§ Sir B. FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that the Royal Marine gunners are the equals in rank and for pay of the Naval warrant officers (gunners Royal Navy), and that during the War the Naval warrant officers were promoted without examination, to meet requirements, and were confirmed in the rank, but that the Royal Marine gunners had to pass severe tests, etc., before promotion, and that nevertheless it is now proposed that the so promoted Royal Marine gunners, some eight in number, because the number of gunners exceeds the number required, should be reduced in rank; and if he will inquire into the matter, with a view to putting it right?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
When the Royal Marine gunners in question were given the acting rank of R.M. Gunner, it was on the definite understanding that they would hold it only for the period of hostilities or for so long as their services in the rank were required. Orders have therefore been given that they are to revert to their former position as from the official date for the termination of hostilities, in the same way as has been done in the case of other officers given acting rank on that understanding. No condition of this kind was attached to the promotions made to acting Naval warrant rank during the War, except in certain special cases, but in all cases in which such a condition was made those granted acting rank have been required to revert to their substantive rank, in the same way as the Royal Marine gunners. All warrant officers who were promoted during the War without going through their courses are now being required to undergo them.