Royal Naval Reserve (Reconstitution)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes 12:00 am, 29th June 1949

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what is the policy of his Department with regard to resuming grants of commissions to suitably-qualified professional Merchant Navy officers.

Mr. Dugdale:

I am glad to inform the House that following discussions with the Ministry of Transport and representatives of the shipowners and of the officers' and men's organisations, it has been decided to reconstitute the General Service Section of the Royal Naval Reserve and it is hoped that recruiting will re-open in the near future.

In reconstituting this Reserve the Admiralty have had in mind the importance of not imparing the efficiency of the Merchant Navy in time of war. Royal Naval Reservists will not be withdrawn from the Merchant Navy except with the agreement of the Ministry of Transport, who have however, undertaken to release these Reservists to the Royal Navy as soon as possible.

In conclusion I would add that the Patrol Service section of the Royal Naval Reserve has also been reconstituted.

Photo of Mr Christopher Hollis Mr Christopher Hollis , Devizes

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what are the numbers involved?

Mr. Dugdale:

Yes, the establishment we propose to have will be: General Service, 1,400 officers and 2,000 ratings, and Patrol Service, 600 officers and 2,000 ratings.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this decision, which it has taken a long time to reach, will be received with a great sense of relief by the country as a whole?

Photo of Captain Arthur Marsden Captain Arthur Marsden , Chertsey

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary how much training is it suggested these officers should have over any given period? Are they to go straight in and be given R.N.R. commissions, or have they to qualify and in subsequent years to undergo a further period of training?

Mr. Dugdale:

That will be worked out in due course and I can let the hon. and gallant Gentleman know later.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Holderness

In view of the long period that has been taken in arriving at this decision, can the Minister assure the House that full particulars of the scheme will be promulgated in the various shipping companies?

Mr. Dugdale:

Most certainly, and that was why I was anxious that it should be announced in Parliament before it was announced anywhere else.

Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry

In view of the particulars given by the right hon. Gentleman, will the conditions generally be similar to those that were in force before the war?

Mr. Dugdale:

As I say, we have not worked out in detail what the conditions will be, and I would prefer to await the final working-out before making a definite announcement.