HC Deb 24 February 1920 vol 125 cc1469-70
49. Mr. CAIRNS

asked the Prime. Minister whether the case concerning the men of K Company, Royal Engineers, has been brought to his notice; whether he is aware that the Holt Parliamentary Committee reported unanimously in favour of the men being allowed to count the whole of their Government service for pension purposes; whether the Treasury have so far declined to carry this recommendation into effect; and whether, having regard to the hardship which is threatened to the men concerned, he will personally investigate the claim put forward on behalf of the men?


After the very fullest consideration it has been decided that this proposal cannot be accepted, and I can hold out no hope that the decision can be reversed. Service in K Company was military service, and the men of the company were in receipt of military pay and allowances. In these circumstances it cannot be admitted that the men have any equitable claim to reckon this service for civil pension, and it could not be so reckoned without further legislation. His Majesty's Government see strong objection in principle to reckoning military service for civil pension, which would confer on the ex-soldier who enters the Civil Service a benefit not enjoyed by his fellow soldiers who enter private employment, and they are not able to propose such legislation to this House.