HC Deb 03 March 1919 vol 113 cc48-9W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether a general order has been given that assistant-paymasters and writers are not to be demobilised at present; whether he is aware that a number of fully-qualified chartered and incorporated accountants and clerks bound under articles to chartered and incorporated accountants are being held in the Navy under this general order, although in some cases not being called on to do duties from which they can be spared; and whether, having regard to the fact that in the case of those in practice their practices are being seriously prejudiced and in the case of articled clerks their future professional careers are being jeopardised and the passing of the examinations delayed, he will give instructions that each individual case shall be considered on its merits?


The position of writers in the scheme of demobilisation is fully set forth in the reply given by me on 20th February to the hon. Member for Newcastle North, a copy of which I am sending my hon. Friend. No general order has been issued that assistant-paymasters are not to be demobilised at present. They are, in fact, being demobilised as they can be spared and an increase in the rate of release is anticipated in the near future. The gentlemen referred to in the second part of the question are not being called upon, as far as is known, to do duties for the performance of which other ranks and ratings are available. It will be realised that chartered and incorporated accountants and clerks have been or are, from their previous training, of great value in speeding up demobilisation of the Fleet. Instructions have been given that each individual case is to be considered on its merits, subject to the requirements of the Naval Service being met. Amongst the writers those men are released first to whose claims the Ministry of Labour has given the highest priority as pivotals.