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Vice Admiral Sir Somerford Teagle RNZN KBE


Chief of Naval Staff: May 1987  – May 1989

Chief of Defence Force: 1991 – 1995


  1. In December last year I advised the Minister of Defence that I was my intention to abolish the daily spirit allowance.
  2. While recognising the historical significance and service traditions associated with the tot, the rationale for the spirit issue as a compensation for poor food and living conditions no longer applied in today’s [sic] navy and the daily issue of strong spirit is simply not appropriate in a high technology service which places increasing emphasis on individual responsibility. Recent tragic accidents, whilst not in themselves bearing directly on my considerations have nonetheless served to emphasise the need for a sensible approach towards the consumption of alcohol. Accordingly, the daily spirit issue will cease with effect from 1 March 1990.
  3. The tradition of quote splice the mainbrace unquote will be maintained as will the authority of commanding officers to approve a special spirit issue following exceptionally arduous duty.
  4. The Minister of Defence has approved a gratuitous issue to the RNZN 50th Anniversary Trust sufficient rum for 50,000 one-tot miniatures to be produced for sale in support of the Trusts [sic] objectives.
  5. Cancel this message 31 Mar 1990.

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