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effects of which have but very lately disappeared from the service. We have stated, that to man our present naval force, we shall require 4,538 mates, midshipmen, and volunteers. As the latter are always to be procured, we shall base our calculations upon the mates and midshipmen. The number allowed by the rules of the service to man our present navy, is 3,152; and we cannot do without them. It is astonishing how much the discipline suffers from the want of midshipmen, and it should be here observed, that, during the war, ships were permitted to, and did, bear many more on their books than the prescribed allowance. Let us examine what prospects we have of obtaining this supply in case of a war, and in so doing, we must assume some period to which we may calculate. We will say five years. The number of midshipmen still hanging on in the service, is not very easy to be obtained, still we can very nearly approximate to the truth. There are ninety-seven vessels at present in commission, and the number of mates and midshipmen allowed to be borne on their books is six hundred and sixty-one. By an Admiralty order to provide for a portion of those who otherwise might starve, each ship is permitted to bear two Admiralty midshipmen in lieu of two men. We shall take it for granted that all these vacancies are filled up, and they will amount to one hundred and ninety-four. Then there is another employment found for midshipmen now-a-days, in which if they do not learn all their professional duties, they at least learn one part of them, which is, to keep watch : we refer to the coast guard, and we believe we are correct in stating, that every lieutenant employed on this service is allowed two midshipmen. The number of lieutenants employed are three hundred and eight; we may therefore calculate that there are six hundred and sixteen midshipmen walking the beach, and sniffing the gale for gin. These three items will give a total of 1,471 midshipmen and mates. The last time that the Admiralty attempted the census, we are informed that the calculation was about 1,700, but we prefer taking the smaller estimate.
We must next proceed to ascertain the proportion of volunteers now in the service, and what may be the increase of our junior officers in five years, according to the present regulations.
The ninety-seven vessels in commission as the peace establishment, are allowed at the time that they are fitted out to enter on those books four hundred and thirty-six volunteers of the first class. Now there is little difference in our peace establishment from year to year, one ship replacing another that is paid off, and each ship is retained in commission for three years. It is true, that by the regulations of the Admiralty, a volunteer may be rated as a midshipman, after having served two years in that capacity; but as there are but seldom vacancies, this permission will not much increase the number. We may, therefore, as four hundred and thirty-six are allowed to be entered every three years, estimate the annual admission at one hundred and forty-five.
We will just examine whether, in five years, we shall have a sufficiency to meet the demand which may be required. We have in the service 1,471, and 145 x 5 years, will give 725 + 1,471 = 2,196 mid
shipmen, making no allowance for casualties or promotion. We have shown that the lowest number required will be 3,152.
But the above is of little consequence compared to the other view, which we are now about to take, of this question, which is, as to what are the prospects of those young men who are now in and continue to enter the service, and we submit, whether in justice even the small number of one hundred and forty-five per annum ought to be permitted to enter the service, if the present regulations are adhered to. What is the rate of promotion now a-days? Let us examine the navy list, and take the four last years.
Lieutenants promoted in 1831
ditto 1833 Ditto
37 46 38 40
Mean promotion of Midshipmen to Lieutenants
As this promotion has been regulated by a plan of not promoting one lieutenant until three are off the list, it may be taken as the general average of future promotion. Now, one hundred and fortyfive young men are entered into the service every year, out of which only thirty-eight can receive their commissions, and we have already 1,471 midshipmen in the service, most of whom have already served their six years, and passed their examination.
Let us first calculate how long it will be, at the present rate of promotion, before these 1,471 will all have been promoted. It will be between forty and forty-one years !! And the evil will, each year, be on the increase, for assuming that we have twenty years peace with the same regulation holding goodMidshipmen already in the service
1,471 Volunteers brought forward in twenty years 2,900
40)4,371(109 years So that, entering the service at twelve years old, some of the midshipmen will have to attain the age of one hundred and twenty-one years (that is, if they can) before they will obtain their rank!!!
This is a charming prospect for our young heroes, yet still it is undeniably the fact that such is the prospect before them. And yet if we wish to keep the service in any way efficient, we must enter these young men. Must not we, then, have recourse to some other arrangements, by which the service may be rendered effective, and at the same time we may not be guilty of such monstrous injustice?
Having proved that we have a navy list much too extensive, even in time of war, and also explained in what departments our service is defective, we shall proceed to lay before our readers a plan by which there would not only be a large sum saved to the country, but we should be fully prepared in the case of emergency. That this plan, if acted upon, would operate gradually, is true, as it will be only in full activity when a large proportion of the present officers on the list
shall have died off, but to propose any other would be an act of injustice. Still, the sooner the plan is acted upon, the sooner the country will be released. The half-pay of the admirals, post-captains, commanders, and lieutenants, at present on our navy list, amounts to the sum of 760,0001., or nearly so. Our calculations were made a few months back, and the list has been somewhat reduced, still it is an approximation sufficient for our purpose. We propose to render the service much more effective, to do injustice to no one, to do justice to many, and at the same time to reduce the expense of the navy list to about 428,0001., which will be a saving to the country of about 332,000l. per annum. We will at once lay before our readers our proposed scale, to which the list should be confined, and then comment upon its provisions in detail. Admirals 45.
£. d. Admirals, red, white, and blue 5 of each, 15, at 21. 2s. per day 11,497 10 Vice-admirals, ditto
15, at 11. 12s. 6d. 8,896 17 6 Rear. admirals, ditto
6,843 15 Admirals by Brevet
35,359 7 6 Post-captains
10s. 6d. 57,480 0 0 Post-captains by Brevet
18,250 0 0 Commanders
31,025 0 0 Commanders by Brevet
21,900 0 0 Lieutenants
136,875 0 0 Lieutenants by Brevet 2,500 at 401, per year
100,000 0 Expense of proposed navy list
Present Navy List, with amount of Half-Pay.
f. d. 208 Admirals.
109,179 0 0 109 Post-captains
28,842 2 6 150 ditto
34,218 15 0 553 ditto
105,968 12 6 150 Commanders
10,995 0 0 841 ditto
130,460 2 6 482 Lieutenants
61,575 10 0 700 ditto
75,750 11 0 2,225 ditto
203,031 5 0
REMARKS UPON THE PROPOSED ALTERATION IN THE NAVY LIST.
Admirals. Although every lad enters the service, with a firm conviction of his one day being an admiral, that is no reason why we should have two hundred and eight admirals on the list ;* when, in the most active and extended war, we cannot find employment for thirty. The respectability of a service is not increased by the highest
The list of admirals has been reduced by death, since these calculations were made. They are not now more than one hundred and sixty-five. Death has been busy with them, but we could renew the whole on that account.
grade becoming too common, and forty-five admirals are quite sufficient for the dignity of the service, and more than sufficient for its demands.
Admirals by brevet.-Although forty-five admirals, receiving the full-pay of admirals, are quite as many as are required, still it does not always follow that among these forty-five we can find men who are competent for active service; and as it is of the most vital importance that our fleets should be entrusted to active and talented officers, we propose that there shall be one hundred and fifty-five admirals by brevet, taken from the list of post-captains, from which the Admiralty may select those whom they consider the most efficient, in case they cannot find them on the list of admirals. Admirals by brevet, when appointed to command as admirals, to be on precisely the same footing as other admirals, but with one exception, that they cannot be appointed as admiral of a sea-port, that privilege being reserved wholly for the admirals.
There are two reasons which require that there should be admirals by brevet; the first is, in justice to those officers at the head of the post-captains' list, who would wish to obtain their rank before they die, of which, if the list of admirals was reduced to forty-five, they would stand but a poor chance; and the other is of the greatest importance. There always has been a great difficulty in the naval service, arising from post-captains obtaining the rank of admiral by seniority alone. This difficulty was apparent at the time when Nelson so distinguished himself as commodore. The Admiralty appreciated his valour, and wished to employ him as admiral, but to so do they were compelled to make a numerous batch of admirals out of those who were senior to him on the list, merely that they might be able to give him a command.
Now if this plan be acted upon, the difficulty will be removed. We propose that one hundred and forty brevet admirals shall be made from the head of the list of post-captains, out of which there can be little doubt but we can find the officers we require; but as it may so happen that the Admiralty may require the services of an officer, who is not so high on the list, or may, on account of his services, wish to pay him that compliment, we propose that fifteen vacancies are left to be filled up at the selection of the Admiralty, without regard to seniority. As this will be a new feature in the service, it should be carefully guarded by regulations, so as to prevent abuse, such as a certain length of servitude as post-captain, having received medals or orders, having been one of a whole who have received the thanks of the nation, &c.; in short, it must be given for services alone. But these regulations should be made by the king in council.
Holding the rank of brevet admiral not to prevent the officer from taking the command of a ship as post-captain, where he may hoist his pennant as commodore, receiving but the pay according to the rating of the ship, unless he commands the squadron, and has been especially selected for that purpose.
Post-Captains.—We have already shown that the number of postcaptains required for our service during war, does not exceed two hundred. We do not, therefore, reduce the list too much in proposing three hundred, especially as there are one hundred post-captains by brevet.
Post-Captains by brevet.-We have continued the brevet through the list, from a desire of economy, and also because it will enable the Admiralty to reward officers with their rank with little extra expense to the nation. Post-captains by brevet to be appointed either to a post-ship or a sloop, receiving their pay when employed, according to the rate of the vessel.
Commanders. The commanders' list is at present the most disproportioned of the whole, to the wants of the service. We have shown that one hundred and thirty-four commanders are about the number required for our service during war, and we have now, with retired commanders, one thousand and thirty-four on the list. We propose, therefore, two hundred, which, as there are two hundred commanders by brevet, will be more than sufficient for the service, and quite as many as the nation can afford to pay.
Commanders by brevet.—Commanders by brevet to be appointed to the command of sloops and brigs as commanders, or to act, if their services are required, as first lieutenants to post ships.
Lieutenants. The number of lieutenants required for the service during war is, as we have shown, about 1,402, and we have therefore reduced the list to 1,500, not that that number would really be sufficient, were it not that we propose 2,500 lieutenants by brevet.
Lieutenants by brevet.— This is the most important point in the proposed alteration; important not only as an act of justice, but as ensuring a supply of good officers.
In the first place, what can be more absurd than that a nation should incur the heavy expense of the pay and provisions of lads for six years, during which they are learning the duties of their profession, and then, as soon as they are rendered capable and efficient officers, of not securing their services, but turning them adrift ?
In the second place, what can be more inequitable than to induce a young man to abandon all his other prospects, and having unfitted him for any thing else, to tell him that you no longer require him, and that he may go to the devil and starve ?
It may be said, that the half pay of 401. per annum is not sufficient; we reply, that it is quite as much as the nation can afford; and as no young man is now permitted to enter the service unless his friends can allow 401. or 507. per annum, with their assistance, it will enable him to shift until he obtains a higher grade.
But the pay is of little importance; the boon of a brevet commission would be gladly received, even without pay. At present these young men are positively nothing. Give them their rank, let them have their commission as an officer, and then they are something, and moreover their services are secured to their country.
We propose that there should be little or no difference in the full and half-pay of these officers, as the expense of their provisions when employed must be taken into consideration—that they should wear the half epaulette, or strap-only be amenable to a court-martial, and that the captain be justified in entrusting them with the charge of a watch, if their services are required. Nevertheless, they are to perform the