HC Deb 15 December 1948 vol 459 cc1180-1
5. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that, under Admiralty Fleet Order 5228/42, it is laid down that overpayments to civil servants in His Majesty's Forces need not be claimed back and can be written off, he will extend this concession to officers who may have received overpayments through a mistake of his Department.

Mr. Dugdale

The regulations in Admiralty Fleet Order 5228/42, which refer to overpayments of balance of civil pay to civil servants who were serving in the Armed Forces, do not provide that recovery of the whole overpayment can be waived, but merely limit the amount to be recovered. When an overpayment of Service pay and allowances is made to a serving officer, whether a civil servant or otherwise, and has been received by him in good faith, the Admiralty has discretion to waive recovery of the amount overpaid, either in whole or in part, particularly when recovery would involve undue financial hardship, or when the overpayment was made under a genuine misunderstanding due to ambiguity of orders or regulations.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether any, and if so how many, payments have been made to officers in these circumstances, and is there any reason why an order should not be published definitely placing officers on the same footing as civil servants? Furthermore, is it not a fact that the first claim that is made against a relative of an officer who loses his life on active service is in respect of any advances of pay or overpayments?

Mr. Dugdale

Quite a number have been repaid. The position in the Navy is the same as it is in the other Services. As regards Service pay and allowances, repayments are made in a number of cases, although I cannot say the exact number; it is quite a large number.