HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1268-9W
Mr. J. L. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for War why the scales of baggage entitlement in respect of Army personnel proceeding from Kenya Colony to the United Kingdom were recently amended so that officers may take more baggage and other ranks less than before.

Mr. Lawson

As I explained on 4th December, in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Hackney (Mr. H. Hynd) there has recently been some standardisation of baggage entitlement, to simplify work at the ports, but in most cases this has increased the authorised allowance for other ranks. As I then stated, however, I am looking further into the matter, with particular reference to the effect of the general instruction on other rank entitlement in East Africa Command. I will inform my hon. Friend of the result in due course.

Mr. Collins

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that by Order, dated 23rd November, the maximum baggage entitlement of the wives and children of officers in East Africa Command has been doubled, so that it is now 12 cwts. and 2 cwts., respectively, which is, respectively, six times and four times the allowance to the wives and children of other ranks; and if he will take immediate steps to remove this injustice.

Mr. Lawson

The Order referred to resulted from a recent War Office instruction to all overseas commands, which restored to the families of officers their normal peace time entitlement. This had previously been reduced for operational reasons. Other ranks' families have had their full peace-time scale throughout. The difference in the scales of baggage for officers and other ranks and their families is based on the assumption that whereas an officer has to provide everything in the nature of household requirements for him self and family, many of these items are supplied by the Army to other ranks and their families. In consequence the amount of personal baggage must of necessity be very much higher for officers and their families.