HC Deb 19 March 1925 vol 181 cc2516-7

It is very difficult, with all the different subjects which come under this Vote, to select those which seem most likely to be of interest to the House, but I think the House will be interested to know that we are proposing this year to start reference libraries, for the benefit of the men who wish to improve their education, in 70 ships and establishments on shore.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

We have had ships' libraries for 100 years.


These are rather more convenient forms of reference libraries than those to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers. Then there is another scheme, started not by us but by our predecessors, for vocational training, which I am glad to say has met with a considerable amount of success, especially in view of the difficulties of getting the men at suitable times, getting a sufficient number of men in a class, and generally making arrangements so that they could receive the propeT course. The scheme, however, has certainly been a success up to now, and we propose to go on with it, and hope to find some way of extending it still further. The object, of course, is to prepare men whose time in the Service is nearly up for taking employment when they leave, by giving them a short training in various different kinds of service, one is called "handy man training," which trains a man in a lot of small ways, and we give other and more elaborate training in particular trades. Up to now, 792 men have either qualified or are undergoing a. course, out of about 2,000 men who are to be discharged and pensioned in the course of the year. I hope we shall be able still further to develop this vocational training, because I think it is very much appreciated, and is of great use to those who are going on pension on leaving the naval service.