§ 44. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that his Department issued, in September, 1920, an official document M5/XIV (2nd Revision), entitled, "Reports upon Openings in Industries suitable for Disabled Ex-Service Men, Building Trade"; that on page 28 of this document it is stated that disabled ex-petty officers and leading seamen will receive rank allowance during periods of training under the scheme outlined in the pamphlet M5/XIV; if he will explain why this rank allowance has now been withdrawn from the ex-royal naval men and retained for ex-military men under training; and why payments already made on the authority of M5/XIV are being recovered from these disabled ex-naval petty officers and leading seamen?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I should, perhaps, at once assure my hon. and gallant Friend that, so far as I know, the position of the ex-naval ratings in training with us is not less favourable than that of the ex-soldier. For some time naval ratings 1891 were receiving rank allowances from the Ministry of Labour and badge and petty time allowances from the Ministry of Pensions. The payment of both of these allowances could not be justified, and we discontinued our rank allowances. There had been some over-payments before the date of the change, and it was resolved not to recover these. If my hon. and gallant Friend has any case of recovery of payments made prior to 29th June last year, I will look into it.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that where moneys were paid under the clearly set out terms of this official document these unfortunate men are being mulct of the payments, and does not he think that is a great injustice?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
If it is stated as the hon. and gallant Gentleman states it, yes; but what I have tried to show is that they were getting double pay up to a certain point. We stopped that, of course, but we did not recover. We issued an order that double pay was not legal. Notice was given of that.