§ CAPTAIN PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the allegations contained in a recent petition of the Naval shipwrights that they are compelled to perform menial tasks on board ship are correct: and, if so, whether, in view of the very responsible positions held by these men, the Lords of the Admiralty propose to take steps to prevent such employment of the time of these highly skilled artisans in the future.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
In common with all other ratings, except chief petty officers, shipwrights have to take part in the work necessary to keep their mess-place clean and the ship efficient. In this respect they are on the same footing as armourers, blacksmiths, skilled gunnery and torpedo ratings, whose duties are of the utmost importance as regards the fighting efficiency of the ship. It is not considered either necessary or desirable to treat the shipwrights in any exceptional manner.
§ MR. KEARLEY
Arising out of that answer, I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman whether it is not the fact that although special efforts were made by the Admiralty lately to fill up a 1438 hundred places, only two men responded to the appeal of the Admiralty?