HC Deb 08 December 1926 vol 200 cc2085-6

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the terms and conditions at present in force in respect to the payment of gratuity to skippers of the Royal Naval Reserve?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Bridgeman)

As the reply is somewhat long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The reply is as follows:

Skippers, Royal Naval Reserve, were formerly engaged and re-engaged for periods of five years, and they could be granted a gratuity of £60 on being discharged, provided that they had completed 20 years' service in the Reserve, including time, limited to five years in certain cases, as a rating. Mobilised service during the late War counted as double time for this purpose.

The conditions of service of skippers, Royal. Naval Reserve, have recently been revised, and they are now appointed for continuous service up to the age of 50, with the option of retiring earlier, the gratuity being payable on attaining that age, less the period of mobilised service, if any.

This change had the result, in some cases, of delaying the date of becoming eligible for the discharge gratuity, and to provide for these as far as possible the following temporary arrangements have been adopted:

  1. (a) For a period of five years from the date of the introduction of the new Regulations, i.e., up to the 30th June, 1920, a skipper, Royal Naval Reserve, or officer promoted therefrom, who would have become eligible by service for discharge gratuity if the old Regulations had remained in force, 2086 will be eligible for payment when qualified under the old Regulations, and such payment shall not entail retirement (i.e., he serve on up to the age of 50);
  2. (b) a skipper, Royal Naval Reserve, or officer promoted therefrom, who becomes or has become eligible for the discharge gratuity While serving on a quinquennial engagement under the old conditions, will not, by the payment of the gratuity, be debarred from re-engaging under the new conditions and serving up to the age of 50.

Skippers who enter the Reserve after the age of 30, and are thereby unable to complete 20 years' service before the age of 50, are eligible for proportionate gratuities.


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will consider the alteration of the Regulations in respect to the payment of training fees to skippers of the Royal Naval Reserve so as to provide for a part payment at the time of training?


Except as regards a few officers entered under former Regulations, the regulation applicable to all officers of the Royal Naval Reserve is that training fees are payable in arrear, on the 1st January in respect of the previous year, provided that training has been duly performed and that the officer's conduct throughout has been satisfactory. The fees thus cover the whole year, and, as the conditions cannot be fulfilled until it has expired, I regret that it is not possible to entertain an alteration of the Regulations relating to this matter, either generally or in respect of skippers, Royal Naval Reserve.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that great hardship has been incurred by the skippers, who, owing to the coal stoppage, have not been able to follow their ordinary occupation, and have had to go up for training without receiving any cash payment whatever?


In cases of extreme hardship we should be very glad to consider payment in advance in some proportion, at any rate with regard to the training, but. I do not think I can go further than saying that it would only be in cases of extreme need.