HC Deb 09 March 1944 vol 397 cc2186-7
48. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Prime Minister, if he will consider a revision of service pay with a condition that such increase shall accrue as a post-war credit.

The Prime Minister

I have nothing to add at this stage to what I said on 7th March, and to the statements made by the Leader of the House in the course of the Debate on 2nd March.

Mr. Edwards

As the main reason for not conceding this increase of pay was that it would create wild inflation, and as there is not the slightest justification for such a statement, does the Prime Minister not realise that, in withholding this increased payment which is due to these men, the rest of the community are merely picking the pockets of the Service man?

The Prime Minister

Of course, it is always easy to get popularity by using an expression like picking people's pockets," but when you consider the gravity of the times in which we live, it is a pity that these matters should be discussed other than with a great sense of responsibility. I have nothing to add, because Question Time is not the time when the merits of these important matters, about which there is legitimate and keen interest in the House, should be discussed. Question Time is not the time when the merits of a large question can be threshed out.

Major Anstruther-Gray

Without pressing the Prime Minister on this point, may I ask that he will bear in mind that, as things now stand, most Service men will have a far smaller nest-egg of savings at the end of the war than most civilians?

The Prime Minister

I naturally am deeply concerned with the position of our Armed Forces, and the statements made by the Foreign Secretary show that, within certain limits and subject to the reservations which he most prudently affirmed, a certain re-consideration is now being given to these matters.