HC Deb 12 April 1967 vol 744 cc1197-8
45. Mr. Longden

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present position regarding the pay of the Army Legal Services; whether Command Paper No. 2903 of February, 1966, applies; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Healey

Discussions on the new pay scales for Service legal officers were overtaken by the Prices and Incomes Standstill. Increases in pay for these officers are still under consideration and I hope to be able to announce the amounts and the timing before 1st July, 1967, which is the earliest possible date of implementation under Cmnd. 3150.

Mr. Longden

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. From what date will the increases run? Is he aware that these services are greatly undermanned, that one of the greatest needs of justice is that it should he speedy and that these officers are being treated totally differently from their equivalents in other branches?

Mr. Healey

Yes, Sir, I am aware of all these points, and they will, of course, be taken into account in the negotiations.

Mr. Allason

As the other officers received a 12½ per cent. increase, could not the Army legal services receive that increase as a temporary measure while waiting for the further increase, which will, no doubt, come on 1st July?

Mr. Healey

The hon. Member will know that, under Government policy, it is not possible to give people increases now as a temporary measure. All these matters are under consideration, but I hope to be able to announce a decision on this in time for the payment to be made on the first possible date under the law.

Mr. Powell

Why has it not been possible to make an earlier announcement regarding the Government's intentions as to these forgotten men of the last Grigg Award?

Mr. Healey

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that these men are not forgotten. We have been negotiating on their case for some time. This is why we are not able now to take decisions.

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing

On a point of order. Have we not missed Question No. 28? Was it not to be taken with No. 45—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is just unlucky. Mr. Kenneth Lewis, No. 46.