HC Deb 01 May 1968 vol 763 cc1088-9
12. Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received concerning the new rates of local overseas allowance, and the exchange rates for payments to British troops in the British Army of the Rhine; and what reply he has sent.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army (Mr. James Boyden)

I have received a small number of letters from hon. Members about the present interim rates of local overseas allowance. The replies have been based on the full statement which my hon. Friend the Minister of Defence for Administration made on this subject in the Defence debate on 5th March. The full review of local overseas allowance which my hon. Friend also announced on 5th March starts today.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

But as the overseas allowance is intended basically to compensate men in the Forces for serving overseas, why is it that a married sergeant serving in B.A.O.R. is now £3 a week less well off than he was previously?

Mr. Boyden

I dispute that particular figure, but B.A.O.R. is the first overseas command which is being investigated.

Mr. Allason

Is the Minister aware that there is a suspicion that the intention of the Government is to have very protracted negotiations over the increases in L.O.A. in view of the fact that it is certain that in this country the cost of living will rise in the coming months?

Mr. Boyden

It is a suspicion in the hon. Member's mind, nobody else's.