HC Deb 30 April 1940 vol 360 cc526-7
30. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the comparative cost of equipping a man and a woman in the Services and the relative rates of pay; and whether a woman so enlisted actually releases a man for some form of service for which a woman is unsuited?

Mr. Stanley

The hon. Member has brought a statement in. the Press to my notice and I am glad to have this opportunity of stating the facts. The Army officer receives an outfit allowance of £30, or, in some cases, £40, and a camp kit allowance of £7 10s. Auxiliary Territorial Service officers received corresponding allowances of £30 and £7 10s. in all cases. The cost of the initial equipment of other ranks is £14 5s. in the case of the soldier, and £10 13s. in the case of the Auxiliary Territorial Service. The rates of pay of Auxiliary Territorial Service personnel are two-thirds of the rates for officers and soldiers of equivalent ranks, but the full average cost a head is little more than half. More Auxiliary Territorial Service volunteers are required than the numbers of soldiers they release. On some duties, for example, clerical, the numbers are the same; on others, involving long hours and heavier work, it is necessary to provide more volunteers than soldiers. The average proportion of Auxiliary Territorial Service volunteers to the soldiers they release is 5 to 4. With allowance for this factor, the full cost of the Auxiliary Territorial Service volunteers is about two-thirds of that of the soldiers they release.

Miss Rathbone

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the recruitment of women would be stimulated if there were not so many stories abroad as to nepotism and social influence in appointments to commissions?

Mr. Speaker

That does not arise from the original Question.