MR. NIELD (Middlesex, Ealing)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty what proportion the boys sent to the Nore Division of the Home Fleet for their seagoing training under the present system bear to those sent to the other divisions and to the fourth cruiser squadron of that fleet; and whether he will state what proportion the boys sent to the Nore Division bear to the normal numbers allowed by the complement of ships of that class.
(Answered by MR. Edmund Robertson.) All youths on completing their shore training are sent to the battleships of the Nore division of the Home Feet for sea-going training. On completing their training at Shotley and in the "Impregnable," all boys undergo their sea-going training in the fourth cruiser squadron; but, while waiting embarkation, those from Shotley (about 50 per cent. of the total number entered) go to the fifth cruiser squadron, and those from the "Impregnable" (about 30 per cent.) to the Devonport division of the Home Fleet. The advanced class (about 20 per cent.) remain in the "Impregnable" to await draft to the fourth cruiser squadron. The number of boys borne in the fifth cruiser squadron exceeds the normal boy complements by from five to eight per ship; and the number of youths in the battleships of the Nore division has been as much as twenty in excess of the normal boy complements.