§ Mr. SANDERSON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the conditions under which certain assistant engineers for temporary service were entered in the Royal Navy in 1901 and 1902, were similar, as regards promotion, to the conditions under which assistant engineers on the permanent list were entered; whether ho is aware that in 1903 engineer officers' titles were changed and the promotion of those on the permanent staff accelerated, and that such acceleration was withheld from the temporary service officers, who thereby found many junior officers promoted over their heads through no fault of their own; and whether, seeing that such temporary service officers have now become engineer lieutenants on the permanent list, but are more than two years further down in the seniority list than those with whom they were originally of equal seniority, he will consider the position of such officers, and take steps for the purpose of restoring to them the seniority that they have lost?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Assistant engineers for temporary service who entered the Royal Navy in 1901 and 1902, had to serve for six years before being eligible for transfer to the permanent list, and, if then accepted for transfer, were promoted to the rank of engineer lieutenant. Assistant engineers on the permanent list were eligible at that time for promotion after five to six years' service from date of entry, according to the results of their examinations on entry. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. The subject raised in the third part of the question was carefully considered by the Board in 1903, but it was decided that no alteration should be made in the regulation requiring six years' service before transfer to the permanent list with promotion. This decision obviously affected not only the seniority 1971 of the assistant engineers entered for temporary service, but also the relative seniority of their contemporaries on the permanent list; and I fear that for this reason it is not practicable to reconsider the decision after this lapse of time.