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 Royal Naval Reservists will not be withdrawn from the Merchant Navy except with the agreement of the Ministry of Transport, who have however, undertaken to release these Reservists to the Royal Navy as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.
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?