HC Deb 05 February 1947 vol 432 cc1766-7
46. Commander Noble

asked the Minister of Defence why 19th December, 1945, was chosen as the effective date for the increases in retired pay, announced in Cmd. 6750; and whether consideration will be given to advancing this to the date on which general demobilisation and releases started.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

The date 19th December, 1945, was chosen to ensure that officers and men were treated alike. The postwar pension code for men had already been introduced currently with its announcement on that date. There is a scheme for reassessing the retired pay of officers who left the Services, after serving in the war, before 19th December, 1945.

49. Vice-Admiral Taylor

asked the Minister of Defence whether he is arranging with the Service Ministers to present draft Royal Warrants authorising increases in officers' retired pay similar to those provided, in the case of civil servants, by the Pensions (Increase) Bill.

Mr. Alexander

As I explained on 3rd December last, in reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Tiverton (Mr. Amory), the new provisions will be applied, on the same basis, to Forces retired pay and pensions. This was stated in the explanatory memorandum attached to the Pensions (Increase) Bill.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the details of the Royal Warrants will be made public?

Mr. Alexander

I do not think that there will be any long delay and as soon as they are ready copies will be placed in the Library.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether we will have an opportunity of discussing Royal Warrants? I ask this question because on the Pensions (Increase) Bill we were prevented from discussing the merits of the proposal, and if there is not a discussion before they are adopted it means that the thing will go by default as far as this House is concerned.

Mr. Alexander

It has never been customary to present a Royal Warrant in the House. A copy is always made available in the Library to Members. Subject to the ruling of the Chair, these matters could be discussed in Committee of Supply on the Estimates.