§ Mr. Rhys Davies
asked the Minister of Defence why the number of officers in the Royal Navy in 1938 was 8,410 for 110,590 other ranks, whilst in 1948 the officers numbered 13,358 for 145,642 other ranks.
I have been asked to reply. The main reasons why the proportion of officers in the Royal Navy was greater in 1948 than in 1938 are: (a) The growth of naval aviation since 1938. The majority of aircrew are officers, and a considerably higher proportion of officers is thus needed for aviation duties than for general service duties. (b) The greater complexity of weapons and equipment. This has involved an increased requirement of officers for maintenance, training and development duties. A constant review is maintained to ensure that no more officers are borne than are essential for naval requirements.