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Royal Navy

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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College Staffs (Air Pilots And Observers)

39 and 40.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty (1) how many fully qualified pilots and air observers are serving on the naval staff of the Imperial Defence College and the Joint Services Staff College; and how many of these officers have had war flying experience;

(2) how many fully qualified pilots and air observers are serving on the staffs of the Royal Naval Colleges, Greenwich and Dartmouth; and how many have had war flying experience.

One observer is serving on the staff of the Joint Services College, but there are no pilots or observers on the staff of the Imperial Defence College. One pilot and two observers are serving on the staff of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and there is one pilot on the staff of the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. The five officers holding the appointments have war flying experience.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I put down these two Questions precisely in this form a year ago, at which time he expressed some concern at the small number of these officers, since when the numbers have been reduced by one?

No, Sir, the total number is the same as last year. However, we are concerned with the small numbers, the trouble being that during the war few officers specialised in naval aviation, and of those few quite a large percentage were killed.

Is it not infinitely more important that those who are supervising training should take priority over those actually carrying out flying duties?

What steps are being taken to improve this most unsatisfactory position?

The only step that we can take is to see that we get more naval officers specialising in naval aviation, and we are taking steps to that end as rapidly as we can.

What does the hon. Gentleman mean when he says that only a few naval officers specialised in air operations during the war? Surely very large numbers specialised?

Applied Ballistics (Superintendents)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why the Assistant Superintendent of Applied Ballistics receives a salary of £1,534 per annum, whereas his superior officer the Deputy Superintendent of Applied Ballistics receives a salary of only £1,145 per annum.

The figures quoted by the hon. and gallant Member are not quite accurate. The difference is somewhat smaller than his figures suggest. Normally these officers would both be members of the Naval Ordnance Inspection Pool, and the Assistant Superintendent would receive less remuneration than the Deputy Superintendent. At present, although the Deputy Superintendent is a Pool officer it has been necessary as a temporary measure to fill the Assistant Superintendent post by an Active Service R.N. officer who is not a member of the Pool. The latter is still in receipt of the full naval pay and allowances appropriate to his rank.

Is not the Minister aware that the figures which I have put in the Question are taken from page 136 of the Navy Estimates, Vote 9? Surely it is most unfortunate that inaccurate information should be given in an official paper laid before this House.

I cannot agree that the information is inaccurate so far as the Navy Estimates are concerned. Various allowances are given to both individuals referred to, and it is because of these allowances that the hon. and gallant Gentleman's figure is somewhat higher than it should be.

Does not the Minister's rather diffuse reply mean that the junior officer is receiving more than his superior? If so, why?

It is because a naval officer is doing the job at the present time, and he is receiving the pay of a naval officer.

Ordnance Inspection Department


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many permanent officers of the Naval Ordnance Inspection Department have resigned from service in that Department since V.E.-Day.

In view of the small permanent strength of the Department, does not this loss indicate the considerable dissatisfaction with the conditions of service in it?

I do not think so, because since VE-Day more people have entered than have gone out.

Do not these resignations amount to about 40 per cent. of the whole strength, and is it not really time that the position of these officers was considered?

Rosyth Dockyard (Temporary Staff)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many established non-industrial Admiralty employees, who were sent to the Rosyth Dockyard during the war as temporary additional staff, have not yet been returned to the home-yards from which they were drafted.

There are approximately 100 established Admiralty employees in non-industrial grades who were sent to Rosyth Dockyard during the war and are still employed there. This number includes transferees from the Admiralty, foreign yards and non-dockyard establishments as well as transferees from other home yards. In the time available it has not been possible to divide the number into its several component parts. I should make it clear that the majority of established non-industrial employees are on general lists and, being liable to service at any naval establishment, have no expectation of returning to their previous establishment. Draughtsmen borne on separate dockyard lists are not liable to serve at other yards except in emergency, and the number of draughtsmen now at Rosyth who were appointed there from southern yards during the war is seven.

Is my hon. Friend aware that my Question asks about temporary additional staff, and not about those who were sent there permanently? Is my hon. Friend further aware that there is a considerable sense of grievance amongst some of these men because they were promised that they would be returned home when the war ended, and will my hon. Friend do something to expedite the return of those men who were transferred temporarily?

It is very difficult to sort out the temporary transferees and those who were transferred in the normal way. That is why I have not been able to give the figures. I can assure my hon. Friend that we have no information at the Admiralty of this expressed desire to return on the part of those people who have gone to Rosyth.

Why should these men wish to transfer from Rosyth when they now have the privilege of living in the kingdom of Fife?

Does the retention of these people in Rosyth indicate that the Government are shortly going to make a decision about the retention of Rosyth as a full-time Royal Dockyard?

Toome Aerodrome (Civilian Workers)


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why two ex-Service men sent by Magherafelt employment exchange to the foreman employed by the Admiralty at Toome aerodrome were not taken into employment, and why two other men who had never volunteered or served in His Majesty's Forces were taken on instead; and whether it was on his instructions that the Admiralty foreman stated that he would not take ex-Service men into civilian employment for the Admiralty.

The two ex-Service men referred to were not engaged, as they were considered to be less suitable than two other men sent along by the employment exchange. I am informed that no statement was made that ex-Service men would not he employed.

Is the Civil Lord aware that the suitability of one of the men engaged by the foreman was that he was the foreman's own brother?

Baby Foods (Milk)


asked the Minister of Food whether, in view of the increase in liquid milk supplies, more milk will be made available for the manufacture of proprietary baby foods, in order that these may be made available for small children over the age of one year.

No, Sir. The extra milk is needed for other important uses, such as cheese. We already meet the essential needs of children under one, and those between the ages of one and two for whom a doctor certifies these foods to be essential.

Shall we ever have a land flowing with milk and sugar in this country?