HC Deb 18 May 1944 vol 400 cc339-41
44. Mr. R. C. Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that recent changes in service pay and allowances has resulted in the pay of certain R.A.F. married personnel being reduced by 3s. to 4s. per week; and, in view of the discontent caused by this unexpected position, will he take steps to rectify this anomaly.

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. In no case is any reduction in pay involved. As indicated in paragraph 5 of the White Paper (Command 6521), certain increases have been made, in the case of the Royal Air Force, in the allotment which a married man is required to make from his pay towards the support of his wife or family. These increases are necessary in order to bring the Royal Air Force broadly into line with the other two Services in this respect and to ensure that the benefits for families announced in the White Paper would be uniform in their application to all three Services. No increased allotments are involved for airmen on the lower rate of pay. The allotments to be made by men paid from 4s. 9d. a day up to 9s. a day will be increased by sums ranging from 3d. to 9d. a day. The highest rate of allotment in this range of pay will be is. 9d. a day which will be made by men on rates of pay over 7s. a day and not exceeding 9s. a day. Full details of the changes in allotment rates are given in a table which, with the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT. In no case where the allotment has been changed is there any reduction in the joint receipts of man and wife, and where the wife has a child or children there is in all cases an increase in the joint receipts. For administrative reasons the rates of qualifying allotment must be the same for airmen with childless wives as for other married airmen.

Mr. Morrison

Does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman think it unfortunate that after all the Press and radio publicity about this, the net result, so far as married men in the Royal Air Force are concerned, is that 3s. to 4s. have been deducted from their pay and added to the wives' allowance, and that, therefore, the men are under the impression that the Government have increased the wives' allowance by decreasing the men's pay?

Following is the table:

Airman's daily rate of pay Allotments required from married airman
New daily rate Old daily rate
s. d. s. d.
3s. and over, but less than 3s. 6d. 6 6
3s. 6d. and over, but less than 3s. 9d. 9 9
3s. 9d. and over, but less than 4s. 9 1 0
4s. and over, but less than 4s. 9d. 1 0 1 0
4s. 9d. and over, but less than 5s. 6d. 1 3 1 0
5s. 6d. and over, but not exceeding 7s. 1 6 1 0
Over 7s. but not exceeding 8s. 1 9 1 0
Over 8s. but not exceeding 9s. 1 9 1 6
Over 9s. but not exceeding 10S. 2 0 2 0
Over 10s. but not exceeding 11s. 2 0 2 0
Over us. but not exceeding 12s 2 6 2 6
Over 12s. 3 6 3 6

45. Mr. Kendall

asked the Prime Minister if he proposes to issue a further White Paper when the Government have, completed their consideration of the anomalies arising from the recent decision on increases of pay and allowances.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

It is certainly the intention of the Government that their decisions on the matters of detail which were reserved for further examination when the recent major decisions were taken should be announced first to the House of Commons. Whether a White Paper or an oral statement would be the most convenient method of doing this it is too early to say.

Mr. J. J. Lawson

Are the Government considering the possibility of recalling the joint committee which considered this matter with the Government representatives with considerable success?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir; I do not think that that will be necessary. We are in possession of the views expressed by the committee, and I think we shall be able to produce our own proposals on this.

Mr. Kendall

Shall we have a chance of debating whatever statement is made on these anomalies by the Government?

Mr. Eden

If my hon. Friend, after seeing the result of our cogitations, feels the need for a Debate, we can consider the matter then.

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