HC Deb 22 April 1964 vol 693 cc1294-6
27. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what local overseas allowance is paid to British troops serving in Cyprus.

Mr. Thorneycroft

As the information requested consists of a Table of figures I will, with permission circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Driberg

Would the right hon. Gentleman say why he did not include this information with the other information which he gave in reply to Question No. 33 last Wednesday, in which it was asked for? Was this because the local overseas allowance for British troops is only 15s. 9d. a week as compared with the £7 paid to the Swedes?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am sorry if I did not circulate it if it was asked for. I would willingly have done so. The hon. Member will see that it is fully set out and is fairly comprehensive. He is right in saying that on balance, although comparisons are difficult to make, they are not as well paid as are members of services of other nationalities.

Mrs. Emmet

Does not my right hon. Friend think it time that the whole question of the payment for military services offered by countries to keep United Nations peace in various parts of the world was fully discussed at the General Assembly, perhaps this autumn, by some suitable committee and that some form of universal cost was agreed upon? Is it not true that at present those nations which are generous enough

Rank (Army ranks used for convenience) Single Accommodated in Barracks Married Unaccompanied Accommodated in Barracks Married Accompanied Accommodated in Married Quarters Married Accompanied Accommodated in Private Accommodation
Weekly Weekly Weekly Weekly
£ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d.
General Officers 1 16 9 3 15 3 9 2 0 15 6 3
Brigadier 1 13 3 3 11 9 8 8 0 14 5 3
Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel 1 9 9 3 8 3 7 14 0 13 4 3
Officers below Lieutenant-Colonel 1 6 3 3 4 9 7 0 0 12 3 3
Warrant Officer I 1 2 9 2 3 9 5 8 6 11 12 9
Warrant Officer II and Staff-Sergeant 1 0 5 2 1 5 4 19 9 10 15 3
Sergeant 18 1 1 19 1 4 11 0 9 17 9
Corporal and below 15 9 1 16 9 4 2 3 9 0 3

to offer their services pay for it and that the troops are placed in the embarrassing position of all being paid different rates for carrying out the same services? Is it not time that this matter was thoroughly thrashed out?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That may be so, but the question is perhaps more appropriate to the Foreign Secretary than to me, as it deals with the United Nations. The point that I made last week on this matter was that, as far as the Ministry of Defence is concerned, I am rather in a difficulty in this in differentiating between the pay to the same type of men—British soldiers—in Cyprus and indeed in one overseas theatre compared with another.

Mr. Healey

While recognising the right hon. Gentleman's difficulties, may I ask whether he would answer the question that I put to him last week, which was whether as Secretary of State for Defence he would ask the Foreign Secretary to raise this matter in the United Nations, because this seems to be the only just way of solving the problem of removing these very serious anomalies which are damaging the morale of our troops?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I have no doubt that this question will be drawn to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

An Hon. Member

Why do not you do it?

Mr. Speaker

Order. That is not even a question rightly addressed to the Minister.

Following is the information:

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