§ 30. Sir BERTRAM FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether a gratuity is payable for loss of office to commanders who are retired at the age of 45 or 46 years, seeing that the age for compulsory retirement is 50?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The Regulations for the Naval service do not provide for continuous employment being available for officers, and officers are always liable to be placed on unemployed or half pay when appointments are not, available for them. At the present time, owing to the smaller number of suitable shore appointments available for senior commanders, chiefly due to the loss of the coastguard appointments, it is a matter of great difficulty to find employment for such officers; and in these circumstances it is the policy of the Board to arrange appointments as far as possible so that each officer has the opportunity of qualifying for the maximum rate of retired pay before retirement. This arrangement, which is to the general advantage of the officers themselves, necessitates employment being limited to a great extent to officers below the age of 46, at which age officers normally become eligible for the maximum rate of retired pay laid down for the rank. No question of gratuity arises, since the matter is, as I have indicated, covered by the ordinary conditions of naval service.
§ 32. Sir B. FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of commanders, Royal Navy, placed on the retired list during the period 1st October, 1927, to 30th September, 1928, before 403 reaching the age of 50 years, the age for compulsory retirement, and the reasons therefor?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The number of commanders placed on the retired list during this period, before reaching the age of 50, was 17, of whom 16 retired voluntarily and one was retired for non-service.
§ Sir B. FALLE
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that is a somewhat extravagant way of obtaining short-service officers?