SIR FOBTESCUE FLANKERY (York, W. R., Shipley)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, will he explain why permission has been given for dockyard fitter apprentices to be allowed to sit at the forthcoming examination for direct appointment as probationary assistant engineers in the Royal Navy, seeing that the practice of entering such candidates was condemned in paragraph 9 of the report of Admiral Cooper-Key's Committee; if the fitter apprentice candidates previously mentioned are in addition to those already annually elected for training at the Keyham Engineering College; and, if so, has this permission been granted in consequence of a dearth of candidates for direct entry into the engineering branch of the Navy; if the fitter apprentice candidates previously mentioned have attended the regular day engineering course at a recognised college for technical education for one year as prescribed by paragraph 3 of the Regulations for all candidates for direct appointment as probationary assistant engineers in the Royal Navy; and whether the parents of those candidates for engineer studentships and direct entry assistant engineers who have to bear the cost of their sons' training for the position of probationary assistant engineer have been informed that it is the intention of the Admiralty to allow dockyard fitter apprentices to compete.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover-square)
An examination of the questions asked by the honourable Gentleman shows that they have been put under a misapprehension of the regulations for the entry of probationary assistant engineers in the Royal Navy. The system is the same as it has been for several years past, and no fresh departure has been made with regard to the admission of dockyard apprentices, who are treated in the same manner as other candidates for direct entry into the Service. I may add that the apprentices who have received permission to compete at the forthcoming examination have qualified as laid down in the Regulations.