HC Deb 04 March 1964 vol 690 cc1284-5
13. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for War which field marshals are on active duty; and what emoluments and services are provided for those who are non-active.

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. James Ramsden)

At present there are no field marshals serving on active duty Excluding the four Royal field marshals, the remaining eight who are not actively employed receive "half-pay" which is currently £3,300 a year. They are not entitled to other emoluments or services, except when they perform specific duties when they receive services appropriate to their rank.

Mr. Hynd

How does the right hon. Gentleman justify paying this large salary to the Maharajah of Nepal, for example? Does this mean that there are two people who are receiving half pay for each of the three Services and that one is receiving half pay for two of the Services? That does not seem to make sense.

Mr. Ramsden

I included His Majesty the King of Nepal in my reference to the Royal field marshals who do not draw any pay.

Mr. W. Hamilton

Why should they?

Mr. Ramsden

I should have thought that the rank of field marshal was one which the country was glad to see awarded to those who had given distinguished military service.

Mr. Hynd

May I say how glad I am to hear that the Royal field marshals and the King of Nepal are not included on the pay list? That clears up the matter I had in mind.

Sir C. Osborne

Will my right hon. Friend reject this insidious suggestion by the Opposition that ex-Service men, no matter what their rank, should be deprived of the pensions which they have properly earned?