33. Mr. T. THOMSON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will give instructions to his officials at the various ports that no stoker in the Royal Naval Reserve who has completed his second period of five years' service since 1st November, 1914, shall be refused enrolment for a third period simply because he happens to have been, or to be, unemployed?
Under the Royal Naval Reserve Regulations, stokers, during their first three periods of five years' service, must be employed either as firemen, or in a higher engine-room or stokehold capacity, at sea, or as firemen, furnacemen or stokers on shore. Men who are unemployed when they apply for re-enrolment are given three months' grace in which to obtain employment of the above description. Royal Naval Reservists, however, with three years' sea service during the War are not debarred by unemployment from re-enrolment in the Reserve, provided that they are otherwise eligible. It is not considered advisable to extend this concession.
Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman considered that while three months was a suitable period in normal conditions of unemployment, it is not a suitable period in the abnormal unemployment that exists to-day, and can he extend the period to meet the abnormal amount of unemployment?
I will consider that, but I do not think it will be possible to make further concessions.