HC Deb 28 February 1951 vol 484 cc2085-6
51. Brigadier Clarke

asked the Minister of Defence if he will grant local overseas allowances to Service personnel who have left their families in Hong Kong or Malaya.

Mr. Shinwell

Local overseas allowance is already paid to these families at a rate equivalent to the difference between the married and single rates for the station.

Brigadier Clarke

Does the Minister appreciate that yesterday the Secretary of State for War said that men serving in Korea have extra expenses? If they have left their wives behind in Malaya and Hong Kong they need extra money to sustain the same standard of living.

Mr. Shinwell

This has been in operation for some time and we have had no complaints about it.

Mr. A. R. W. Low

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that N.A.A.F.I. prices seem to have risen quite recently, and is it not about time to review the overseas allowance?

Mr. Shinwell

It is quite impossible, when there is some slight modification in price levels, to adjust the pay code.

Air Commodore Harvey

The right hon. Gentleman said that there have been no complaints. Does that not show that he is out of touch with the military situation in Malaya?

Mr. Shinwell

We have repeatedly made clear to our command in Malaya and elsewhere, that if they wish to make any representations to us relating to the Forces under their command in any matter they should do so.

Major Legge-Bourke

Arising out of the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Low), will the right hon. Gentleman distinguish between the pay code and local overseas allowances? They are quite a different matter.

Mr. Shinwell

That is quite a different question, too.