§ Mr. ASHLEY
asked whether, in consequence of the constant changes in the ratings carried by the ships of the Third Division of the Home Fleet, it has been found necessary to increase the clerical staffs of those ships; what is the average-time spent in these ships by men of the seamen and stoker ratings who are drafted to them; and whether the Board are satisfied that this is a sufficient length of time to ensure the war efficiency of the ships?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The accountant staffs of the Third Division battleships and cruisers have been increased up to the numbers allowed in their full sea-going complements, in view of the large number of supernumerary ratings borne in the ships for disposal or training. The average time spent by nucleus crews in their ships is twelve months. Ratings supernumerary to the nucleus crew complements, and borne for disposal or training, are frequently changed, and no average time can be given. The reply to-the third part of the question is in the affirmative.