HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 cc558-9
6. Mr. Chichester-Clark

asked the Minister of State for Defence what action he proposes to take to ameliorate hardship caused to members of the Ulster Defence Regiment by the actions of some of their civilian employers in withholding remuneration for days lost because of service to the Crown; and whether he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ian Gilmour)

Every effort is made to avoid a clash between U.D.R. duties and a volunteer's civil employment. Where this is unavoidable many employers already either pay wages in full for any days lost or make up the difference between Army rates and civilian pay. The Ministry of Defence will continue to encourage other employers to adopt a similar sympathetic attitude.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

In the light not only of last night's utterly tragic occurrence but of the general seriousness of the situation, will my hon. Friend take every opportunity to publicise the desirability of some employers making a small sacrifice themselves to help those concerned to do their duty, and will he at the same time have a good look at the tax and general pay conditions of these men?

Mr. Gilmour

I will do both. It is worth pointing out that the C.B.I. has made representations to employers in Ulster on this matter.