HC Deb 27 November 1912 vol 44 cc1248-9

asked the right hon. Gentleman whether one lieutenant (Royal Navy) has been reduced from the complements of His Majesty's ships "Bellerophon," "Superb," and "Temeraire," and that three captains (Royal Marine Light Infantry) have been embarked to make up the complements of these ships; whether approval has been given for a new supplementary list of lieutenants (Royal Navy) to be formed from officers of the mercantile marine; whether the conditions of these officers joining the Royal Navy are on the same lines as the entry of supplementary lieutenants in 1895; if not, what are the conditions under which these new officers are to join the Royal Navy; whether special inducements have been offered lately for lieutenants (Royal Navy) to retire; if so, what these inducements were and the reasons for offering them; and whether the number of lieutenants (Royal Navy) is short for present and future requirements?


The reply to the first part of the question is that in the three ships referred to, an additional lieutenant (Royal Navy) was borne, as they had only one marine officer instead of two as in other ships of the "Dreadnought" class. When the complement of marine officers was brought into line with the other ships of the "Dreadnought" class, the additional lieutenant (Royal Navy) was reduced. As subalterns of Royal Marines were not available, junior captains were appointed for duty with the detachment in lieu of subalterns. The question of entering officers from the mercantile marine is under consideration, but the details of the scheme have not yet been settled. Special inducements to retire were offered to commanders and lieutenants from the 27th October, 1909, to the 30th June, 1912. These inducements consisted in an increase in the normal scale of retired pay. The reason for offering them was to relieve the block in promotion and to mitigate in some measure the anticipated congestion on the lists. The number of lieutenants (Royal Navy) now on the list is sufficient to meet immediate requirements, but an increase will be necessary in the near future.