§ MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty what is the number of vessels of 200 tons and above in which engine-room artificers, or higher grades promoted therefrom, are in sole charge of the machinery; whether, on a larger number of ships, these men are placed in watch-keeping charge of one engine-room; and whether it is contemplated to replace them in such positions by men selected from the stokers at about the age of twenty-eight years, to be trained for about three years as watch-keepers and mechanicians.
(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The number of vessels is eighty-four. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative. It is contemplated that these artificers, who are in charge of one engine-room, may be replaced by mechanicians, subject to these men, who will be selected from leading stokers, qualifying for this work under the new rules on the point of being issued.