HC Deb 13 July 1955 vol 543 cc1903-4
1. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Defence if he will review the rates of retired pay and pensions payable to former Regular members of the Armed Forces, with a view to raising them to an adequate level in relation to the current cost of living.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

The hon. Member will find a full statement of Her Majesty's Government's policy in this matter in the White Paper of March, 1954 (Cmd. 9092). I cannot add to this.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Minister aware of the grave dissatisfaction among Regular Service pensioners of all ranks with the policy stated in that White Paper? Are we to take it that that is the Government's last word on the subject of the very inadequate scales of retired pay and pensions to Regular Service personnel of all ranks?

Mr. Lloyd

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will have seen the answer which the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave yesterday to a Question dealing with this matter. I think I must leave the matter there.

Mr. Boyd

Is not the Minister aware that the White Paper to which he has referred relates only to officers and civil servants? Will a statement be made in regard to other ranks?

Mr. Lloyd

On the whole question of Service pay and pensions I must stand by what my right hon. Friend said yesterday. There is a certain ground for hope in that.

Captain Pilkington

Will my right hon. and learned Friend at least undertake that the Government will reconsider this matter before the next Budget?

Mr. Lloyd

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to what the Chancellor said yesterday.

7. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Defence what reply he sent to the letter of 16th April last from the Officers' Pensions Society about officers retired under the 1919 code.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

An acknowledgment was sent on my behalf to this letter which did not, in terms, ask for a reply. It commented at considerable length on the debate on 6th April in another place on the retired pay of the officers mentioned in the hon. and gallant Member's Question.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is not the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the officers concerned feel that they have been grossly deceived by what they regard as a shocking breach of faith on the part of the Government? Is he not also aware that Lord Salisbury gave a pledge in another place that he would bring this matter to the personal attention of the Prime Minister? Is this the only outcome of all that?

Mr. Lloyd

I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman should again read the Chancellor's Answer yesterday, which covers this matter.