§ 41. Mr. Willis
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are made for the transfer of naval air artificers to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
§ Mr. Hay
Applications were recently invited from aircraft artificers who would have completed at least 20 years of their 22 year engagements on 1st May, 1964, and who wished to be considered for a free discharge from the Royal Navy in order to join the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Branch in the Army. Eligible applications are being considered by the Army authorities.
§ Mr. Willis
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if an aircraft artificer transfers to the R.M.E. he will in a short time become a warrant officer and go on pension with a larger terminal grant and pension than if he stayed in the Navy and became a chief air artificer, first class? Does not the hon. Gentleman think that this demonstrates the anomalies which exist and that we ought again to look at this question of a master rate for the lower deck?
§ Mr. Hay
The introduction of a master rate into the Royal Navy is a matter which has pretty wide implications, as I think the hon. Gentleman knows. I have looked into the allegation made in the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, and I am advised that that is not so. The position is comparable, although in some respects some of these artificers may have a slightly higher rate in trade pay and in charge pay.