§ Mr. MACPHERSON
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether it is the practice now under Army Order 324 (1919) and Article 2 (Pay Warrant, 1922), which provide for revision of retired pay of officers, to reduce by 5½ per cent. the whole amount of pay of a major who was retired before the War with a fixed pension of £300 a year, had since served throughout the whole War, and had for the last three years been drawing an extra £150, making in all £150, the latter sum of £150 to be revised in accordance with the fall in the cost of living; and by what authority the 5½ per cent. is taken off the fixed pension of £300, which was awarded as a result of services rendered before the War without any reference to the cost of living?
§ Mr. WALSH
I have been asked to reply. The officer in question exercised his option of having his pre-War retired pay re-assessed in accordance with the Royal Warrant of 1919, and the result was that it was increased from £300 a year to 450. He must, however, in securing this benefit, accept the conditions of the 1919 Warrant in their entirety, and one of those conditions was that the new rate should be subject to variation with the cost of living. There is nothing in the Royal Warrant to suggest that the difference only between the old and the new 2079W rates should be thus liable to vary. The relevant words, in paragraph 1 of the "General conditions" appended to the Warrant, are as follow:The new rates shown in the following tables are granted in consideration of the present high cost of living, and the rates of pay, half-pay and retired pay will he subject, after five years. to revision, either upwards or downwards to an extent not exceeding 20 per cent., according as the cost of living rises or falls.The rate of £450 is one of the new rates referred to, and is shown on page 34 of the Warrant, as the maximum rate of retired pay of a major.