HC Deb 16 July 1952 vol 503 cc2153-4
57. Mr. John MacLeod

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will amend the general rules for retirement and resignation appearing in the Appendix to the Navy List, in order to enable officers who entered the Royal Navy at an early age and have completed over 20 years' commissioned service to exercise their option to retire in spite of the fact that they have not attained the age for compulsory retirement, with particular reference to the case of Lieut.-Commander N. Buist, details of which are already in his possession.

The Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty (Commander Allan Noble)

No, Sir.

Mr. MacLeod

Does not my hon. and gallant Friend think it quite wrong that when a boy is 13½ a parent should sign away his life until he reaches 45 without any breaking of the contract being allowed?

Commander Noble

I do not think that arises out of this Question. I think my hon. Friend will agree that, while there is a shortage of officers and we are recalling and retaining ratings, the place of an officer with 20 years' service and experience behind him is with the Royal Navy.

Commander Maitland

Can my hon. and gallant Friend say whether the Admiralty has discretion to grant retirement to an officer if he applies for it?

Commander Noble

Yes, Sir. The Admiralty has discretion, and compassionate cases are treated with great care.