HC Deb 03 August 1944 vol 402 cc1621-2W
Viscount Suirdale

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) why the pay and allowances of V.A.D.'s working in military hospitals was reduced from 30s. to 22s. 6d. per week on 1st January of this year; and whether he will amend the Regulations so that the service in E.M.S. hospitals of V.A.D.'s who have served for considerable periods in such hospitals before being transferred to military hospitals may be included when calculating their rates of pay;

(2) whether he is aware that although the status and rates of pay of V.A.D.'s serving in military hospitals was reduced by his Department as from 1st January, 1944, no such action was taken by the Admiralty or the Air Ministry; and why his Department found it necessary to take this step which has created a widespread feeling of injustice.

Sir J. Grigg

The change which took place on 1st January last did not result in any reduction in pay, but rather in an increase due to the grant of increments for previous service. The allowance of 24s. 6d. a week for board and washing previously admissible for Grade I nursing members was, however, replaced by the provision of food in kind, in accordance with normal Army practice, supplemented by a special allowance of 2s. 6d. a week for washing. On the introduction of increments for service, the normal practice was followed of allowing only service with the Armed Forces to reckon for this purpose, and I am not prepared to make an exception to this rule by permitting service with a civil organisation to reckon. The changes which took place on 1st January of this year were the result of recommendations made by the Elliot Committee, whose report was published as Command Paper 6448. I would also refer my Noble Friend to what I said in the Debate on women in National Service which took place on 3rd August, 1943.