Order in Council of 8 December, 1903
The Order in Council of 8 December, 1903, was a piece of British legislation regulating the retirement of officers of the Royal Navy.
Order in Council
WHEREAS we have had under consideration the present conditions of service of Officers of the various ranks of the Military Branch of Your Majesty's Navy, with particular reference to the ages at which the Officers come upon the several lists.
And whereas we are of opinion that it is in the interests of Your Majesty's Naval Service that the flow of promotion to the higher ranks should be accelerated in order that Officers may reach the rank of Flag Officer at an earlier age than at present.
And whereas we considered that it is necessary to make certain additions to the authorised establishment of Flag Officers, and also to accelerate the periodical increases at present being made in the numbers of Officers under previous Orders in Council.
We beg leave humbly to recommend that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased by Your Order in Council to sanction the following proposals :—
That a reduction shall be made in the period of nonservice which entails compulsory retirement in the ranks of Flag Officer, Captain, Commander, and Lieutenant, and that the following rules be laid down :—
- Admirals.—To be retired so soon as five years have elapsed since their last " Service" as Flag Officers.
- Vice-Admirals.—To be retired so soon as five years have elapsed since their last " Service" as Flag Officer, or on promotion to the rank of Admiral if they have not served as Vice-Admiral.
- Rear-Admirals.—To be retired so soon as three and a half years have elapsed since their last "Service" as Rear-Admiral, or if they have not served as Rear-Admiral, so soon as three and a half years have elapsed since their promotion to Rear-Admiral or when five years have elapsed since their last " Service" as Captain.
- Flag Officers generally.—Any Flag Officer whose Flag has not been hoisted during a period of seven years to be retired at the expiration of such period.
- Captain.—To be retired so soon as three years have elapsed since their last " Service " as Captain, or, if they have not served as Captain, so soon as three years have elapsed since their promotion to that rank.
Commanders and Lieutenants.—To be retired so soon as three years have elapsed since their last "Service" in their existing rank, or if they have not served in their existing rank so soon as three years have elapsed since the date of their promotion.
That Flag Officers, Captains, and Commanders shall be allowed to retire at any age, at the discretion of the Admiralty, with retired pay as provided by the Regulations.
That the scale of retired pay for Captains according to age and service shall be revised in the following manner:—
- Officers who are retired at the age of 51 years or over to receive an addition to their retired pay for every full year's service (within a maximum of five years) in excess of the periods specified in the existing scale at the rate of Fifteen Pounds a year instead of Ten Pounds a year as at present.
- No Captain to be allowed to receive any addition to his retired pay on account of a Good Service Pension held by him upon retirement except in cases of retirement for ill-health caused by the Service. In such cases Officers to receive at our discretion an addition ranging from a minimum of Fifty Pounds to a maximum of One Hundred and Fifty Pounds, the increase over the minimum to be at the rate of Fifteen Pounds for each year's service in excess of 20 years. In no case, however, is the retired pay of a Captain to exceed Six Hundred Pounds per annum.
- A Captain to be entitled to a minimum rate of retired pay of Four Hundred-and Twenty Five Pounds a year provided that he is 45 years of age and that he has served as Captain for three years of which two must have been in command of a Ship of War at Sea
That " Civil Employment" as defined by existing Regulations, including service as Naval Attaché, shall be deemed to be service to prevent compulsory retirement.
That no Officer shall be allowed to hold an appointment or appointments that may be defined by us to be " Shore Employment" for more than five consecutive years, or, in the case of Members of the Board of Admiralty, for more than seven consecutive years, except under special circumstances which may in our opinion justify an extension of the appointment in particular cases.
In calculating the period of employment ashore, time on Half Pay shall be included. Temporary employment in any capacity during Naval Manoeuvres shall not qualify an Officer for a further period of employment on shore.
That the future establishment of Flag Officers upon the Active List shall be as follows :—
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The increase over numbers authorised by existing regulations to be made by annual instalments and to be completed by the year 1907. The present rate of increase in the Captains' and Commanders' lists shall be amended as follows :—
- Captains.—An increase of 8 in each of the years 1903, 1904, and 1905, and of 7 in each of the two following years.
- Commanders.—An increase of 9 in each year, commencing with the year 1903 until the authorised number is reached.
We further beg leave humbly to recommend that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased to direct that these rules may come into operation as follows :—
- (a) The Regulations proposed in Section I. shall take effect only as regards Officers promoted to Flag rank or to the other ranks therein mentioned subsequently to the date of Your Majesty's Order in Council.
- (b) The Regulations proposed in Sections II., III., IV., and V. shall take effect from the date of Your Majesty's Order in Council subject, as regards III., to the provision that the existing rights of Captains holding Good Service Pensions shall be maintained.
- (c) The additions to the various lists of Officers proposed in Section VI. shall take effect as from the first day of July 1903.
We also beg leave humbly to recommend that the provisions of the following Orders in Council, so far as they are at variance with these proposals, may be repealed, viz.:—
Orders in Council of the—
- 22nd day of February 1870.
- 16th day of July 1895.
- 29th day of November 1898.
- 19th day of May 1899.
- 3rd day of March 1900.
The Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury have signified their concurrence in these proposals.