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Women At Sea

Volume 171: debated on Friday 4 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the WRNS have volunteered for sea service; what is his estimate of the number of Royal Navy personnel who are taking premature voluntary retirement or refusing to re-enlist because of the decision to employ women at sea in warships; and whether he has reviewed his policy on the posting of members of the WRNS to aircraft carriers and assault ships.

To date 278 WRNS ratings and 90 officers have volunteered to go to sea this year. Of these, 147 ratings and 16 officers will be trained to serve on the first group of five ships currently being prepared to provide suitable accommodation. Further volunteers will be called for in due course and, from the autumn, all new entrants will have liability for sea service.There is no evidence that RN personnel are refusing to re-enlist or taking premature voluntary retirement because of the decision to employ women at sea, and we do not intend to review that decision.

of the report notes that in pursuing its inspection activities during 1988 Euratom did not obtain evidence of diversion of nuclear material.