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Lieutenant-Commanders (Pay)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 21 June 1922

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty on what grounds the payment of their rank was withheld from the officers of the rank of lieutenant-commander who were promoted to the rank of commander on the 31st March, 1922, and ante-dated to the 1st January, 1922 and whether it is intended to allow such an unsatisfactory state of affairs to continue?

A Lieutenant-Commander who is promoted to the rank of Commander while holding an appointment must, under the Regulations, be reappointed in the higher rank before he can receive the pay of that rank. In general, this Regulation, which is of long standing, gives rise to no difficulty, since a promoted officer is either re-appointed in the higher rank from the date of promotion, if the post is one authorised for an officer of either rank, or else immediately relieved, if the post is authorised only for an officer of the lower rank. The announcement of the promotions due on the 31st December last was, however, delayed until the end of March, and consequently those officers who held posts authorised only for Lieutenant-Commanders could receive only the pay of that rank for an exceptionally long period extending over three months. As I stated in my reply of the 14th June, the case of these particular officers is now under consideration; but apart from specially considering the case of these particular officers, which is admittedly exceptional, the Admiralty see no reason for interfering with the present Regulation, which has worked satisfactorily for many years.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in no fewer than five cases the officers were re-appointed, that in the remainder of the cases they were not re-appointed, and that therefore a difference was made as between some of these officers, and does he realise that there is very great feeling and that these officers' promotion was delayed through no fault of their own, because the Government had further to consider them?

Of course, the officers were only re-appointed in those posts which could be held by either Commanders or Lieut.-Commanders. They could not have been re-appointed Commanders in posts which are only held by Lieutenants.

As these are very exceptional cases, cannot the Admiralty give serious consideration to making an exception in the cases of these five officers?