HC Deb 30 October 1930 vol 244 cc216-8W
Captain W. G. HALL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is yet in a position to make a statement as to the composition and terms of reference of the departmental committee which is to inquire into the working of the mate scheme of promotion from the lower deck?


The Committee has been formed and has begun its inquiry. It is presided over by Vice-Admiral F. Larken, and the other members are Sir Charles Walker, Deputy-Secretary of the Admiralty, Engineer Rear-Admiral H. L. Parry, Captain A. T. B. Curteis and Commander J. Figgins. The Committee is charged in its terms of referenceto review the working of the system by which Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Ratings may qualify for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant and above through the rank of Mate, and to report whether any changes are desirable. The Fleet is being notified by Fleet Order that the Committee will visit the Home ports and Portland to hear the views of officers and ratings of the Home ports and of the Atlantic Fleet, and that the Commanders-in-Chief have been requested to forward the names of those whose evidence they consider will be of assistance or who may request to be allowed to place their views before the Committee.

It has been thought desirable to extend consideration at the present time over the whole field of recruitment to the commissioned ranks of the Navy. A Committee has accordingly been set up under the Chairmanship of my hon. and gallant Friend, the Member for Central Cardiff (Captain Sir Ernest Bennett) with the following terms of reference: To consider whether the present systems of entry of Naval Cadets and Naval Cadets (E) are such as to give candidates of the requisite standard from all types of schools and belonging to all classes of the community a fair opportunity of being considered on their merits for entry as Cadets, and if not, to report what changes are recommended in order to extend the field of selection, subject to the requirements of the Naval Service. Of the four remaining members of the Committee, two are senior naval officers, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Osmond de B. Brock and Rear-Admiral the Hon. Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, while educational opinion is represented by Sir Edmund Phipps, late Deputy-Secretary of the Board of Education, and Mr. F. R. Dale, Headmaster of the City of London School. I should like to make it clear that the Admiralty are not disappointed with the present standard of entrants. On the contrary, we recognise that we are getting very satisfactory material. We do consider, however, that the existing methods of entry may unduly restrict the field from which candidates are drawn, and we are anxious that candidates of the standard necessary for the Naval Service should have a fair opportunity of being considered on their merits for entry as cadets from whatever schools and from whatever classes of the community they are drawn.