§ Sir B. FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will inquire into the present system of short leave of sick-berth ratings serving in Haslar, Stonehouse, and Chatham naval hospitals, 364W during the periods when long leave is being given with a view to the short leave during these periods being brought into line generally with naval ratings in other naval establishments during long-leave periods; and whether he is aware that at present the leave given to the sick-berth staff at these hospitals during long-leave periods for those remaining on duty is in two watches, i.e., 7.30 p.m., and watch in until the leave period is over?
As stated in the reply to the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) on 30th July, 1930 [OFFICIAL REPORT, col. 537; Vol. 242], it is inevitable that during long leave extra work should fall on ratings who are not on leave, in order that attendance on patients may be fully maintained. No comparison can be drawn in this respect between naval hospitals and other shore establishments. The usual method of arranging the short leave of ratings left on duty in naval hospitals is by means of two or four watches. Every endeavour is made to compensate for the extra duty entailed, by giving additional leave whenever possible.