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Royal Navy

Volume 244: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1930

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Specialist Courses

12.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of applications that have been made to his Department, during the 12 months ended to the last convenient date, by officers (ex-mate class) to take specialist courses; the number of these that have been selected; and will he give particulars of the number of ex-mates who have been promoted to commander on the active list during the same period?

During the 12 months ended 31st October, 1930, seven applications were received from officers, ex-mate, to take specialist courses. Of these, three officers have already been selected, and it is anticipated that two more will he appointed in January next and two in February. During the same period two lieutenant-commanders, ex-mate, have been promoted to commander.

Can the First Lord of the Admiralty say whether the small number of applications is due to the difficulty of the examination?

I think it is due to a variety of causes. The whole question of the position of the mates and ex-mates has not been satisfactory.

New Cruisers (Tonnage)

13.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the respective tonnages of the three cruisers included in the recent naval building programme?

The standard tonnage of each of the cruisers referred to is about 7,000 tons.

Reductions (Pensions And Compensation)

14.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will introduce a scheme for the pension and compensation of ranks and ratings in the Royal Navy and employés in naval establishments rendered superfluous by the London Naval Treaty?

As regards personnel of the Royal Navy, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave him on the 25th June (OFFICIAL REPORT, Columns 1125–6). So far as employés in the Royal Dockyards are concerned, the occasion to consider the introduction of any special scheme of the kind suggested has not arisen, as there is sufficient work to keep the dockyards, with the normal fluctuations in numbers, fully employed.

Has the right hon. Gentleman considered any scheme, as he suggested in his previous answer to which he has referred me, in regard to officers who are to be retired from the Navy?

The hon. and gallant Member's question in this case refers to reductions due to the London Naval Treaty. I said then that we would take into consideration the position of officers whom we failed to absorb. At the moment I am riot prepared to go further than that; we must wait and see what the outcome is.

Russian Timber (Purchases)

15.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what was the amount of timber bought by his Department from Russia for the years 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929, respectively?

All Russian timber is bought from importers in this Country. The amounts are:

Standards.
19251,044
19261,327
19271,140
1928 558
19291,317
1930984(up to date).

Are we to understand that the previous Government bought far more timber from Russia than the present Government? [Interruption.]

Marriage Allowances

17.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Board of Admiralty have now reached a decision regarding the award of marriage allowances to naval officers?

Devonport Dockyard (Apprentices)

18.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many apprentices have been discharged from Devonport Dockyard in the last four months; the reasons for their discharge; and whether a system can be inaugurated so to regulate the engagement of apprentices in order that they shall not, bearing also in mind the necessary sacrifice made by their parents, find themselves discharged on the completion of their apprenticeships without opportunities of employment?

With regard to the first part of the question, two apprentices have been discharged from Devonport Dockyard in the last four months, having been appointed to another Department. As regards the second part of the question, the hon. Member will appreciate that the number of apprentices to be entered in the dockyards each year must necessarily be fixed at least five years before they become qualified craftsmen, and that in the intervening period circumstances are liable to change. The number of entries has, however, been greatly diminished in the last 10 years, and every effort is made to secure that there shall be no surplus over Admiralty requirements.

Home Establishments (Leave With Pay)

19.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has now considered the reports furnished by all yards and establishments in home waters which observed the closed holiday week; and what arrangements have been decided upon in the future regarding the week's holiday leave with pay?

The detailed reports from the various establishments have only recently been received. They will he duly considered.

Specialist Officers

20.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the number of cadet-entry officers who have specialised in (G), (T), (N), A/S, (S), W/T, P, and R.T., and staff duties since the issue of Admiralty Fleet Order, No. 1,095, of 16th April, 1926, which stated that lieutenants promoted from the rank of mate are eligible to specialise under the same conditions as other lieutenants; the number of lieutenants (ex-mate) who have qualified in these branches since that date; and the number of these officers who are taking the 1930 courses and who have been selected for the 1931 courses?

As the reply is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The number of (ex-cadet) officers who have specialised in these subjects since the issue of Admiralty Fleet Order 1,095, of lath April. 1926, is as follows:

"G"59
"T"55
"N"45
"S" and "W/T"39
"A/S"6
"P. and R.T."17
Staff99

The number of ex-mates who have specialised in these subjects during the same period is as follows:

"G"1
"T"1

No lieutenants (ex-mates) are taking the 1930 courses in these subjects, and none have yet been selected for the 1931 courses.