HC Deb 09 July 1941 vol 373 cc162-3
34. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will say how soldiers who are temporarily released for short periods for farm work are to be paid; whether allotments are to continue for the wives and families; and whether he can make any statement about transport?

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Richard Law)

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the scheme whereby agricultural workers serving in the Army at home may be given special leave to return to their former farms to help at times of seasonal pressure. Pay and allowances are not admissible for this period of special leave, during which the soldier presumably draws emoluments from other sources, but in the case of other ranks, in order to avoid possible hardship, the issue of family or dependants' allowance is continued. My hon. and gallant Friend will realise, however, that since the soldier is not entitled to emoluments from Army funds during this period, family and dependants' allowance so issued will be debited to his account. Personnel granted agricultural leave are given free return railway warrants to their place of work.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Can my hon. Friend say how the farmers are to pay these men; are they to pay direct to them or into some fund; will he consider any cases where there may be hardship to the soldier's family; and what is the position of men who are released for perhaps one or two days to work on farms in their own immediate neighbourhood?

Mr. Law

My answer was directed to cases where soldiers were given leave up to 28 days to go back to their former farms. In regard to cases where soldiers are released for one day, where circum- stances permit, they receive no pay from a civil source, except liquid refreshment; the ordinary pay and family allowances to the soldier are continued.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Will the farmers have to pay anything?

Mr. Speaker


Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

This is most important, Mr. Speaker.