Admiralty Secretariat (Department of the Permanent Secretary)

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Admiralty Secretariat
Flag of Civilian Members of the Board of Admiralty 1922-1964.gif
Agency overview
Formed1882
Dissolved1964
JurisdictionGovernment of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Whitehall
London
Agency executive
  • Director Admiralty Records
Parent departmentDepartment of the Permanent Secretary

The Admiralty Secretariat was the office staffed by civil servants to the Admiralty initially charged initially with assisting the First Lord of the Admiralty, until the creation of the office of Secretary to the Admiralty and Second Secretary to the Admiralty in the execution of their responsibilities. The secretariat was a major component of the Department of the Permanent Secretary from 1882 until 1964. The structure of secretariat was divided into various branches one responsible for each member of the Board of Admiralty.

History

The Admiralty Secretariat [1] was the organisation staffed by civilian members of the Admiralty initially charged initially with assisting the First Lord of the Admiralty, until the creation of the office of Secretary to the Admiralty and Second Secretary to the Admiralty in the execution of their responsibilities.[2] The structure of secretariat was divided into various branches one responsible for each member of the Board of Admiralty. they included a Civil Branch (‘C Branch’) [3] liaised with the Treasury on matters relating to finance, the Legal Branch or (‘L Branch’) to deal with Justice Department and Admiralty Court's system, the Military Branch or (‘M Branch’),[4] liaises with First Sea Lord's, office dealt with the fleet; the Naval Branch or (‘N Branch’), liaises with Second Naval Lord’s, dealt with personnel. The Ships Branch (‘s Branch’), liaises with the Surveyor of the Navy later Controller of the Navy dealt with procurement. The secretariat is conducted under the direct personal orders of the Board, and the branches were administered until 1907 by a Principal Clerk later called (Assistant Secretary's) except the Civil Branch, which is in charge of the Secretary himself. The Secretariat existed from as early as 1693 [5] until the Admiralty department was abolished in 1964, however it continued under the new Ministry of Defence but the structure and responsibilities of the agency changed over time.

Branches

The branches of the Department were directly administered by the Secretary, whose duties consist of obtaining a practical knowledge into all Admiralty business, concerning whatever Department it is; conduct and process all Admiralty administrative matters; signing all letters in the name of the Board, from which ever Department it comes from; Monitor all Departments to ensure they do not act independently of each other.

Air (A) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Office of the Fifth Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Air Services [6]
The Air branch or (A Branch), was added in 1938 and was responsible for examining and advising all matters in regard to Air Requirements.

Civil (C) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Office of the Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty
The civil branch or (C Branch) [7] generally dealt with civil matters in regard to all appointments, promotions, retirements, pay, allowances, and leave of all salaried persons (including naval officers at the Admiralty) in Admiralty establishments, and of all persons on day pay, as well as with Civil Service examinations for these classes. The branch is further occupied in matters relating to civil appointments and fees at Greenwich Hospital, and civil superannuations and gratuities. Again, it deals with compensation to officers for wounds and injuries, with naval and Greenwich Hospital pensions, etc., to seamen and marines, with medals for long service, conspicuous gallantry, and meritorious service, with widows' pensions, compassionate allowances to children of naval and marine officers, and much else.[8]

Legal (L) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Judicial Department
The Legal Branch or (L Branch) [9] deals with questions of discipline, courts-martial, courts of inquiry and naval courts, desertions, discharges with disgrace, prisons and prisoners, punishment returns, etc. It also supervises the inspection returns of ships, and deals with matters concerning the slave trade, flags, colours, ensigns, and uniforms; and questions relating to the Queen's Regulations, and the legal aspect of blockades, prizes, etc., fall within its range. The Record Office, in which papers are stored upon an admirable system, is also attached to the Secretariat, in addition to the Registry and Copying Branches.[10]

Military (M) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Office of the First Sea Lord
Military Branch or (M Branch) [11] - having its most important duty in time of peace in regard to the commissioning, distribution, and paying off of ships, their complements and questions of leave - takes charge also of political correspondence, the suppression of piracy, and the protection of trade and fisheries, matters of quarantine, scientific exploration, signals and signal books, salutes, and much other like business. This branch is the secret and political office of the Admiralty, and is entrusted with the conduct of confidential affairs, and, in war time, would be generally the directing channel of operations, charged with questions relating to home and colonial defence, blockades, embargoes, prizes, and other matters incidental to hostile operations.[12]

Naval (N) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Office of the Second Sea Lord

The Naval Branch or (N Branch) [13] is largely occupied with the great work of officering and manning the fleet, and is therefore the main channel of the Second Sea Lord's operations. Here all general arrangements and regulations are made for the entry of men and boys, and the work of training ships, and the badges, promotion, and discharge of men. Again, the branch is concerned with all that relates to the education of officers, and to appointments, promotions, leave, retirements, removals, restorations, services, and claims of officers, good service and other pensions, and generally of honours, distinctions, decorations, medals, etc. The establishment and internal economy of the Corps of Royal Marines, and the general arrangements and regulations of the Coastguard and Reserves, are also within the scope of this branch, with other work relating to the personnel.[14]

Ship (S) Branch

Role: The Secretariat served as intermediaries between Ministers and the Office of the Third Sea Lord.
The Ship branch or (S Branch) that was previously under the domain of the Third Sea Lord was responsible for examining all Naval Shipbuilding Estimates.[15] It also handled all correspondence in relation to the planning and procurement process and in matters concerning shipbuilding yards.

References

  1. Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M (2008). A Guide to the Naval Records in the National Archives of The UK (PDF) (2 ed.). University of London School of advanced study Institute of Historical Research. p. 87.
  2. Dykes, Godfrey. "How the Admiralty worked when we had a Global Navy" (PDF). Godfrey Dykes. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  3. Hamilton, C. I. (Feb 3, 2011). The Making of the Modern Admiralty: British Naval Policy-Making, 1805–1927. Cambridge University Press. p. 191. ISBN 9781139496544.
  4. Stewart, Ninian (Nov 5, 2013). The Royal Navy and the Palestine Patrol. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 9781135283506.
  5. Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M. (2008). A Guide to the Naval Records in the National Archives OF THE UK (2 ed.). University of London School of advanced study Institute of Historical Research. p. 141.
  6. Archives, The National. "Records of Secretary's Department". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. National Archives, 1812-1968, ADM Division 15. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  7. Davey, James (2012). The Transformation of British Naval Strategy: Seapower and Supply in Northern Europe, 1808-1812. Boydell Press. p. 76. ISBN 9781843837480.
  8. Hamilton, Admiral Sir. Richard. Vesey, G.C.B. (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. George Bell and Sons, London.Template:PD-notice
  9. Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M. (2008). A GUIDE TO THE NAVAL RECORDS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UK (2 ed.). University of London School of advanced study Institute of Historical Research. pp. 140–160.Template:PD-notice
  10. Hamilton, Admiral Sir. Richard. Vesey, G.C.B. (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. George Bell and Sons, London.Template:PD-notice
  11. Stewart, Ninian (Nov 5, 2013). The Royal Navy and the Palestine Patrol. Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 9781135283506.
  12. Hamilton, Admiral Sir. Richard. Vesey, G.C.B. (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. George Bell and Sons, London.Template:PD-notice
  13. Cock, Randolph; Rodger, N. A. M. (2008). A GUIDE TO THE NAVAL RECORDS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UK (2 ed.). University of London School of advanced study Institute of Historical Research. pp. 140–160.
  14. Hamilton, Admiral Sir. Richard. Vesey, G.C.B. (1896). Naval Administration: The Constitution, Character, and Functions of the Board of Admiralty, and of the Civil Departments it Directs. George Bell and Sons, London.Template:PD-notice
  15. Hamilton, C. I. (Feb 3, 2011). The Making of the Modern Admiralty: British Naval Policy-Making, 1805–1927. Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 9781139496544.