HC Deb 04 August 1943 vol 391 cc2276-7
26. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will make a statement showing the relative positions in the pay allotments to dependants and the eligibility of dependants to allowances of British airmen serving at home and in Canada; and whether he will explain why the men serving in Canada are relatively worse off than those serving at home?

Sir A. Sinclair

As the information asked for is somewhat long, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Griffiths

Will the information indicate that men serving in Canada are not worse off than men in this country?

Sir A. Sinclair

The information will answer every point which my hon. Friend has put to me in the Question.

Following is the statement:

British airmen serving in Canada in the combined training organisation draw pay at the same rates as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. These are, in general, more favourable than normal Royal Air Force rates. The families and other dependants of British airmen serving in Canada, if they are in this country, draw allowances at normal Royal Air Force rates.

In order to qualify for the issue of these allowances, British airmen in Canada are required to allot or assign the same proportion of their pay as Royal Canadian Air Force airmen are required to do. Since the Royal Canadian Air Force scale of assigned pay is substantially higher than the scales of allotment in the Royal Air Force system, it is possible for the net pay issuable to a British airman in Canada to be slightly less than what he would have received had he remained in this country, though the same as that issuable in Canada to Canadian airmen similarly placed.

In the case of married airmen, the assigned pay is paid to their families together with family allowance; so that the families benefit in full from the assigned pay. Where dependant's allowance is in issue, the assigned pay constitutes the airman's contribution to the dependant's allowance of which it is an integral part, the principle governing dependant's allowance being to assist the airman in maintaining his pre-enlistment contribution to his dependant's support.

These arrangements are at present under review.