HC Deb 13 April 1949 vol 463 cc2824-5
34. Mr. A. R. W. Low

asked the Minister of Defence whether he is aware that better allowances are payable to civil servants than to officers of the Fighting Forces on permanent change of station; and whether he will now introduce better allowances for officers of the Fighting Forces.

Mr. Alexander

The regulations governing the payment of expenses on transfer for Service officers have only recently been revised after full consideration by the Service Departments. The regulations are different from those for civil servants, since the general conditions of service for officers and civil servants are dissimilar.

Mr. Low

Is it not true that these allowances for civil servants are better than the allowances given to officers in the Fighting Forces, and, in view of the fact that officers in the Fighting Forces are more frequently called upon to change their station, should not the Minister have another look at this matter in the light of the facts, and particularly in the light of present-day costs of moving?

Mr. Alexander

This has all been taken into consideration in the previous review of the conditions attaching to the Services. The conditions for civil servants are, in fact, very different. They are not displaced so often. The general level of their rates of pay is lower compared with that of corresponding officer ranks, and all this has been taken into consideration. I have nothing to add, therefore, to my answer.

Major Legge-Bourke

Do the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman cover also the employees of British Overseas Airways, and, if not, will he look into that matter also, because it is certainly a case of discrepancy?

Mr. Alexander

I will certainly have a look at it, but I do not regard them as being in quite the same category.

Commander Noble

Does the Minister's answer mean that he has abandoned the idea of what I think he once referred to as a "disturbance allowance"?

Mr. Alexander

The general question of officers' expenses was taken into account when we fixed the increased marriage allowance.

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