HC Deb 01 May 1919 vol 115 cc364-5W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether Post Office servants serving with the Forces are paid on discharge a gratuity of £1 for each year of service, with a minimum of £2; whether all other soldiers are paid the War gratuity of £5 for the first year and 10s. per month for each subsequent month, whether he is aware that the Post Office men who enlisted voluntarily in August, 1914, did so in expectation of this war gratuity, which had been paid to them on the expiration of the South African War; whether he is aware that his statement that the men would in future receive the service gratuity led the men to suppose that their claim had been met; whether he is aware that the dissatisfaction and unrest have been intensified by the admission that these men are entitled to the same treatment as all other soldiers in the matter of service gratuity whilst the war gratuity is being withheld; and whether he will say what action he proposes to take in the matter?


I have been asked to reply to this question, and regret that I can add nothing to my reply to other questions on the same subject on 10th April.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that telegraphists have been almost entirely debarred from promotion in the Army because it was held by the authorities that a highly skilled telegraphist was too valuable to lose; whether he will inquire if the loss of promotion and increased pay was taken into account when it was decided not to pay these men the war gratuities on discharge; and whether he will personally review the whole question?


I am not aware that the telegraphists have been debarred from promotion as stated by the hon. Member. As regards the war gratuity, I presume that he is referring to those who, as postal servants, received their full civil pay whilst serving in the Army, and can only refer him to the reply given on 10th April to the Member for Burnley.