Mr. RODEN BUXTON
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty are about to deprive the engine-room artificers in His Majesty's Navy of their watch-keeping duties, and to hand these duties over to stokers; and, seeing that such a change would lead to increased risk, and annoyance to the engine-room artificers and friction between different ratings, and would involve the extra expense of imparting technical training to the stokers, whether he will state what steps he proposes to take to prevent these results?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I would refer my hon. Friend to my speech on Navy Estimates of 8th July, 1908 (page 701 of Parliamentary Debates), explaining the reasons for the introduction of the rating of mechanician and the duties of that rating. No such results as are suggested in the second part of the question are anticipated from the experience of the working of the scheme, and no steps are considered necessary in 1877W the direction indicated. The engine-room artificers will continue to do watch-keeping duties.