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Royal Dockyards (Employment)

Volume 65: debated on Thursday 30 July 1914

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next asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if the Admiralty has decided to take any action against workmen applying for employment in the Royal Dockyards who give incorrect age records; if it is proposed to exact penalties from those found to have furnished wrong particulars; if so, the nature of such penalties; if it proposed to compel those who entered under age to refund the difference in wages; the total amount involved; and if he will state what practical injury has been done to the service by the wrong statement of age by men of this class?

I do not know the basis of the suggestions conveyed in the hon. Member's questions, to which the answer is in the negative. The Regulations provide that on first entry each candidate is to produce satisfactory certificates of age and character, but proof of age need not be exacted from hired men entered for short periods or to meet an emergency. As regards transfer to the established list, the Regulations state that age is in all cases to be proved by certificate of birth, statutory declaration, extract from baptismal register, or other documents required by the Civil Service Commissioners. They also provide for legal action in the case of the production of a false or forged certificate of birth. It has now and then happened that incorrect statements of dates of birth made at entry have been disclosed when men have become candidates for establishment. But the circumstances have not been such as to call for any disciplinary action, so far as I know, and, indeed, the only action taken has been to correct the records to accord with the facts.