§ Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty will make it possible for warrant officers to be allowed to retire with the rank of commander, on similar lines to that observed in the cases of warrant officers of the Royal Marines and the Army, who can retire with the rank of honorary lieutenant-colonels; whether he is in a position to make a definite statement as to creating more chief warrant officers amongst the gunners, boatswains, and carpenters of His Majesty's Fleet; whether he is aware that there has been no increase in the pay of the junior ranks of the carpenters for thirty years; and whether he would take this fact into consideration with regard to granting an increase?
§ Mr. McKENNA:
It must be remembered that one of the qualifications for the rank of commander is three years' service in a ship of war at sea in the rank of lieutenant. The grant of the rank of lieutenant-colonel to a quartermaster is understood to be of very rare occurrence, and warrant officers promoted to the rank of lieutenant for gallantry can already attain the rank of commander. As regards the second part of the question, it is not intended to increase the present proportion of commissioned warrant officers for the ranks mentioned. With regard to the pay of carpenters, I am aware that the pay of the junior ranks has not been increased for some considerable time, but substantial improvements in the pay and position of the class as a whole have been made in recent years, and no further concession seems called for at present.