§ 51. Rear-Admiral Beamish
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that men on re-enrolment in the Royal Fleet Reserve, often some years after taking their discharge, are called upon to pay for their uniform on their first appearance for drill, the cost being as much as £3; and whether this action, so prejudicial to voluntary service, can now be altered so that the cost shall not be borne by these men?
§ Mr. Shakespeare
Men of the Royal Fleet Reserve receive a clothing allowance during their service in the Reserve, which is intended to cover the cost of maintaining the necessary uniform. I imagine my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind the men who have been invited to re-enrol for a further period after they have taken their discharge with gratuity. I am pleased to inform him that arrangements have now been made under which such men will be eligible for an additional gratuity of £15 on completion of their further enrolment, £5 of which may be drawn as an advance on re-enrolment in order to enable the man who has disposed of his kit to purchase the necessary uniform. This arrangement will apply only to those who have already taken their discharge from the Reserve, or will have done so before one month after the date or the orders promulgating the scheme.
§ Rear-Admiral Beamish
Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether the re payments will be retrospective; and will he convey to the proper quarter the lack of vision that is displayed in placing such handicaps on a voluntary system?
§ 53. Mr. R. Gibson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether sea-going kit is provided for old seamen on being called on for further service; and whether it is the intention of the Government that they receive a retaining fee as from the date of their enrolment in the Reserve, and, if so, the amount thereof?
§ Mr. Shakespeare
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply to the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) on 22nd February. Men who join the Royal Fleet Reserve are paid a retainer from the date of their enrolment. This retainer is 6d. a day for Class B of the Reserve, and is. a day for Class D.