MR. R. G. WEBSTER
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of able seamen under 40 years of age and in good health who retired from the Navy during the year 1898, other than those discharged for misconduct; if he is able to give the average number of years those men had served in the Navy, and also the number of those men who retired from the Navy in 1898 and joined the Royal Naval Reserve; and if it is practicable to give sufficient inducements to induce a larger proportion of the trained men retiring from the Navy to join the Reserve, and to be ready to rejoin the fleet in the event of an emergency?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. W. E. MACARTNEY,) Antrim, S.
With regard to the honourable Member's first Question, the statistics required are not yet fully available for the year 1898, but for the financial year 1897–98 the figures are:—The number of A.B.'s under 40 years of age and in good health who left the Navy in 1897–98, other than those discharged for misconduct, was 178. This number is exclusive of those pensioned for long service. The number of years served by A.B.'s discharged on expiration of first engagement, or by purchase, was approximately 10 and five respectively. The number of men who joined the Royal Naval Reserve from the Royal Navy in 1898 was 35. I must remind the honourable Gentleman that all men retired from the Royal Navy on pension are, if physically fit, equally bound with the men of the 1111 Royal Naval Reserve to serve in the event of any emergency, and probably many others, who are neither pensioners nor Royal Naval Reserve men, would also volunteer their services if required.