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Navy—The Submarine Service

Volume 180: debated on Friday 16 August 1907

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To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that under the new scheme men have to rejoin the general service after completing five years in the submarine service, an arrangement which is unfair to ratings who are now serving, as it was verbally understood that they were to remain in the submarine service as long as they were medically fit and otherwise desirable; whether he recognises that by this new scheme these ratings suffer disadvantage and loss, and that many petty officers would have preferred passing for warrant rank had they but known they would have thus to revert after five years service in submarines, and that it has affected their insurance policies; and whether, in view of these facts, he will arrange that the new scheme shall only affect ratings joining after the date on which it comes into vogue, 14th May, 1907. (Answered by Mr. Lambert.) The Answer to the first Question is in the affirmative, but the Admiralty are not aware of the verbal understanding referred to. It is recognised that the men will cease to draw the special rate of submarine pay on rejoining the general service. As previously stated, the Admiralty are not aware of anything which would lead the petty officers in question to suppose that they would be permanently retained in the submarine service. The recent orders as to Submarine service were issued after careful consideration of the whole question by a. Committee and subsequently by the Board, and it is not intended to reverse the decision arrived at.