§ 22. Major Anstruther-Gray
asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the number of applications by Army officers serving in the Canal Zone to relinquish their active commissions; and whether he will make a statement.
§ 21. Mr. Arbuthnot
asked the Secretary of State for War the number of Army officers serving in the Canal Zone who have asked to relinquish their commissions; and what steps are being taken to assist them to maintain their evacuated families now that the overseas scale of family allowances no longer operates.
§ 29. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will inquire into the reasons for the numerous applications by officers in the Canal Zone to relinquish their commissions.
§ Mr. Head
On 1st January this year the ban on the retirement of Regular officers was lifted and, since then, Middle East Command have received 30 applications to retire from officers serving in the Canal Zone. The bulk of these had no doubt accumulated during the imposition of the ban. In the majority of cases the reason given for the application was the expense of family separation. I am looking into this problem.
§ Major Anstruther-Gray
In view of the fact that, as the Minister said, the bulk of these people are married men, can he give an undertaking that he will grant 251 some better family allowance so that he will not have this wastage of much needed officers in an important Service?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
Can the right hon. Gentleman say why, for some considerable time, there has been an apparently unjustified and violent disparity between the pay of serving officers in the Canal Zone and the rates of pay and allowances drawn by members of the War Department Command Secretariat in the Canal Zone, who get a very much higher scale of allowance?
§ Mr. Head
That is not the case. The number of re-engagements, although not as good as elsewhere, do not compare so markedly unfavourably as the hon. Member has indicated. So far as officers are concerned the number is slightly higher, but not a great deal higher than applications for retirement elsewhere.