The normal deferment arrangements apply to apprentices or journeymen marine engineers, but there are no special arrangements for deferring the calling up of such men solely on the grounds that they are preparing for a certificate examination. The usual rule is that deferment is granted until the man finishes his apprenticeship or reaches his twentieth birthday, whichever is the earlier. If, however, my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind and will communicate with me, I will look into it.
I will communicate with the hon. Gentleman, but I would like to ask him whether the attention of his Department has been drawn to the fact that at the moment we are short of marine engineers who are capable of going to sea. Is he aware that a number of men are just qualifying, finishing their time, and that if they get through, they will be capable of going to sea as second engineers?