9. Mr. TYSON WILSON
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty if the carpenters and joiners at the Crystal Palace 1309 have been ordered to supply themselves with a list of tools; that it takes three sheets of foolscap to describe the tools that they have to get; that many of the tools will never be used by the men; and that men have been informed that if they do not buy the tools they will be punished; and whether he will arrange to supply these men with tools from the stores for use when they require them?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The practice of supplying carpenters and ratings in the Royal Naval Air Service with tools from store was found to be unsatisfactory because the men did not exercise sufficient care in the custody of them. For this reason and because of the general scarcity of tools, of which it was believed many of these men possessed private sets, it was decided to adopt the system in use with many ratings of the Royal Navy, under which the rating is required to provide himself with suitable tools and is paid an allowance per day for so doing. In the case referred to this allowance is 3d. per day. He may buy such tools as he needs at cheap Government rates. The list of tools was drawn up by the technical officers of the Royal Naval Air Service after consideration of the nature of the work to be performed, but the desirability of reducing it is now receiving consideration.
With regard to that portion of the right hon. Gentleman's reply in which he said that the men are asked to pay for tools, is he aware that quite a number of these men who asked for leave were refused it, and will he see to it that when they ask for leave of this kind it will be granted?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
It must depend upon the exigencies of the service and the grounds upon which leave is asked for. I will look into the point.