§ MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the number of shipwright ratings that will be leaving the Navy on pension during the next two years; and if he will inquire whether a larger percentage of those could be induced to serve on if improved pay and position were conceded?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square
The number of shipwright ratings likely to be pensioned in the ensuing two years cannot be stated. The numbers pensioned during the last two financial years were:—1896–97, eight; 1897–98, 13; total, 21. The number is so small that the adoption of the honourable Member's suggestion would 25 not much affect the situation. The Recruiting Committee have made certain suggestions, which are under the consideration of the Board.