§ 5. Mr. Chapman
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty how many serving men, and how many in the electrical mechanic category, respectively, applied for discharge by purchase at the last two reviews; and how many were successful.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
One thousand and ten applications were considered at the last two reviews, including 113 from electrical mechanics. Seven hundred and seventy-two applicants were successful, including 37 electrical mechanics.
§ Mr. Chapman
In view of the very small numbers involved, compared with the Admiralty's total complement, would not it be a good thing to be a little more generous, particularly with the latter category, in allowing these men to be released when they and their families are willing to pay such considerable sums of money to enable them to get out of the Navy? Is it not a fact that the Navy would probably do best to allow them to go, because they are no longer serving willingly?
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
The category to which the hon. Member has just referred is in short supply in the Navy. We have trained these ratings to a considerable degree and the Navy is exceptional in that it allows even a small percentage of those in scarce categories to be released in this way. Perhaps I should remind the hon. Member that the rating about whom he has written to me, who engaged for 12 years, has served for only 4½ years to date, and we have never released a rating who has more than 6¼ years still to serve. This rating has still 7½ years to serve, and I think that it would be wrong to allow him to jump the queue in this manner.