HC Deb 18 December 1912 vol 45 cc1474-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give any reasons why coopers' crews (Royal Navy) were not included in the recent increases in pay to the men of the lower deck; whether he is aware that a large proportion of these men have six years' service and could and have passed for higher ratings; and whether he can see his way to accelerate promotion in the coopers' crew rating, seeing that the coopers' crew is the poorest paid mechanic on the lower deck?


It is considered that their pay (2s. 6d. a day) is sufficient. Promotion has latterly been slow, but is expected to improve very shortly, and there will be very few who serve six years before promotion to second cooper. After four years' service in this rating they are promoted automatically to cooper, and in I this respect have an advantage over the other artisan ratings who are promoted in vacancies. It is not proposed to take any special steps to accelerate promotion.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have been for two and a half years asking questions with regard to the promotion of the coopers' crews, and when will something be done?


I have said that We have considered the matter. I am aware that the hon. Member suggested a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole question of pay. We have settled it long before a Royal Commission could report.


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that a considerable number of coopers are married men and have to provide and keep up a complete set of tools without extra pay; that coopers' crews are now being sent to ships by themselves, thus having the same duties and responsibilities that until recently devolved only on coopers; and whether he can see his way to advance the pay of coopers and coopers' crews to correspond with the advances given to blacksmiths and armourers?


Tool money of 2d. a day was merged with the pay of coopers in 1889, the rate of pay of each grade being correspondingly increased. Certain ships are allowed one cooper's crew only in complement; the duties and responsibilities being such as this rating can be expected to undertake. The rates of pay were very carefully considered and it is not proposed to vary them.