§ 67. Commander BELLAIRS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that an Order in Council, dated 18th July, 1898, gave officers employed on boom defence a special rate of pay of 3s. per day; whether this Order was not cancelled until 24th October, 1916, when a new Order came into force; and whether he will now give orders that the 3s. per day shall be paid up to the date the Order was cancelled, seeing that they are clearly entitled to it?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The complete answer to my hon. and gallant Friend's question is, I am afraid, rather lengthy. Perhaps he will allow me to circulate it with the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ The following is the answer circulated:
§ The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. I should, however, state that the first-named Order in Council was intended to provide for the conditions that existed prior to the War when boom defences were held in readiness, though not maintained in position, at the principal defended ports of the United Kingdom and abroad only. With the extension of defences to other ports in the early days of the War, the question naturally arose whether the allowance should be applied to all officers employed on boom-defence duties, irrespective of the conditions under which they were living. It was found that these conditions varied very considerably, some officers Living in hotels or receiving lodging money, while others were accom- 597 modated in trawlers, drifters, and other small vessels. It was clear therefore that the automatic application of the allowance could not he justified and payment was only authorised under circumstances which, in the opinion of the Admiralty, entitled an officer to additional pay.
§ Under the new Regulations introduced under Order in Council on 24th October, 1916, the former allowance was cancelled and a revised scheme substituted under which officers in charge of boom defences below the rank of captain were paid an allowance of 2s. 6d. a day and all officers and men employed in connection with booms were paid hard lying money. It was, however, specifically laid down that payment of the former allowance was to hold good in cases where it had actually been made to officers.
§ As regards the last part of the question, it is not proposed to alter the arrangement made.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Have they carried out the purport of the Order in Council? Have these men been paid what was granted by that Order?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I am anxious to give a detailed reply, because it is to the argument that the reply addresses itself.