HC Deb 16 May 1901 vol 94 cc245-6

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether his attention has been called to the fact that, in addition to the varying charges for tailors' and shoemakers' bills, the pay of a private soldier almost invariably suffers deductions under the following heads: 1s. 3½d. per month for washing, 1d. per month for hair cutting, 2d. for library subscription per month, 2d. for rifle club per month, and 2d. for cricket club per month; and whether he will consider the advisability of some or all of these charges being borne in future by the State.


The deduction from a soldier's pay, with the addition of that for upkeep of kit, are on the average a stated in the question, and amount in the total to about 2d. a day. To throw this charge on the State would involve an addition of about £600,000. Some of these charges, as the House will appre- ciate, are for recreation rather than for necessaries, and unless the whole terms of remuneration of the private soldier were to be re-considered, the Secretary of State could not undertake to deal with them.


Does the noble Lord consider hair cutting a recreation?