HC Deb 10 July 1919 vol 117 cc2027-8W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that a gentleman with no previous experience of Admiralty work has been suggested for the important post of Civil Engineer-in-Chief, and that if this appointment is made several officers with long and brilliant records will be passed over; whether he is aware of the feeling of the staff concerned upon the subject; and whether he will accede to the request which has been made by the staff to receive a joint deputation on the subject?


As Brigadier-General Sir Alexander Gibb will shortly vacate the temporary appointment of Civil Engineer-in-Chief to the Admiralty created during the latter part of the War, and Sir Thomas Sims, who has passed the age of sixty, is also about to retire from the permanent post of Director of Works, it has become necessary to select a new head for the Admiralty Works Department. I have decided, after much consideration and after taking advice in many quarters, to appoint an experienced and highly recommended civil engineer from outside the Government service. It is, of course, the case that he has no previous experience of Admiralty work, but I am satisfied that other considerations outweigh this temporary disadvantage. In dealing with this matter I have considered most carefully the claims of members of the permanent staff of the Works Department, whose good work the Board of Admiralty fully appreciate. I also took into consideration as fully as possible the point of view of the staff, and for this purpose had two interviews with a representative of the staff. The appointment having now been settled, no useful purpose could be served by receiving a joint deputation on the subject.