HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 cc761-2
31. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give some account of the organisation of National Savings in the Army; and whether he will give the amounts collected each year?

Sir J. Grigg

As the answer is necessarily rather long, I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir A. Knox

Can my right hon. Friend say whether officers in each unit are in charge of war savings?

Sir J. Grigg

I would be very grateful if my hon. and gallant Friend would see the answer first and, if he wants to know anything more, put down another Question.

Following is the answer:

The organisation of savings in the Army is in the hands of the Army Savings Association, whose honorary Director-General is Field-Marshal Sir Cyril Deverell. The executive body for carrying out the policy of the Association is the Central Advisory Committee which is a sub-committee of the National Savings Committee. The Association actively encourages savings by soldiers and has promoted and operates numerous schemes to that end. In particular facilities are afforded to all soldiers, whether at home or overseas, to make regular weekly deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank by direct allocation from pay; the purchase of National Savings Certificates by soldiers overseas is facilitated by simple methods which are well understood and easy to operate; in addition to regular weekly deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank, arrangements have been made for soldiers to make casual deposits; soldiers at home can purchase Savings Stamps, which are specially stocked for this purpose at Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes. There are over 17,000 Savings Groups in the Army. Assistant Commissioners, who are appointed in the United Kingdom and in the larger overseas Commands, make frequent visits to individual units in order to encourage the institution of savings schemes and to explain their operation. Their work has produced excellent results and a widespread interest in savings throughout the Army; they report periodically to the Army Savings Association. The various schemes are published and explained from time to time in Army Orders and Army Council Instructions and by suitable pamphlets which have a wide distribution throughout the Army.

With regard to the last part of the Question, it is a well understood practice not to disclose the savings of particular classes of the community.