HC Deb 06 April 1938 vol 334 cc324-6
20. Commander Sir Archibald Southby

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will cause further inquiries to be made from naval officers below the rank of captain as to their views upon the proposed scheme of naval marriage allowance?

Mr. Cooper

I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by making further inquiries at this stage, and I am hopeful that when the scheme is fully understood it will meet with general approval

Sir A. Southby

When the White Paper is brought out will it be submitted to the officers of the Fleet for their consideration, in view of the fact that a very real feeling exists among junior officers that they were never consulted?

Mr. Cooper

I will endeavour to see that copies of the White Paper are made available for officers of the Fleet.

21. Vice-Admiral Taylor

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in the case of officers who will have their basic rate of pay reduced by 2S. a day in accordance with the marriage allowance scheme, these officers will receive an extra 2s. a day lodging allowance when they take up an appointment where service quarters are not provided for them?

28. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will consider such modification in the proposed marriage allowance scheme for naval officers as will ensure that no married officer ashore shall suffer loss in his total emoluments owing to the introduction of the scheme?

Mr. Cooper

I am happy to inform my hon. and gallant Friends that the orders which will be published to the Fleet on Friday will contain a provision that an increased rate of marriage allowance will be payable in certain instances to ensure that no married officer ashore will suffer financially as a consequence of the scheme for marriage allowance.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, am I to understand that a married officer who takes up an appointment where there are no Service quarters will receive both married allowance and lodging allowance? He is entitled to both those allowances for perfectly definite and specific reasons.

Mr. Cooper

The arrangement that has been made is that in any case where an officer receives less under the new scheme than he would under the old scheme, his marriage allowance will be increased so that he will be equally well-off, and will not suffer.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Does that mean that he will receive his lodging allowance because he is entitled to it? Will he get his lodging allowance as lodging allowance and his marriage allowance as marriage allowance?

Mr. McGovern

Subject to a means test.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

When is the White Paper being issued, and is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in general, the married officers express satisfaction with the concession that has just been made, even though the bachelors look upon it as a heavy tax upon a happy position?

Mr. Cooper

I cannot at present say exactly on what date the White Paper will be issued, but it will be issued as soon as possible. Under this scheme every married officer afloat will be better off than he was before, and no married officer ashore or afloat, can be worse off. The only people who could complain are the bachelor officers, to whom my hon. and gallant Friend referred, and I would like to say, to their credit, that no single complaint has come from them.

Mr. Mathers

Will the right hon. Gentleman endeavour to give equal satisfaction to naval ratings under the age of 26 who are married?