18. Mr. L. MALONE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will assure the House that reductions in the personnel (officers) of the Royal Navy, which it may, on account of the Washington Conference or other reasons, be necessary to introduce, will not be allowed to restrict or hinder the development of the channels of promotion now open to men of the lower deck, and that the proportion of commissioned officers so recruited will be maintained?
§ Mr. AMERY
There is no intention of closing any of the present channels of promotion from the lower deck, which have been much extended during the last few years, but the number of such promotions will necessarily be affected by the reduced requirements of the Fleet. The Admiralty will continue to consider sympathetically any developments of the present arrangements which are shown to be for the good of the naval service as a whole and are practicable in existing circumstances.
Will the hon. Gentleman give the assurance asked for in the 1876 last part of the question, that the proportion will be maintained?
§ Mr. AMERY
I do not think I can give a definite assurance beyond the assurance of sympathy that I have just given.