Naval Secretary to the Board of Admiralty
The Naval Secretary was a secretary to the Board of Admiralty from 1872 to 1882. From 1877 he headed the Naval, or Secretary's department at the Admiralty. The office was held by one officer, Vice-Admiral Robert Hall.
By Order in Council of 19 March, 1872, it was decreed that there were to be three secretaries to the Board of Admiralty; the Parliamentary Secretary, the Permanent Secretary, and a Naval Secretary. Accordingly, Captain Robert Hall was appointed Naval Secretary to the Board on 8 May, for a term in office of ten years. Speaking in the House of Commons on 18 March, 1872, the First Lord of the Admiralty, George J. Goschen, expressed the belief that a Naval Secretary would relieve the strain on the Parliamentary and Permanent Secretaries.
The office of Permanent Secretary was abolished on 1 November, 1877, upon the retirement of the incumbent, Vernon Lushington. A committee on the Secretary's department of 1879 recommended that a civilian Permanent Secretary be in charge of the department, but the Board "considered it desirable to retain their present Naval Secretary for the remainder of the term of his appointment."
By Order in Council of 10 March, 1882, it was announced that upon a vacancy occurring in the position of Naval Secretary that the only other secretary to the Board should be the Permanent Secretary. At any rate Hall, with his naval career practically over, had been recognised as Permanent Secretary in all but name since 1880. On his retirement the office was abolished on 8 May.
|9 May, 1872.|
| He is to make himself generally conversant with the business relating to the Personnel of the Fleet, and specially with the work of the following Branches, namely,|
The Commission and Warrant,
and with a portion of that of the Legal and Miscellaneous, exercising a general superintendence over the work described. He is to sign the letters or other documents emanating from the beforementioned Branches except such as relate to legal or civilian questions, or which have been written on minutes made by the Permanent Secretary.
The Naval Secretary to the authority to sign Letters generally, but as a rule to sign letters those Letters only with the subjects of which he is conversant, and which relate to the personnel of the Fleet.
| Correspondence on all matters relating to the—|
Personnel of the Fleet.
To the movements of the Fleet, including Troop Ships.
To the Victualling of the Fleet.
To the pay of the Fleet.
To discipline except as regards legal questions, &c., arising from Courts Martial.
To practical questions relating to Construction and Equipment of Ships.
To Foreign Navies, and Intelligence.
|24 April, 1882.|
|Discipline of the Office.|
|Promotions and Removals in Naval Department, Whitehall.|
- A List of the Lords High Admiral and Commissioners for executing that Office, which have been from time to time appointed, since the year 1660. p. 38.
- "Report on the Secretary's Department of the Admiralty." Dated 27 November, 1879. p. 4. Greene Papers. National Maritime Museum. GEE/2.
- HC Deb 18 March 1872 vol 210 cc209-211.
- Hamilton. The Making of the Modern Admiralty. p. 204.
- A List of the Lords High Admiral and Commissioners for executing that Office, which have been from time to time appointed, since the year 1660. p. 39.
- Report on the Secretary's Department of the Admiralty. p. 2. Marginalia representing the Board's opinion by E. M. Swainson. Greene Papers. National Maritime Museum. GEE/2.
- See "Position and Powers of the Assistant Secretary," signed and dated by Hall on 2 March, 1880. Greene Papers. National Maritime Museum. GEE/2.
- Hamilton. p. 204.
- A List of the Lords High Admiral and Commissioners for executing that Office, which have been from time to time appointed, since the year 1660. p. 40.
- Docket "Temporary Instructions for Naval Secretary."The National Archives. ADM 1/6235. Part II.
- "Distribution of Business" dated December, 1872. Milne Papers. National Maritime Museum. MLN/146/1.
- "Distribution of Business" in docket "Distribution of Business: Board of Admiralty" dated 24 April, 1882. The National Archives. ADM 1/6330.
- A List of the Lords High Admiral and Commissioners for executing that Office, which have been from time to time appointed, since the year 1660. pp. 38-40.
- Hamilton, C. I. (2011). The Making of the Modern Admiralty: British Naval Policy-Making, 1805-1927. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521765183. (on Amazon.co.uk).