HC Deb 16 March 1903 vol 119 cc870-1

We have created a new rating—the rating of mechanicians. That, I believe, is more important than the mere announcement of the name would lead hon. Members to suppose. This rating of mechanicians will give an avenue to promotion to a very important class of men in the Fleet—that is, the stokers. Hitherto there has been no avenue of promotion for stokers at all equivalent to that which has been offered to engine-room artificers. In making this new rating we shall be doing justice to a deserving body of men who have earned the good will of the Admiralty—to a portion of the engine-room staff, whose services are so essential in time of war and also in time of peace.