HC Deb 09 December 1942 vol 385 cc1562-3
39. Major Markham

asked the Secretary of State for War the present rates of pay of an unmarried private tradesman clerk, an unmarried private tradesman fitter and an unmarried tank gunner?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

The pay of Army tradesmen varies according to their service and their trade classification. The daily rate of pay of a private tradesman clerk is from 3s. 9d. to 5s. 9d.; a private tradesman fitter from 4s. 3d. to 6s. 9d. A gunner who belongs to the crew of an armoured fighting vehicle is normally expected to qualify as either a gunner mechanic or a gunner operator. The former is paid from 3s. 9d. to 5s. 0d. and the latter from 3s. 9d. to 5s. 6d. a day. A gunner not so qualified would be paid from 3s. 0d. to 4s. 9d. according to his service and proficiency.

Major Markham

Is the Minister prepared to level up rates of pay so that there shall not be these differences in the rates?

Mr. Henderson

The difficulty is that the trades are graded according to the general measure of skill needed in the particular trade, and the grading is related to rates and standards current in similar trades in civil life.

Major Markham

That entirely over-looks the fact that a man enduring greater hazard and risk is much worse paid than the man who is in a comfortable billet at home?

Mr. Henderson

The actual pay varies between the minimum and maximum to which I have referred, according to the length of service a man has rendered and the grade in which he is placed, as a result of tests taken from time to time.

Major Milner

Has not my hon. and learned Friend's right hon. Friend promised that the matter shall be considered with a view to simplification, and can he say when a statement will be made with regard to it?

Mr. Henderson

It is true that the whole question is being considered, but I do not think there is any intention of abolishing the different rates since they are fixed according to scale.

Mr. Bellenger

Can my hon. and learned Friend say whether this includes the 1s. increases given to all troops?

Mr. Henderson

Yes, Sir.