The ages of the four officers promoted to acting sub-lieutenant from the lower deck in 1936 were 23 years 5 months, 22 years 11 months, 22 years r month, and 22 years 4 months, respectively, at the time of their promotion. The average ages at which officers from Dartmouth and from the special entry normally reach this rank are 20 years 2 months and 21 years 1 month, respectively.
§ Mr. Cocks
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state the number and places of the Fleet selection boards to be held this year for lower deck candidates for commissions; and whether the Admiralty will inform the responsible officers afloat that it is their desire that suitable ratings should be encouraged to come forward as candidates?
The arrangement of Fleet selection boards is a matter within the discretion of the various Commandersin-Chief. I understand that orders have been issued for the next boards to be held so that ratings selected may arrive home early in May. With regard to the second part of the question the Admiralty have already informed Commandersin-Chief to the effect suggested by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. Cocks
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why the seniority of sublieutenants promoted from the lower deck is post-dated from 1st September to 1st January on confirmation, thus causing a loss of four months' seniority, whereas in the case of cadet-entry officers all acting time is counted as seniority; and whether he will take steps to remove this anomaly?
Sub-lieutenants promoted from the lower deck proceed to Greenwich for a preliminary four months' course before they join the general sublieutenants' course. While it is true that the duration of this preliminary course is not counted for seniority, the hon. Member is under a misapprehension in2096W thinking that cadet-entered officers can count all acting time as seniority. Far from this being the case, the confirmed seniority of sub-lieutenants from Dartmouth may be as much as nine months later than their acting seniority.