§ 58. Lieut.-Colonel Sir GODFREY DALRYMPLE-WHITE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that since payment of Members of Parliament, was introduced free railway travelling facilities to their constituencies have been granted, and that this is an increasing burden on public funds, he will consider reducing the Parliamentary salaries by 10 per cent., and thus give a lead to the movement for national economy?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, Sir. The main justification for the provision of free travelling facilities was the inequality of the necessary expenditure on travelling as between Member and Member, and that inequality is reflected in the large variations in the extent to which those facilities are used by Members. Apart altogether, therefore, from any question of the sufficiency or otherwise of the payment made to Members, any all-round reduction of that payment would bear no relation to the facts of individual cases; it would be particularly unjustifiable in the case of those Members who do not use the free travelling facilities at all.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider reducing by 10 per cent, the salaries of Army officers who also enjoy private incomes for which they perform no services?
§ Sir ROBERT THOMAS
Is it not a fact that any Member of this House is at perfect liberty to refuse his salary?
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
Is it not a fact that Members of this House enjoy fewer facilities than are enjoyed by Members of any other House of Parliament in the world?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I believe that is, in the main, true. As to the question of Army officers, their pay has been reduced on several occasions, and certainly no taunt at their expense can be made.
§ Colonel DAY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many Members of Parliament are refusing their pay at the present time?