HC Deb 11 March 1938 vol 332 cc2264-5
Mr. Montague (by Private Notice)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air, whether he has any statement to make regarding improvements in the pay and married emoluments of airmen?

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead)

Yes, Sir. As a result of a review of the emoluments of married airmen it has been decided to abolish the distinction between airmen in receipt of married allowance only and airmen on the married establishment, and to grant married emoluments to all married airmen over the age of 26 on similar lines to those announced for the Army yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War. It is not proposed to make any change in the rates of pay of airmen generally, since these are adequate, but it has been decided to grant some increases to certain classes of airmen on the lower rates of pay. I shall make a fuller statement on these points when I present Air Estimates.

Mr. Thorne

It seems to me that these marriage allowances are getting rather contagious. I wonder whether someone will bring in a Motion to give marriage allowances to married Members of this House.

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

As a bachelor, I think the hon. Member had better give me ten years' notice of that.

Mr. A. Jenkins

May I ask the reason for adhering strictly to the 26 years age limit? It is known perfectly well that a number of airmen are married below that age, and that they have substantial financial obligations in order to live. That applies generally throughout the Services.

Lieut.-Colonel Muirhead

It is thought desirable to have some age limit, and 26 if the limit which has been in operation in the Air Force for a considerable number of years.

Mr. George Griffiths

Seeing that the Minister is a bachelor, possibly he will not understand these things very well; but does he not know that the most fruitful time of humanity is between the ages of 20 and 26; and why is it that, when they are inquiring on the other side about the population, they limit the age in this way?