§ 18. Mr. THOMAS LEWIS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the total number of promotions from all ranks and ratings to the rank of mate and/or mate-engineer since the establishment of those ranks in 1913; the number of mates and mate-engineers so promoted who were retired under the various schemes of retrenchment; the number of such officers who, whilst still on the active list, have secured a higher rank than lieutenant-commander; and the number of such officers of higher rank than lieutenant-commander promoted from upper-deck officers and engineer officers?
The total numbers promoted to mate and mate (E) since the ranks were established are 415 and 207 respectively; of these 231 and 12 respectively have been retired under special retirement schemes. The numbers of such officers, still on the active list, who have been promoted to the rank or relative rank of commander or above, are three and 12; the numbers of other executive and engineer officers of these ranks now on the active list are 732 and 252 respectively.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he agrees that his answer shows that the mate scheme is not a reality and that the facilities for promotion from the lower deck are not adequate; and will he look into the matter?
The whole question of promotions from the lower deck is receiving the close attention of the Admiralty, but the hon. Member must not be misled by the figures which have been given. He ought to know that promotions to the rank of commander and above only come from a particular zone and it takes a number of years for any commissioned officer to reach that zone. It is therefore too early to judge what will be the proportion of ex-mates promoted to these ranks.