HC Deb 07 June 1917 vol 94 cc338-9
105. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, following on the principle adopted in the recent Admiralty reorganisation scheme of not diverting combatant officers more than necessary from combatant work, whether lie will consider the advisability of making more use of officers of the accountant branch by appointing them, in lieu of commanders, as presidents of canteen committees and as representatives of Commanders-in-Chief of the Home ports on the Army and Navy Canteen Board; and whether, taking into consideration that no "one in either the Director of Victualling's or the Accountant-General's Department at the Admiralty has had any naval experience, he can see his way to forward the efficiency of the Navy by appointing selected fleet-paymasters to act as naval assistants to these Admiralty officials?


As regards canteen committees in his Majesty's ships and naval establishments, it is considered desirable to maintain the system under which the executive officer of the ship is ex-officio president, but the accountant officer of the ship is in all cases a member, combining the duties of secretary and treasurer, and thus relieving the executive officer of detailed work in connection with the committee. An accountant officer has already been selected as naval member of the Army and Navy Canteen Board, and will give his whole time to its business. The representation of the Commanders-in-Chief on that Board is for these officers themselves to decide, and I am confident that they will select representatives who can act in this capacity without detriment to their other duties, to whatever branch of the Service they may belong. The suggestion contained in the last Clause of the question was fully considered in 1913 by the Committee on the accountant branch, of which Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Thursby was chairman, and it was not recommended for adoption.