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Royal Navy (Apprentices)

Volume 320: debated on Monday 22 February 1937

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55.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what is the number of engine-room artificers and other apprentices, specifying which, who, since the inception of the scheme of promotion to cadet (E) and midshipman (E), have been promoted each year; and whether, in view of the large increase in the number of cadet-entry engineer-officers, he will remove the limit of two only per year for apprentices and arrange for a larger number of these well-fitted men to become officers?

The numbers of apprentices promoted to midshipman (E) are as follow:

  • Two in each of the years 1924, 1925 and 1928;
  • One in each of the years 1926, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933 and 1934;
  • None in the years 1930 and 1932.
In 1935, one apprentice was promoted to cadet (E), and in 1936, two.

It would not be possible, without examination of the individual records, to ascertain whether these midshipmen and cadets, before selection, were being trained as engine-room, electrical or ordnance artificers. The hon. Member will appreciate that these numbers relate to a period when the entries to the mechanical training establishment were smaller than they are now. I may add that I am considering whether an increase can be made in the number of cadets (E) taken from this source, provided that suitable candidates are forthcoming.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the limit of two apprentices per year is sufficient encouragement to these young men to take a keen interest in their profession?

No, Sir. I should like to see more, and the question whether it is possible to increase the number is under consideration.