§ 17. Major HORE-BELISHA
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether, in view of the low pay of officers in the Royal Navy as compared with comparative ranks in the other fighting services and of the high technical skill demanded of our naval officers, he can see his way to propose increases in naval officers' pay to bring them on a level with their equivalent ranks in the Army and Air Force?
§ 19. Major HORE-BELISHA
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty with reference to the reduction of naval officers' pay, if he will state exactly what reduction is proposed, and whether the reduction will affect the whole pay and pension, and, if not, what percentage of it; if he will state whether his attention has been called to A.F.O. 752 of 28th March, 1924, which indicated that 20 per cent. only of the increases given in 1919 would be subject to variation in accordance with the rise or fall in the cost of living; and whether, if he has irrevocably determined on the reductions, he will see that they do not affect more than 20 per cent. of the pay and pensions, in accordance with the official pronouncement quoted?
§ Mr. AMMON
The answer to the first part of the question is that the reduction is approximately 5½ per cent., and will apply to the whole of the pay and retired pay of officers. As regards the second part of the question, the Admiralty Fleet Order quoted definitely states that 20 per cent. of the new rates of pay and retired pay are subject to revision in accordance with the rise or fall in the cost of living, and there is no reference to increases given in 1919 as the hon. Member suggests. I am happy to be able to give the assurance desired in the concluding part of the question, that in no case will more than 20 per cent. of the pay and retired pay be affected.
§ Sir C. YATE
Will the hon. Gentleman, instead of naming this 5½ per cent. on the whole, give us the percentage on the 20 per cent. that he has now mentioned?
§ Sir A. SHIRLEY BENN
In the event of the cost of living going up, will the 5½ per cent. be modified?