect of being again called into active service.

We would, therefore, submit that, inasmuch as the age of the lieutenants who during the last ten years have been promoted to the rank of commander for good service in the coast guard, or in command of revenue cruizers, has averaged 55 years, it would be for the advantage of Your Majesty's Naval Service, if, in future, such officers were to be promoted to the Reserved List, except only in individual cases in which, on the special recommendation of the Comptroller General of the Coast Guard, we may ink it desirable to retain the services of the officer so recommended, by promoting him to the Active List; while we are of opinion, however, that these annual promotions to the Reserved List should he irrespective of any vacancies on that list; we would submit that on the death of an officer so promoted, his vacancy should not be filled up.

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