§ 14. Mr. Thorne
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there is any shortage of warrant officers for the Navy; how many candidates applied for the recent vacancies; what was the number of commissions awarded to the lower-deck men; whether the percentage of commissions awarded to the lower-deck men is now lower than some years ago; whether he can give the reason why more lower-deck men are not given promotion; what is the pay of a warrant officer on promotion from the lower deck; and whether the age of the lower-deck hand regulates promotion?
§ The First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir Samuel Hoare)
There is no shortage of 382 candidates except in the branches of gunner, gunner (T) and boatswain. With regard to the second part of the question, I would explain that no question of application for vacancies arises. The system is that candidates first undergo the prescribed qualifying tests and those who qualify are placed on a roster to await vacancies. In the three branches in which there is a shortage, all those who have been placed on the roster have either been promoted or are waiting to undergo courses preparatory to promotion. The number of commissions issued to warrant officers in 1936 was 139 and the number of warrants issued to the lower deck was 186. Of these, 48 commissions and 64 warrants were issued in the three branches I have mentioned. As to the proportion of warrant officers to commissioned officers, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Green) on 27th January. The pay of warrant officers on promotion is 12s. 8d. a day in the non-mechanical branches, and 13s. 6d. a day in the mechanical. The age of a candidate for promotion to warrant rank does not affect his chances. There is, however, a maximum age limit of 35 in certain branches.