§ Lord C. BERESFORD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the average pension earned by chief officers of coastguard pensioned during the last two years is about £53 per annum, and that many of these officers have elected to be pensioned as petty officers in order to increase this amount; whether, in any other case, it is necessary that an officer, having completed his full 1057W period of service for retirement by age, has to take the retiring allowance of a lower rank to obtain an increase; and whether, as these officers forfeit about £12 pension per annum on promotion by transfer from the seamen's to the officers' scale, this could be avoided by securing to each officer the amount earned prior to promotion, and thus more easily restore the average of twenty years ago, which has been reduced through alterations in the conditions of service over which these officers had no control?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative except that the average pension on the chief officers' scale during the past two years has been £57. As regards the second part, similar cases occur occasionally among warrant officers, in which, owing to short service in warrant rank, the seamen's scale of pension is more to their advantage. There is no power under present regulations to assess a chief officer's pension in the manner suggested in the last part of the question, and, as stated in my reply to the Noble Lord on 12th February, it is not intended to make any alteration in the present scale.