HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1818-9
7. Mr. Basil Nield

asked the Secretary of State for War why extra tropical kit allowance is available only to male officers who were posted to stations requiring such kit on or after 3rd November, 1948; and if he is aware of the hardship falling upon officers so posted prior to that date.

Mr. M. Stewart

The date 3rd November, 1948, was selected as being the date of introduction of improved scales of tropical kit and of the announcement that the State would in future meet the reasonable cost of officers' uniform on first commissioning. My right hon. Friend is not aware of hardship having fallen on officers posted to tropical stations before that date. It is understood that most of them were already in possession of the majority of the items authorised by the new scales.

Mr. Nield

Is it not a fact that a considerable number of short service officers were posted to the Far East in August, 1948, and did not, of course, qualify for the extra £22; and is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that they feel this is rather unfair, and that they have not had explained to them the reason for the limiting date?

Mr. Stewart

The reason for the limiting date has, if my memory serves me rightly, been mentioned in the House before and will be known to them. Whenever a new allowance is issued, there will be some who fail to qualify, but I do not think, in view of what I have just mentioned, that it involves hardship.