HC Deb 30 July 1924 vol 176 cc2034-5

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state what progress has been made with the consideration of the granting of marriage allowance to officers in the Royal Navy; whether he is aware that this matter has been under consideration for many years; whether he will state the cause of the delay in arriving at a decision; and whether, in the event of a decision being reached to grant such marriage allowance, it will be retrospective to the date of the reduction in pay?


I can only repeat what I have already stated in this House, that the matter is one of great complexity, but that there will be no delay in announcing a decision when one has been reached. As regards the last part of the question, the introduction of a marriage allowance is in no way connected with the automatic reduction in pay which took effect on the 1st instant, and I am, therefore, unable to hold out any prospect that a marriage allowance, if granted, will be made retrospective.


Can the hon. Gentleman say how many years it takes the Admiralty to solve a question of this kind?


As far as this Government is concerned, it will probably be only a matter of months.

Captain Viscount CURZON

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, pending the lapse of months, naval officers will be getting into more and more difficult circumstances than ever, and running into debt in many cases?

17. Lieut-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what would be the estimated cost in a full year if marriage allowances were granted to officers of the Royal Navy on the same scale as those granted to officers of His Majesty's Army?


Based on present numbers, the estimated cost for officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines is £750,000 a year. This estimate includes 1,925 commissioned officers from warrant rank and warrant officers who have been taken at the same rate as other officers.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the hon. Gentleman aware we are spending eight times that amount in Iraq alone?