§ 99. Mr. Austin
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will list for the convenience of the House all the technical branches of the R.N.; whether any reform is envisaged in regard to the administration of such branches in relation to each other; and whether he will consider appointing a committee to formulate long-term planning and policy in this connection.
§ Mr. J. Dugdale
All branches of the, Navy are to some extent employed on what may be described as technical duties, but I assume the hon. Member has in mind those branches whose principal duty is the maintenance of technical equipment. I therefore exclude the seamen, communication, supply, sick berth and similar 75W branches. The remaining branches are as follow: engine room, electrical, ordnance, the artisan ratings of blacksmith, painter, etc., and the technical personnel employed in connection with aircraft maintenance.
The long-term policy for those branches has been under consideration by a series of expert Admiralty committees. Various changes in administration have already been introduced, for instance in connection with the electrical branch, and any others will be promulgated as soon as decisions are reached. In the circumstances I do not think it necessary to appoint a further committee at the present time.