HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 cc1074-5
50. Mr. Bartlett

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the maximum allowance for subsistence and entertainment payable to British officials in the United States of America; and is he aware that some officials cannot afford to accept appointments in existing conditions, while others are placed in a position of such financial inferiority to the Americans with whom they have to deal, that the effectiveness of their work is seriously diminished?

Sir K. Wood

The maximum rate of Mission allowance payable to British officials serving in the United States, other than those treated as being on diplomatic or consular service, is $11.50 a night for the first month and $10 a night thereafter. This is the rate for married officials, the corresponding rate for single men being $9.50 a night for the first month and $8 a night thereafter. These allowances, which are untaxed, are intended to cover reasonable additional expenses incurred by such service. Entertainment allowances are not normally made to individuals, but sums have been allocated for the purpose of entertainment to various Government Missions in the United States. The Mission allowances were recently reviewed on the spot by a senior official sent from this country. I do not consider them to be inadequate, and I cannot agree that they in any way hamper the making of appointments or the effectiveness of the work done by our officials in America.

Mr. Bartlett

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that some officials are unable to go and that these rates seriously hamper the work of the officials in the States?

Sir K. Wood

No, Sir; I would be glad to confer with my hon. Friend on any matter he would like to bring to my attention.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Does the marriage allowance which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned apply only if a person has his wife with him in the States, or does it apply anyhow?

Sir K. Wood

I must make inquiries.

Mr. W. Brown

Is the Minister aware that there is among all classes of civil servants in the United States who are sent from this country a deep feeling about the inadequacy of these allowances and that those of us who have been there recently know the complaints to be well justified?

Sir K. Wood

I do not think the sums I have read out can be regarded as inadequate.