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Boys (Engagement Option)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 27 October 1954

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of young sailors who, at the age of 18 years, have opted to continue their service in the Royal Navy for a further period; and the total number who became eligible to exercise such an option, during the last 12 months to the most recent convenient date.

There is no engagement with such an option. Presumably the hon. Member has in mind the boys of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who enter between 15 and 16ΒΌ years of age to serve for 12 years after reaching the age of 18. These boys have the option, on attaining the age of 18, to transfer to a shorter engagement of seven years only. The proportion who do so transfer is between 75 and 80 per cent. The total number who became eligible to transfer ender this option in the past 12 months was approximately 2,000.