59. Mr. Slater
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he will make a statement on the Royal Naval Mine-watching Service.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
The Royal Naval Minewatching Service is a civilian voluntary organisation consisting of some 5,000 men and women between the ages of 21 and 60. It will have two main tasks in war. First, to observe, plot and report the fall of mines laid by enemy aircraft in port approaches and main waterways. Second, to provide the basic local organisation for resident naval officers and naval officers in charge who would be appointed at minor ports in war—thus releasing naval reservists for other duties. The Admiralty is much indebted to these volunteers, who, apart from some twenty full-time and twenty-two part-time officers, mostly retired, give their services free.