§ 11. Mr. Willis
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether, in view of Article 0188, paragraph 4, of Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, he will recognise chief petty officers with nine years' seniority as being equivalent to quartermaster sergeants, Royal Marines, and warrant officers II in the Army for the purpose of pay, allowances and pensions.
No, Sir. The reason for this provision in Queen's Regulations is to give the closest equivalent ranks for the purpose of determining status; it does not imply exact equality for other purposes.
§ Mr. Willis
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that this causes considerable dissatisfaction amongst chief petty officers in the Navy, who feel that they should have the pay and allowances as well as the status?
We can get some broad equivalence between the Services for purposes of status but not for purposes of pay, because the degree of responsibility carried by the various ranks differs.
§ Mr. Willis
Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that the responsibility of a chief petty officer in the Navy is less than that of a warrant officer II in the Army?
The percentage of chief petty officers to other ranks in the Navy is about 12 per cent. whereas in the Army the corresponding figure for warrant officers is only about 3 per cent. There are far more chief petty officers than warrant officers. The rank of chief petty officer in the Navy comes somewhere between the warrant officer and the staff sergeant in the Army.
§ Mr. Hobson
Will the hon. Gentleman look at this matter again, in view of the 1190 duties of a chief petty officer, which are essential for the smooth running not only of the Fleet but of individual ships? It is not good enough to compare their duties with those of warrant officers, which are different. In fact, the chief petty officer has more responsibility. One has only to look at Her Majesty's submarines and the duties of petty officers therein.
I have said that it is not possible to compare them with warrant officers. That is the point.