HC Deb 11 March 1959 vol 601 cc1230-1
10. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for War why the sum allocated to National Service grants for 1959–60 is so much greater than the estimate for 1958–59.

Mr. Soames

As hon. Members know, the age of call-up for National Service is being allowed to rise. Because the recruits are older more of them are married and in general they have in civil life heavier obligations than was previously the case. We are making allowance for this by providing for more and larger National Service grants in the coming financial year.

Mr. Chetwynd

But has there been any improvement in the actual scale of the National Service grants? If so, can they be made retrospective to apply to those already made?

Mr. Soames

No, Sir. Each National Service grant is considered on its merits. We have to take account of the fact that over the past three years the number of grants has risen from 7,000 to 9,600 and the average annual amount of individual grants from £80 to £105.