HC Deb 02 May 1927 vol 205 cc1302-3W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that, despite the provisions of Article 318 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, chief petty officer writers. Fowler, Aherne, Messerby, Maby, Pallett, Stone, Brice, Cotton, Roberts, Bolt, Ashworth, Murray and Butcher had all passed professionally and educationally before the last chief petty officer writer who was promoted to warrant rank; and whether he will explain why all these chief petty officers, whose recommendations are about equal, were passed over?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

The question of my hon. and gallant Friend seems to be based on a misapprehension of the system of promotion to warrant writer. The roster of candidates is in order of seniority, but the other factors mentioned in Article 318 of the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions are taken into account when a promotion is being made. That article is not intended to infer that the order on the roster is ignored in selecting a candidate for promotion, nor is such the practice or intention, the method of promotion being as more fully explained at the time in Admiralty Fleet Order 495/24. An amendment of Article 318 will be made to make this clearer.

Of the candidates named, only one was higher on the roster than the last chief petty officer writer promoted to warrant rank, who, I may add, passed professionally two years earlier. Apart from this single case, the question of any chief petty officer writers having been passed over does not arise.

The Board of Admiralty think it undesirable on general grounds to state the reasons why individual officers are or are not selected for promotion, but they must not be taken as assenting to the statement that, in these particular cases, the recommendations were about equal.