60. Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will give further consideration to the question of the extent to which naval officers have been forced to curtail by a serious proportion the amount of pay allotted to their wives and families in consequence of the imposition of increased Income Tax upon salaries of £300 per annum and upwards; whether he has since been made aware that there is a number of cases of officers in His Majesty's Fleet whose financial position has been made difficult in consequence of the increased cost of living of their families ashore and as a result of the imposition of the increased taxation; and whether, in view of the services of naval officers and the fact that prize money and prize bounty are still withheld from the Fleet for the first time for 400 years, he will take steps, in the interests of the Service, to secure that the minimum salary upon which war taxation should be charged for the current financial year shall be £500?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
As regards the first part of the question, the further ledgers received since the reply to my hon. Friend's question of the 8th May show that in no single case has the rate of allotment been reduced. All the evidence, therefore, at present available is in direct opposition to the suggestion that naval officers have been forced to curtail by a serious proportion the amount of pay allotted to their wives and families, owing to increased taxation. The suggestion in the final part of the question is one entirely for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I take occasion to say that my hon. Friend's reference to prize money and prize bounty is, to say the least of it, somewhat misleading. I have frequently explained to the House the difficulty under new conditions of making payments of prize money 2289 until the close of hostilities, and, as regards prize bounty, one award has already been sanctioned and is now in course of distribution, and others will immediately follow.
65. Mr. S. BENN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that hardship has been inflicted upon a number of naval officers owing to the liability for the payment of increased Income Tax upon salaries of £300 per annum and upwards; and whether, in view of the additional cost of living and the fact that numbers of naval officers are wholly dependent upon their pay, and that prize money and prize bounty are still withheld from the Fleet for the first time for 400 years, he will consider the desirability of raising the salary limit liable to the war levy to a minimum of £500 as a recognition of the services of naval officers to the country, which will give satisfaction throughout His Majesty's Fleet?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
I may refer the hon. Member to Clause 20 of the finance Bill.