§ * SIR JOHN COLOMB
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the time spent by naval officers quartered in barracks on land counts exactly the same as regards qualification for promotion as time spent afloat; whether as regards qualification for promotion, lieutenants who, by keeping regular watch when afloat, gain experience in handling ships have any advantages over those classes of lieutenants who do not keep regular watch when afloat; and whether at the Admiralty such complete records are kept as to readily show how much time any particular officer has spent on shore, how much time at sea, and for what period of time he has kept regular watches.
§ * MR. MACARTNEY
The answer to the first paragraph is, yes, but not unless they have served the full period in a ship of war at sea required by the regulations. After they have done so, the time served 797 by naval officers in establishments in harbour or on shore, such as the gunnery and torpedo schools and depots, does count the same as service afloat. Of course promotion is always by selection. The reply to the second is in the negative. The reply to the third paragraph is in the affirmative, except that no special record is kept of the period regular watch has been kept by officers.