HC Deb 19 January 1943 vol 386 cc16-7
21. Major Milner

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to announce the promised simplifications of the Army pay system?

10. Major Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the proposed simplification of the Army pay system?

Sir J. Grigg

As I indicated in the Debate on Service Pay and Allowances on 10th September, it is impracticable to remove the complications caused by the existence of the pre-1925 and post-1925 rates, but in agreement with my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Ministers in charge of the other Service Departments, I have decided to introduce certain alterations in the Army Pay Code, the details of which will appear in Army Orders. I may add that I shall be prepared to place copies in the Library of the House.

These changes, including that which I mentioned in that Debate, are:

  1. (1) The consolidation into inclusive rates of pay of the proficiency additions and service increments of the private soldier which are at present expressed and accounted for separately.
  2. (2) The inclusion in consolidated rates for lance-corporals, corporals, and lance-sergeants of proficiency pay and special proficiency pay irrespective of service in recognition of the fact that their selection for promotion implies the attainment of the required standards of proficiency.
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  4. (3) The reduction of the number of trade groups from five to four.
The effect of these alterations will be, first, to make it more easy for the soldier to understand his entitlement; second, to ease the administrative burden of commanding officers; third, by simplifying the compilation of pay accounts, to reduce correspondence between pay offices and units, and thus to lessen the number of operations required in the pay offices themselves.

Major Milner

While appreciating the efforts which the right hon. Gentleman has made, may I ask whether his proposal will enable a slip to be placed in a soldier's paybook to enable him to know what the rates of pay are? Having regard to what appears on the face of them to be rather inadequate modifications and simplifications, would my right hon. Friend keep the matter before him and be prepared to receive further representations if necessary?

Sir J. Grigg

It is the intention to put a slip in the paybook. I am always most anxious to pursue the question of simplification of pay and of the Army administrative system generally, but the hon. and gallant Member realises, I have no doubt, that simplifications invariably have to proceed by levelling up and, therefore, have to be expensive.

Captain C. S. Taylor

When will the report be published?

Sir J. Grigg

The Army Orders will be published as soon as possible.