HC Deb 21 April 1943 vol 388 cc1668-9
19. Mr. Boothby

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether any decision has been reached regarding the allowances paid to officers required to live in mess for operational purposes?

Sir A. Sinclair

As the question of officers' allowances is a complicated one, the reply must necessarily be somewhat lengthy, and I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

A married officer who resides with his family is paid allowances known as lodging, fuel, light and furniture allowances which are intended to cover the cost of providing furnished accommodation for himself and his family. If, however, on account of the exigencies of the Service (which term covers the requirements of operations) he is required to live in mess he receives, instead of the allowances referred to above, a consolidated allowance which, except for officers in the lower ranks, is less than the total of the other allowances; at the same time the officer himself is provided with furnished accommodation and services in the mess. The full allowances in respect of the family, may, however, be continued for a period not exceeding 91 days after separation if during that period the family remain in the same accommodation as they occupied before the separation.

Formerly the consolidated allowance was lower for all ranks than the total of the lodging, fuel, light and furniture allowances, but in view of representations received to the effect that the reduction in allowances on separation bore hardly on the officers concerned, particularly on those in the junior ranks, the consolidated allowances for the junior ranks were revised with effect from 1st October, 1942. The effect of the revision was to make the consolidated allowances for flying officers and pilot officers equal to the aggregate of the allowances payable to non-separated officers of those ranks. As from the same date the difference between consolidated allowance and the aggregate of the other allowances in the ranks of flight lieutenant and squadron leader was reduced to 1s. 5d. and 1s. 6d. a day respectively.

The above information relates to officers commissioned before 1st January, 1942. For all officers commissioned on or after that date the difference between the non-separated and the separated rate of allowance is 1s. a day. The question whether, for officers required to live in mess for operational purposes, any further revision of allowances is called for has been very carefully considered but the decision reached, for the time being, is that no further change should be made.