HC Deb 09 July 1924 vol 175 cc2267-9W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will give a list of the ranks and ratings of officers and men who now receive automatic promotion at the expiration of a certain number of years of service in a particular rank or rating, provided they have passed the necessary qualifying examinations; and if the Admiralty intend at an early date to abolish this system or make it effective only in certain particular cases, and, if so, will he state the ranks or ratings that will be so affected and give the reasons which justify such a course?


The only case in which the promotion of an officer is entirely automatic is that of a lieutenant to the rank of lieutenant-commander, this being due to the fact that the latter rank replaces the old lieutenant of eight years seniority, to whom higher relative rank was given. The same rule applies to the corresponding ranks in the various warrant officer branches. Promotion in the following cases, however, is automatic, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled:

Engineer lieutenant to engineer lieutenant-commander: at, eight years, subject to satisfactory record.

Surgeon lieutenant to surgeon lieutenant-commander: at six years, subject to service qualification and recommendation.

Surgeon lieutenant-commander to surgeon commander: at six years, subject to service qualification, recommendation and passing necessary examination.

Surgeon lieutenant (D) to surgeon lieutenant-commander: at six years, subject to recommendation.

Instructor lieutenant to instructor lieutenant-commander: at six years, subject to satisfactory record and recommendation.

Instructor lieutenant-commander to instructor-commander: at eight years, subject to recommendation.

Paymaster sub-lieutenant to paymaster lieutenant: at two years, subject to satisfactory record.

Paymaster lieutenant to paymaster lieutenant-commander: at eight years, subject to satisfactory record and to passing examination.

Paymaster lieutenant-commander to paymaster commander: at eight years, subject to satisfactory record, in case of paymaster lieutenant-commanders on that list on the 1st July.

Warrant officer to commissioned officer from warrant rank in branches in which the 10-year rule is in force: at 10 years, subject to satisfactory record, recommendation and service qualification.

Promotion from cadet to midshipman, from midshipman to acting sub-lieutenant, and from paymaster cadet to paymaster midshipman is also automatic, subject to recommendation and passing the necessary examinations, at the expiration of a certain time in the lower ranks.

Promotion to sub-lieutenant (confirmed), to lieutenant and to paymaster sub-lieutenant is similarly automatic, subject to the same conditions, but the service required for promotion varies according to the results obtained in the various examinations.

The method of promotion to paymaster-commander will be by selection in the case of officers promoted to the rank of paymaster lieutenant-commander after the 1st July, 1924, it being thought desirable to bring this branch into line with the executive and engineering branches in this respect, but otherwise, no change is contemplated.

With regard to ratings, Art. 379 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions provides that the following, when fully qualified, and, in the opinion of the captain, fit for advancement, shall be advanced by the captain to the next higher rating, irrespective of vacancies:

Engine-room artificer, electrical artificer, ordnance artificer, shipwright: 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd classes and "chief 2nd class" to next higher class.

Mechanician: "chief 2nd class" to "chief 1st class."

Armourer, armourer's mate, armourer's crew.

Joiner, blacksmith, plumber, painter, cooper: 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd classes to next higher class.

Petty officer writer, leading writer, writer.

All ratings below the equivalent rating of able seamen.

It will be seen from the above that with the exception of advancements from class to class within the same grade in the artificer and artisan branches, and except for the obsolescent armourer branch, the writer branch is the only one which possesses automatic advancement. It is intended to abolish this system in the writer branch, as it is not considered to conduce to efficiency, but this decision will not affect the writer ratings entered under the existing Regulations.

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