27 Mr. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether he is aware that there are about sixteen sergeants in the Army Pay Department in Class 19 married off the strength whose cases are precisely similar to those who were put on the strength in consequence of the increase of the married establishment to 75 per cent.; and whether in consequence of the corporals being graded in Class 20, corporals with relatively short service are being put on the married establishment while sergeants of twelve or more years' service are still shut out; (2) whether he can yet state the result of the special inquiry pending on the 17th January, 1913, into the position of non-commissioned officers and men married off the strength; when it is likely the grievances suffered by many of them will be removed; and, in view of the length of time taken in the inquiry, whether any relief given will be dated back by a year; and (3) whether, pending the result of the special inquiry instituted by him which was pending on the 17th January, 1913, the urgent oases of sergeants and corporals in the administrative services such as the Royal Army Medical Corps of over twelve years' service who have been married off the strength for many years, and for whom promotion to the rank of staff-sergeant is practically impossible, will be treated separately and on their merits, with a view of granting them the privileges given to their juniors in other branches of the service who, though married off the strength, 754 have been added to the strength within a few months of marriage?
§ Colonel SEELY
The inquiry referred to by the hon. Gentleman is now complete, but no decision has yet been made as to the action to be taken as a result of its findings. It is therefore impossible for me at this stage to deal with specific cases.
Seeing that the inquiry has been going on for over a year, can the right hon. Gentleman say when the result is likely to be made known?
§ Colonel SEELY
I cannot give a date. The hon. Gentleman will understand that it is a complicated matter, and in removing what appears to be a hardship in one case we may create a fresh hardship in another. That is the difficulty.
If the right hon. Gentleman does not move until he can remove all the hardships, we shall not get any further in the matter at all.