HC Deb 21 April 1937 vol 322 cc1753-5
62. Sir A. Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can now state in further detail the scope of the promised concession with reference to stoppages; the approximate total additional cost involved; and the approximate average monthly saving to men in the first and in subsequent years and to non-commissioned officers?

Sir V. Warrender

I am obliged to my hon. and gallant Friend for giving me an opportunity to explain the concessions further. As the reply involves considerable detail I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission have it circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The cost to Army funds will be £60,000 per annum.

Sir A. Wilson

Does the Secretary of State for War think that this concession of £60,000 per annum is likely to have any effect on the monetary position of recruits?

Sir V. Warrender

Yes, Sir.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Is it not true that this concession is a mere trifle?

Following is the reply:

1. The term "stoppages" is commonly applied in the Army to all kinds of debits against a soldier which are liable to reduce below the Army rate of pay of his rank the amount of cash he can draw at the pay table. These debits can be classified under four main heads as follow:

A. Penal deductions under the Army Act, and charges for barrack, etc., damages where applicable. Widows, etc., Pensions Insurance contribution—5½d. weekly (statutory). Allotments of pay to wife or other relative.

Hospital charges where sickness is due to the man's own fault or caused by offence under the Army Act.

B. Shoemakers' charges Kit allowance and clothing allowance are intended to meet these.
Charges for personal clothing and necessary from store.

C. Purchases of articles customary in the regiment but not included in regulation scales—

Examples are coathanger, extra belt (in R.A. units), suit case, etc.

D. Subscriptions, e.g., to Old Comrades' Association, rifle club, depot and garrison sports and regimental journal, national association, library, etc.

2. The concessions recently announced, together with the estimated financial saving to the soldier are as follow:

Saving to the recruit in the First Year.
I. Recruits. £ s. d.
(i) Free issues of initial equipment not hitherto given; recruits only.
Padlock and key 0 1 0
Regimental cane (or whip) 0 1 3
Second mug 0 0 6
Gymnasium shoes 0 2 3
Second pair of gymnasium shorts 0 1 3
Regimental buttons for greatcoat 0 0 3
(ii) Increased kit allowance, which has hitherto been disproportionately low in comparison with the provision made for trained soldiers; kit allowance covers washing, hair cutting, cleaning, etc. 1 10 0
(iii) Free sewing on of regimental buttons on greatcoats and jackets 0 1 6
(iv) Free marking of soldier's name on kit bag 0 0 3
(v) Increased allowance in respect of crockery damages 0 0 5

Saving to soldier.
Initial. Annual.
II. Trained soldiers. £ s. d. £ s. d.
(i) Free issue of Tropical outfit on going abroad:
Mounted men 1 17 2
Dismounted men 0 18 2
(ii) Free sewing on of regimental buttons on greatcoats and jackets 0 0 9
(iii) Increased allowance in respect of crockery breakages 0 0 5

3. In addition to the above concessions to the soldier, instructions have been issued to Commands regarding the items in categories C and D above, to the following effect:—

(i) That the following articles of equipment will not in future be charged against the soldier: hitherto the soldier may have had to suffer stoppages in connection with the provision of such articles.

Saving to soldiers affected (approx.)
£ s. d.
bed card 0 0 6
extra belt 0 1 2
cleaning bag 0 2 6
coat hanger 0 0 2
suitcase 0 6 6

(ii) That subscriptions from the soldier to Sports funds, Regimental Journals, Old Comrades' Association, Rifle Club, etc., are to be recognised as voluntary and that no soldier is to be asked or influenced to subscribe more than 3s. a month in all for such purposes.

4. It will be seen, therefore, that in addition to any saving under 3 (i) and (ii) the benefits to the individual are approximately as follows:—

£ s. d.
Recruits (in their first 12 months) 1 18 8

Trained Soldiers (in addition to any benefit obtained by them as recruits:—

On going abroad. Annual
£ s. d. £ s. d.
(i) Mounted 1 17 2 0 1 2
(ii) Dismounted 0 18 2 0 1 2

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