§ 17. Mr. R. RICHARDSON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty the number of writer rating's who have qualified for warrant rank; the number of writer ratings who have been promoted to warrant rank since 1st January, 1920; the number of paymaster cadets entered into His Majesty's service since 1st January, 1920; and whether he will consider the equity of reducing the number of future entries of paymaster cadets and of promoting to warrant rank a corresponding number of writer ratings in lieu, having regard to the fact that by Article 1,338 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions the duties of a warrant writer are defined as similar to those of a, junior accountant officer?
§ Mr. AMMON
As the reply is somewhat long I will, with my hon. Friend's per- 1724 mission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT, but I may say now that warrant writers' duties are not entirely similar, as they have no training or experience in supply duties, victualling and catering duties, naval law and international law, whereas junior accountant officers have.
The reply is as follows:—
Fifty-five chief petty officer writers are at present qualified for warrant rank. There have been five promotions to warrant rank since 1st January, 1920, and since that date 60 paymaster cadets have been entered. The position as regard promotion to warrant rank in the writer branch compares favourably with that in other branches. All have suffered from the congestion inseparable from reduction from war to peace requirements. The flow in the writer branch will be fairly regular during the next five years, and the average number of promotions per annum due to retirements will exceed four.
The pay of a warrant writer rises from 14s. a day on promotion to 17s. A paymaster cadet on entry receives 4s. a day, on promotion to paymaster midshipman as. and on promotion to paymaster sublieutenant 10s. The number of paymaster cadets entered is based on the estimated wastage in the higher ranks. The employment of warrant writers in lieu of junior accountant officers, besides being more costly, would- not provide the requisite material for the higher ranks.