asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of a grievance which affects a class of postal servants, namely, those who have served in the signal section or postal section of the Royal Engineers; that on the outbreak of War the Postmaster-General promised pay and allowances, including full civil emoluments and Army pay and allowances; that the War Office have refused to pay the War gratuity on the ground that the men are entitled to full civil pay; and that the Post Office refuse full civil pay and emoluments, the men in question being excluded from all advances in pay and war bonus since 1914; and will he inquire further into the matter?1451W
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
I must refer my right hon. Friend to the reply I gave to questions on this subject asked by the hon. Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) on the 18th of December last, of which I am sending him a copy.
§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War and Air the reason why an ex-soldier employed by the Post Office should not be allowed to draw his pension whilst employed by that Department; why should his military service be taken into consideration when fixing his starting rate of pay; is he aware that a pension is fixed for past services rendered to his country; and can he explain why the War Office should give an instruction that payment of increase of service pension was to be withheld during the man's employment by the Post Office?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Ex-soldiers employed in the Post Office, as a rule, enter at the minimum pay and receive their Army pensions in full. In the exceptional case of pensioners of the "K" Company, Royal Engineers, who by reason of the skill acquired by service in that corps, are given starting pay above the minimum, a deduction is made from the Army pension. This is done because there is considered to be no ground for taking the service into account both for starting pay and pension.