§ 3.19 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE EARL OF SELKIRK
My Lords, I beg to move the Second Reading of this Bill. The purpose of this limited Bill is to remove certain doubts and obscurities and to clarify the position in regard to the manner in which the pay of the Reserve Forces should be laid down. What, in fact, Clause 1 (1) says is that the pay of Reserve Forces will be laid down in exactly the same way as the pay of the Regular Forces by Order in Council, and in Clause 1 (3) it is made clear that the Act of 1946 should not apply to such Orders in Council, so that, where necessary, as is so often the case with pay claims, the effect of the Order can be to some extent retrospective.
The Act of 1865 governs the position of the pay of Regular Forces and this now puts it on exactly the same footing. Many of the Acts governing Reserve pay go back quite a long way and often apply in a manner which has comparatively little relation to the manner in which these matters are handled to-day. The effect of this is to give a certain rigidity to the system which in some circumstances, I am informed, might conceivably result in the rates of pay for Reserve ratings being higher than those for Regular ratings. This is the sort of anomaly which is unacceptable to us to-day. This is a small Bill which does not change any existing situation but 211 removes the possibility of difficulties arising under any future Reserve Forces pay code. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Selkirk.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a; Committee negatived.