9. Mr. RONALD M`NEILL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that Mr. Thomas Machin, residing at Eastry, Kent, recently requested permission to purchase the discharge from the Navy of his son, Roland Machin, A.B., a youth of twenty years of age, serving on H.M.S. "Warrior," on the ground that a favourable opening for his son in his trade as a mechanic was at his disposal which it would be greatly to his disadvantage to 1223 lose; whether this request was refused by the Admiralty and, if so, on what grounds; and, seeing that it will discourage recruiting for the Navy if it is generally understood that advantage cannot be taken by seamen of favourable opportunities to pass into civil employment when willing to purchase their discharge, whether he will reconsider the case of Roland Machin if his father is still anxious to purchase his discharge from the Navy?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The circumstances in which the discharge was refused are as stated. Discharge by purchase is only restricted in so far as the requirements of the naval service demand. In the recent case the man is a trained seaman, and has completed little over two years' man's service out of a twelve year engagement. It is regretted that his services cannot be spared.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that it is very bad policy, in the interests of the Navy, to hold out to the population that remunerative employment in civil life should be foregone by young men?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I did not do anything of the sort. These men cost the country money for training, and must give some return for it.
Is the charge or fee for purchasing the discharge not calculated as the equivalent for the service rendered?