HC Deb 19 June 1890 vol 345 c1323

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, considering the unsatisfactory position of the whole personnel of the steam branch of the Navy, as evinced by the fact that several engineer officers of high rank have recently left the Service to obtain better salaries in private employ; that great difficulty is experienced in obtaining suitable men as engine-room artificers, and also as stokers, and that dissatisfaction with their pay and position exists throughout the various classes, he will consider the propriety of appointing a Departmental Committee to inquire thoroughly into the position of this section of the personnel of the Navy?


The Admiralty have no difficulty in obtaining suitable men as stokers and engine-room artificers, and only quite recently the 1,700 additional second-class stokers required on account of the increase to the Fleet were raised with great ease. The advantages offered to the stokers are sufficient to attract satisfactory recruits, whilst the pay and position of the engine room artificers have attracted an excellent class of mechanics. As regards the engineer officers, it is certainly true that one or two gentlemen have recently resigned their commissions in order to take appointments with private firms: but this has been, and always will be the case, and is not confined to this branch of the Service, but occurs in other Departments and Services of the State. Under the circumstances, I do not consider that any Departmental inquiry into the position of this branch of the personnel of the Navy is required, for I am confident the more I look into the subject that no difficulty will be experienced in obtaining an ample supply of eligible candidates for the engineering branch of the Navy.

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