Circulars relating to Dockyard Employees.

The Central Mathematical School at Portsmouth

The following Circular has been issued relating to the administration of the affairs of the above establishment:-

6 Aug 1852
Admiralty. To Admiral Superintendent, Portsmouth, Dockyard.

The attention of their Lordships having been called to the subject of the Central School at Portsmouth, I am to observe that the primary object contemplated by the establishment of the Central School, was to afford sound mathematical and practical instruction to a certain number of pupils - apprentices taken from the Dockyard schools, who, after having filled the situations of leading men and inspectors, might rise to those of foremen, and other higher appointments, in the ship building branch of the naval service ; it appears, however, that notwithstanding the reduction from 8 to 4 pupils annually admitted, that a greater number are still admitted that are required to fill the vacancies occurring annually among the foremen of the yards, amounting to about 3 on an average ; and that at the present moment there are 15 pupils ready to be discharged from the school, for whom there are no vacancies.

Under these circumstances, my Lords have decided that no greater number of pupils are to be educated at this establishment than may be requisite to fill the vacancies likely to occur among the foremen, estimated at about 3 annually ; and in consequence of the large number of young men now unprovided for, two only, are in future to be admitted annually to the school, and by this arrangement, means will be afforded of promoting a few deserving practical officers who have not had the opportunity of receiving instruction at the school.

As it appears from the reports of the Principal of the Central School, and also from those of the late Master Shipwright of Portsmouth yard, on the results of the examination of the pupils, that notwithstanding their general attainments in mathematics and the mixed sciences are of a highly satisfactory character, some of them have been found deficient in practical information connected with ship building, essential to qualify them for the duties of leading men, to which situations their Lordships intended they should be appointed on completion of their studies, as signified in the circular of November 1847.

My Lords have decided that the pupils who have completed their course of studies at the Central School shall be distributed over the several yards as supernumerary draughtsmen, in order that they may be employed on such duties as the officers may consider calculated to render them good practical shipwrights ; so that combining the theoretical with the sound practical knowledge of their profession, they may ultimately be qualified to fill those higher appointments in the service for which the instruction they have received at the public expense was intended to prepare them.

My Lords have at the same time decided, that in regard to the apprentices who may hereafter be admitted into the Central School, that they will only receive their first appointment, and be advanced to the higher grades upon proof of their superiority over other candidates in the practical part of their profession.

Augustus Stafford.

Allocating Time for Dockyard Employees to Vote &c.

The following official document has been posted at all her Majesty's dockyards-:
Admiralty, 10 June 1857.

A custom very detrimental to the public service has of late yeas sprung up of giving a half-holiday to all the hands employed in her Majesty's Naval establishments onthe day of nomination of candidates to serve in parliament, and a whole holiday on the day of polling.

This custom, besides delaying all the operations of the several yards, entails also a loss to the public of not less than 5,000 in wages alone.

In order to put a stop to so inconvenient a practice, and at the same time to allow all electors employed in the several naval and victualling establishments, and naval hospitals the power of exercising their franchise, my Lords Commissioners of the Board of Admiralty are pleased to direct that in future two hours shall be allowed to every elector on the day of nomination, if he chooses to absent himself, but that no pay shall be allowed for such two hours' absence. And on the day of polling half a day will be allowed to all voters, for which half-holiday no deduction will he made in the day's pay.

These rules are to take effect immediately, and to be made generally known in the naval establishments.

By Command of their lordships,

B. Osborne

Superannuation of Dockyard Employees.

The following circular has been promulgated by the Admiralty, and is dated the 1st Sep 1858:-

The Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty having had under their consideration the subject of superannuation of the officers, clerks, artificers, and workmen of her Majesty's dockyards and other naval establishments are to direct that all officers, clerks, artificers, workmen, and others, shall be henceforth superannuated on their attaining the age of 70 years as a maximum, but you are still heretofore to report to their Lordships the names of all officers, clerks, artificers, workmen, and others, under that age who may be found incapable from infirmity or disability to perform their duties with due efficiency.

You are therefore to furnish lists forthwith containing the names, services &c., of all officers, clerks, artificers, workmen, and others under your superintendence, of 70 years of age and upwards and until the 1st November next you are to send up similar separate lists along with the usual superannuation returns, informing all such persons under your orders as may be immediately affected by their lordships' decision that there superannuation will date from 1st November, 1858, until which period they are to continue to discharge the duties of their respective station.

After the 1st November 1858, you are to forward the names services &c., of all officers and clerks on their attaining the age of 70 years on the usual forms with a view to their being superannuated. And you are to include the names of all artificers, workmen, and others on their attaining the age, in the customary form, forwarding the names of men who are found unfit for service for the grant of superannuation allowance.

By command of their Lordships,
(Signed) W.G. Romaine.

Crown Copyright

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