HC Deb 26 April 1944 vol 399 cc765-7
45. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Prime Minister what are the Government's proposals for the improvement of service pay and allowances.

46. Mr. Kendall

asked the Prime Minister if he is now in a position to make a statement on pay and allowances for members of His Majesty's Forces.

The Prime Minister

The Government have decided to make certain increases in the pay and allowances of members of the Forces and their families. These are set out in a White Paper which will be available in the Vote Office later in the day.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

May we take it that if, after reading the White Paper, which the House will no doubt do with very great interest, the House would wish to have a day for discussion, the Government will be in a position to give the matter consideration?

The Prime Minister

I think the reading of the White Paper is the first step.


Mr. Bellenger

On a point of Order. In answering Question No. 45 to-day the Prime Minister stated that the Government's proposals regarding Service pay and allowances were embodied in a White Paper which would be available to hon. Members. I understand that this White Paper is now in the Vote Office but will not be available to Members until late in the day. Can you, Mr. Speaker, indicate whether there is any reason why the White Paper should not be released to Members forthwith?

Mr. Speaker

That has nothing to do with me. We only receive the Papers and issue them as instructed by the Government Departments, who usually say that they shall not be issued before a certain time. But, as I have said, the matter is outside my province.

Mr. Bellenger

Then may I ask the Patronage Secretary to state when this White Paper will be available, and why it should not be made available at once?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. James Stuart)

I was not aware that the White Paper was in the Vote Office. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in his reply said it would be available later in the day. I do not know what time the release has been arranged for and, as I have said, I did not know the Paper had arrived.

Lieut-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

Will the Patronage Secretary use his good offices to secure the issue of this White Paper now, as its contents may have a bearing on the points which Members desire to raise in the Debate on the Budget Resolutions?

Mr. Stuart

I now understand that the White Paper has not yet been delivered, and I take it that the hour of release has been fixed in accordance with the usual publicity arrangements.

Mr. Bowles

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that Members will not be behind others in receiving this White Paper?

Mr. Stuart

I am sure it is the desire of the Government that this House should have the earliest possible information.

Mr. Riley

Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what is the hour for release?

Mr. Stuart

I have not that information.

Mr. John Dugdale

May we have an assurance that we shall see this White Paper before we see its contents in he Press?