HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1080-1
76. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will now give consideration to the question of pay of British soldiers on service in India, in view of the present high cost of living in India and of the fact that the so-called exchange compensation allowance has not been adjusted to this increased cost of living?

Captain McEwen (Lord of the Treasury)

I have been asked to reply. The pay of the British soldier in India has been under consideration along with that of the British soldier serving elsewhere, and similar adjustments have been made. In effect, the British soldier in India receives the rupee equivalent of the home rates, plus 12½ per cent., and he is getting the benefit of recent concessions here, augmented to this extent. As the hon. Member will see, more rather than less assistance has been given in India towards meeting increased costs, but my right hon. Friend agrees that the position is one that needs to be carefully watched, and that is certainly being done.

Mr. De la Bère

Is not the Minister aware that the cost of living in India has risen out of all proportion to the rise which has taken place here and will he not take that factor into account? In these very difficult times we do not want our troops who are serving in India to be at a disadvantage.

Captain McEwen

No doubt some adjustment will be made in the near future. My hon. Friend will not expect me to add to the answer which I have just given.