§ 11. Mr. MARKHAM
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is 2881 aware that in certain cases the duties of engine-room artificers are being increased in the direction of detailing them to act as policemen or regulators and to note liberty men going on shore or returning from leave; and why this is being done, seeing that this duty is definitely an executive petty officer's duty, as laid down in King's Regulations, Article 1510?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative, and as regards the second part, my hon. Friend is under some misapprehension as to the meaning of the Regulations. If any engine-room artificer is dissatisfied with his duties he should ask in the service manner to be allowed to represent the matter to his captain.
§ Mr. MARKHAM
Does that mean that we shall have no opportunity in this House of bringing such points to the attention of the Admiralty?
I am always glad to have points of interest or grievance brought to my notice, but I think it is very undesirable that points regarding serving ratings should be brought direct to my notice without their having been through the men's senior officers.
§ Captain W. G. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on the West Indies Station this grievance is very much felt by the engine-room artificers—their being put on canteen duty—that they have made representations through the proper channels, through their captains, and that they have not had any redress?
I answered the first part of the original question in the negative; that is to say, there was no extension of the practice; but, if engine-room ratings reach the rank of petty officers, they must be expected to take their share of petty officers' duties.
One chief engine-room artificer and two engine-room artificers are at present borne in "Ross" while in commission with special complement; ships of this class, when in full 2882 commission, carry one additional engine-room artificer. No mechanicians are borne, and no change in these complements is contemplated.