§ 42. Mr. Maclay
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what disparity in de mobilisation group numbers now exists between sick berth attendants and other specialised ratings in His Majesty's Navy.
Sick berth ratings, in common with the regulating, writer and stores branches, are scheduled to reach Group 25 by the end of this year. Ratings in the engine room and stoker branches are one group better off, whilst Seaman Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers, together with cook and steward ratings are due to reach Group 27 by the same date.
§ Sir T. Moore
In view of the sturdy health of His Majesty's naval forces, would the right hon. Gentleman not take steps to get these sickbay attendants released without further delay, as they are wasting their time?
I think my advisers know more about that subject than does the hon. and gallant Member.
§ 43. Lieut.-Colonel Byers
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will ensure that A/B P.J.X. 631934 Wilson, J., whose embarkation leave is due to end on 31st October, is not dispatched overseas while his application for a Class B release, initiated in September, is being considered; and whether, in conjunction with the Minister of Works, he will hasten the investigation of this case which has been outstanding for some time.
Block releases in Class B are made strictly in order of age and service groups. Wilson was very young when he joined the Royal Navy and has served for only a short period. He will 413 not, therefore, be eligible for release in Class B until his age and service group is reached.
§ 73. Mr. Touche
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has any statement to make regarding the deferment in demobilising officers of the supply and secretarial branch of the Royal Navy.
The reply to this Question is unavoidably lengthy. I will, therefore, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate the answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the answer: The reason for the rate of release of the Supply and Secretariat Branch of the Royal Navy being slower than the average is that this Branch is now having to shoulder additional work in connection with the closing down of establishments and the administration of the release schemes. In order to ease the burden which it was foreseen would fall upon this branch, the entries have been increased as much as possible and redundant officers of other branches are being trained in these duties. As a result of these measures, the prospect of release of the Supply and Secretariat Branch has been slightly improved and it is hoped to release Group 16 by the end of the year.
There is, however, a number of older warrant officers who have been promoted from the permanent lower deck service and who are practically all in the earlier age and service groups. Their release is unavoidably deferred but it is hoped to release nearly all of them before June next year with the exception of course of any who volunteer to stay.