asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of retired naval officers who last year received as pensions a total sum of £2,474,542?
The average number of officers in receipt of retired pay throughout the financial year 1929 was 7,980.
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is prepared to specify a minimum strength for the British Navy below which it will not be allowed to fall in any circumstances?
The British Navy will be maintained at a strength which, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, will provide adequate security and enable this country to fulfil its commitments. It must be obvious to the hon. and gallant Member that it is quite impossible to specify the minimum strength which may be required in the future.
Ex-Fleet Reserve Men (Bonus)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if ex-Fleet Reserve men are allowed to count the time served with the Fleet Reserve for bonus when employed in His Majesty's dockyards as unestablished men?
The reply is in the negative.
Will the First Lord say why there should be this differential treatment in the case of these Reserve men as compared with other men in the dockyards?
I am not aware that there is any differential treatment at all. The suggestion of the hon. Member in his question is so wide that it would affect all State services, not only those in the dockyards.
Would the First Lord consider a shorter period of service counting for establishment?
No. I do not think that would be at all wise.
Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this matter in view of the fact that these men are penalised as compared with other naval men?
I am not aware that they are penalised at all. The hon. Member raises a much wider issue affecting State services generally.
Compensation Claim (George L Morgan)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on what grounds it has been decided that George Lemuel Morgan, of 94, Skinner Street, Chatham, is ineligible for compensation for disability due to the contraction of tuberculosis whilst working in Chatham Dockyard?
This man accepted the Government Scheme of Compensation framed under the Workmen's Compensation Act, and his claim to compensation was a matter for consideration by the Treasury in whom is vested the administration of the scheme. On the evidence submitted the Treasury were unable to regard the pulmonary tuberculosis in respect of which his claim arose as a result of personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment or of an industrial disease scheduled under the Workmen's Compensation Acts, and were therefore unable to award compensation to him.
Does not the First Lord think that this is a clear case for an ex gratia payment on humanitarian lines?
That matter does not rest at all with me or my Department. The question ought to be addressed to the Treasury.
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty who is responsible for the care of the graves of naval ratings buried in the North Front Cemetery, Gibraltar; and if he will give instructions for the graves and wooden crosses to be put into a proper condition and properly maintained, with a wooden cross to each grave giving particulars of the rating buried there?
No reports have been received that these graves are not in a satisfactory condition, but I will make inquiries into the matter and let the hon. and gallant Member know the result.
Engine-Room Artificers (Recruiting Expenses)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the total cost of advertising in the Press during the past three years for men to join the Royal Navy as engine-room artificers; the cost incurred for applicants' travelling and maintenance during. examination tests: the numbers failing to pass; and the expenses incurred in such cases?
As the reply is rather long I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the 0FFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the reply:
The cost of advertising in the Press for engine-room artificers cannot be stated; advertisements arc rarely inserted for engine-room artificers alone, but for all ratings for which vacancies exist.
The numbers failing to pass during the past three years are:
The cost of applicants' travelling and maintenance during examination tests is approximately as follows:
|—||Accepted Applicants.||Rejected Applicants.|
|Travelling.||Maintenance including pay.||Travelling.||Maintenance only.|
Pixsions (Reserve Men)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will consider the possibility of granting the Greenwich Hospital pension of 5d. per day to all Naval Reserve men at the age of 05 years with from 15 to 3i years' service who have received the long-service and good conduct medals?
Greenwich Hospital pensions are part of the benefits of Greenwich Hospital, which, in regard to the age pension of 5d. a day, are restricted by Order in Council to pensioners from the active service who are in receipt of naval pensions for life. In these circumstances I regret that Naval Reserve men are not eligible.
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that Naval Reserve men who served during the Great War in mine-sweepers and merchant ships, pensioned since 1923, only receive £12 per annum instead of £18 as granted to the older men; and will he take any steps to help these men?
The pension to which my hon. Friend refers is a deferred pension at the rate of £12 a year formerly granted to ex-members of the Royal Naval Reserve. It was susceptible of increase to £18 a year, under the provisions of Orders-in-Council which extended to Navy and Reserve pensioners benefits similar to those laid down in the Pensions (Increase) Acts, but these benefits do not apply to such pensions awarded after the 13th August, 1920. The particular type of pension is -now obsolete hut a certain number of awards at the rate of £12 a year have been made since August, 1920, and it is regretted that for the reason stated they are not susceptible of increase to £18.