HC Deb 23 June 1910 vol 18 cc499-500

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that during the firing in the recent gun layers' tests the Royal Marines guns' crews in the "Temeraire" and other battleships made a remarkable record of shooting; whether he can give an assurance to the House that there will be no further reduction of this valuable and efficient corps; and whether the Board of Admiralty will modify the new scheme of providing officers for the Royal Marines to the extent of continuing the direct entry of Royal Marine officers into that force?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I would remind the Noble and Gallant Lord of my answer to a previous question of a similar kind, to the effect that the numbers in Vote A, which specifically includes the Royal Marines, are settled each year with the Navy Estimates. The numbers for the current year have already been settled by this House. With regard to the last part of the question I understand the modification which the Noble and Gallant Lord suggests to mean that officers for the corps of Royal Marines should be entered direct, as well as under the new scheme of entry and training. This is not a matter which calls for immediate action, as under the new scheme officers will not specialise as lieutenants (M) until 1913. Should it appear, however, at any time that the provision of the requisite number of marine officers called for such a step, the Admiralty would, of course, consider it.