§ Sir G. Jeffreys
asked the Secretary of State for War why operators (fire control) of heavy anti-aircraft batteries, Royal Artillery, were recently deprived, without any notice, of tradesmen's rates of pay, which they had been drawing for 15 months; whether, when the announcement was made, they were informed that the change was to take effect from a date several weeks earlier, with the result that they were all thrown into debt to the public; and whether he will take steps to remedy this obvious injustice?
§ Captain Margesson
It was decided that the duties performed by soldiers acting as operators (fire control) did not warrant a continuation of the trade grading previously assigned to them, and this trade was accordingly removed from the list of Army trades with effect from 31st January, 1941. Men who at this date were mustered in the trade in question are entitled, under the normal rule applying in such cases, to retain their tradesmen's rates of pay for a period of six months from that date. It has recently come to notice that this point was not appreciated by all concerned, and steps are accordingly being taken to make it clear. No question of a soldier being put into debt therefore arises.