§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware of a communication from the members of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers of Sunderland protesting against the employment of stokers in His Majesty's Navy on skilled work instead of fully qualified mechanics; whether he is aware that a few years ago the Admiralty appealed for 222 mechanics for the Royal Naval Reserve, stipulating that such mechanics must have served an apprenticeship before being accepted; and, if so, whether, in view of the foregoing, he is prepared to take action whereby the skilled mechanic will have greater opportunities of filling the skilled positions?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have received the communication mentioned, and I am aware that the qualifications for entry as engine-room artificer in the Royal Naval Reserve practically ensure that candidates chosen have served an apprenticeship. No further action is necessary, as the intention is being fulfilled that positions where highly skilled mechanical work is required shall continue to be filled by the engine-room artificers, who are the skilled mechanics.