5. Mr. DOYLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what steps, if any, he purposed taking to meet the wishes of parents who desired to buy their sons out of the Navy; whether he was prepared to give early and special consideration to the cases of widows and the aged who required the help of their sons in assisting to maintain them; and whether he could hold out any hope of the reduction of the sum required to meet such cases?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
In the case of ratings over the age of eighteen a recent Admiralty Order, in connection with the reduction of the personnel of the Fleet, authorises the free discharge of a certain number of men by senior officers. The numbers to be discharged are necessarily limited by the requirements of the post-war Fleet, and in certain branches, specified in the Order, no applications for discharge can at present be considered. Any really exceptional cases, however, will be specially considered by the Admiralty, on the recommendation of the Commanding Officer and Senior Officer concerned. As long as this Order is in operation, purchase money is waived for ratings over eighteen.
As regards boys under eighteen, applications for their discharge by purchase are invariably considered on their merits. It is not, I am advised, considered desirable to authorise their discharge free or at reduced rates of purchase money, unless the circumstances of the individual ease are such as to warrant exceptional treatment.