§ MR. CONYBEARE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it was the fact that certificates were given in the following form to the workmen who have been recently discharged from the Devonport Dockyard—
§ "H. M. Dockyard, Devonport.
§ This is to certify that—has been employed—years and—months in this dockyard as a hired (joiner, or as the case may be), and during that period his character and conduct have been very good, and he is a very good workman. He has been discharged in consequence of reduction of hands.
§ (Signed) J. M. Huddy,
§ Chief Constructor.
§ Admiral Superintendent." whether he can state how many of the total number of men recently discharged had been employed for a longer period than one year, either consecutively, or at different times; what steps are taken to ascertain which of the men should first be discharged, whether on account of efficiency or duration of service; and, whether, in effecting such discharges, any consideration is paid to character and good conduct?
§ MR. FORWOOD
Eleven of the men recently discharged from Devonport Dockyard had been longer than a year in consecutive employ, but I cannot say how many had been previously employed from time to time, or for what total period they had been so employed. Efficiency and duration of service are the principles that guide the Dockyard officers when selecting men for discharge.