§ Mr. HOHLER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention hen been called to the fact that naval writers are entitled to no extra pay for good conduct badges; that a naval writer cannot now attain the rank of chief writer until after twelve years' service instead of ten as formerly; that a chief writer has to serve for five years as such before obtaining an increase of pay; and that the warrant rank for naval writers is limited to twelve, though there are about 784 naval writers; and whether, having regard to the nature of their duties and to the fact that the rating of boy writers was created by reason of the difficulty of getting suitable persons for the position of writer, he will grant additional pay for 808W good conduct badges, as in the case of nearly every other class in the Navy, accelerate the period of promotion to the rank of chief writer, diminish the time a chief writer has to serve before obtaining an increase of pay, and increase the number of warrant writers or take some steps to improve the position of naval writers?
§ Mr. McKENNA
With regard to the first three parts of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to the Noble and Gallant Lord the Member for Portsmouth on 31st March last. With regard to the fourth part, warrant rank has only recently been introduced for the writer class, and the number of warrants for this class as for other kindred classes has been fixed with due consideration for Service requirements. As to the fifth part of the question, the rating of boy writer was established in 1873, because the entries of men writers at the time were not considered to be up to the educational standard. The entry of men, however, was continued concurrently, and since 1890 they have been entered as required by competitive examination with satisfactory results. The numbers required are small, applications for entry are numerous, and it is not anticipated that there will be any lack of suitable candidates. It is not considered that occasion exists for any action in the directions suggested in the remainder of the question.