HC Deb 09 February 1938 vol 331 cc1028-9
32. Mr. Cocks

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the question of improving the position of warrant officers in respect to marriage allowances, revision of widows' pensions, reduction of the 10-year service qualification for promotion to commissioned rank, the counting of broken periods during a year in calculating pensions, gratuities on promotion to commissioned rank; readjustment of climatic pay, better cabin accommodation in ships of the cruiser class, seven matters upon which sympathetic consideration was promised by the then First Lord of the Admiralty and the then Civil Lord of the Admiralty on 18th March, 1937?

Mr. Cooper

The hon. Member will be aware from the reply which I gave on this subject on 8th December to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, Central (Mr. R. Beaumont) that the Admiralty have had under consideration recommendations made by a committee which investigated the shortage of candidates in the executive warrant officers branch. The investigations of this committee showed that the absence of any marriage allowance for warrant officers occupies such an important place among the reasons underlying the shortage that the Admiralty consider it wiser to defer any announcement with regard to improvements in the conditions of warrant officers until a decision has been reached on the general question of marriage allowance for naval officers. I hope, however, to be able to make a statement in the course of the Debate on the Navy Estimates.

Mr. Cocks

Will the First Lord bear in mind that the Government gave a definite pledge that improvements would be made in the present financial year, and not in 1938; and will his statement therefore be generally favourable to the claims of the warrant officers?

Mr. Cooper

They will be made as soon as possible.