§ 22. Mr. R. MCNEILL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the fact that many naval officers ashore and afloat have held acting rank for considerable periods without being confirmed in that rank by promotion and without becoming entitled to the pension attached to that rank; whether such officers are penalised by loss of seniority when officers junior to them in their actual rank are promoted in the ordinary course: and whether he will undertake that all officers after three months' acting service in any rank shall be confirmed in such rank and shall be entitled to pension accordingly?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
I am aware of the fact stated in the first part of the question. It is, however, to be pointed out that in the Naval Service acting higher appointments are not necessarily made in vacancies and in the majority of cases are additional to the authorised establishment. If widows' pension is referred to, acting rank counts as confirmed rank for this purpose. As regards the second part of the question, the hon. Member is no doubt aware that promotion in the Navy in the majority of cases is by selection and no officer has any claim to promotion simply on the ground that he has been granted acting higher rank. I regret I am unable to give the undertaking asked for in the third part of the question.