HC Deb 07 March 1945 vol 408 cc2004-5
23 Squadron-Leader Sir Gifford Fox

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether (1) in view of the fact that during the war ex-warrant officers in the R.A.F. promoted to officer rank have been expected to bear equal responsibility with the non-ranker officers, he will now take steps to remove the substantial anomalies with regard to rates of pension for R.A.F. ex-warrant officers;

(2) whether he is aware that the maximum retired pay for a group captain who has been promoted from warrant-officer rank is £317 per annum as against a maximum of £750 in the case of group captains, general duties; and what steps he proposes to take to reduce this differ- entiation which operates so excessively to the disadvantage of the man promoted from warrant-officer rank;

(3) whether he is aware that a warrant officer commisioned before 2nd September, 1939, is limited to a maximum pension of £317 a year, whilst a man commissioned from A.C.2 after 3rd September, 1939, can earn retired pay up to £407 per annum; and when he expects to be able to rectify these anomalies.

Sir A. Sinclair

The scale of retired pay of officers who have served continuously as such is not strictly comparable with that appropriate to officers who have been commissioned from warrant-officer rank, since the former takes into account the fact that the full responsibilities of officer rank have been carried throughout the officer's career. The rates of retired pay of officers who, on commissioning, whether before or after the outbreak of war, were serving as airmen (including warrant officers) on regular engagements, are however now being examined in connection with a review, at present in its early stages, of the rates of retired pay, and the regulations under which they are granted, in the Services generally.

Sir G. Fox

Can my right hon. Friend give any indication when a decision would be taken on this subject?

Sir A. Sinclair

No, I am afraid I cannot, while the review is in progress.

Wing-Commander Grant-Ferris

Will my right hon. Friend also bear in mind that while what he says in the first part of his answer is correct, the officers have incurred further expenditure in education and that it is absolutely necessary that some satisfactory answer should be given?

Sir A. Sinclair

Yes, Sir, certainly that will be borne in mind.