§ Sir R. Young
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why men in Group 29 are retained while men of the same category in Group 36 are released; whether it will be arranged that men being thus released from the R.N. Barracks, Devonport, in the later groups, should be sent to replace men in the earlier groups, some of them with five years' service.1077W
§ Mr. J. Dugdale
I presume that the Question refers to the practice of ordering the release of men in a certain range of age and Service groups to take place during a stated period. Men are released from individual ships and establishments in accordance with these orders, and since the distribution of age and Service groups is not the same in all ships and establishments, the result may be that some men in the later groups are released before others in the earlier groups. It would not be practicable to use as reliefs men who are themselves shortly due to be released, nor would there be any advantage in delaying the release of any age and Service groups until all men in the previous Groups had been released.
§ Mr. Callaghan
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware of the feeling among junior sea transport officers that their rate of demobilisation is being slowed down because the senior officers are frequently elderly R.N. personnel who will continue to hold their ranks only so long as the uniformed side of Sea Transport exists; and whether he will replace the uniformed staff of Sea Transport by civilian Merchant Navy assistants.
The implication contained in the first part of the Question is without foundation. The Sea Transport Division has been reduced by 41 percent., and more than two-thirds of the senior naval officers have been, or shortly will be, released. The civilian Merchant Navy assistants have rendered excellent service during the War, but it is essential to retain a nucleus of Naval Officers to give orders to Service personnel being embarked or disembarked.
§ Mr. Callaghan
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many applications for Class B release have been received from the Ministry of Labour in respect of R.N. schoolmasters; and how many men it is proposed to release.
The number of applications received for such release in Class Bas specialists is 13 (11 instructors, R.N., and two schoolmasters, R.N.). Of these, seven have been released, five have not yet accepted, and one has refused release. In addition, applications have been received for the release of five instructors, R.N., and two schoolmasters, R.N., as art students, but in order to meet essential naval requirements, and at the same time1078W release as many officers as possible for teaching, it has been necessary for the Admiralty to refuse release in these cases at present.