HC Deb 25 July 1950 vol 478 c41W
92. Squadron Leader Burden

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that whereas substantive rank of commander, Royal Navy, and wing commander, Royal Air Force, can be reached at the age of 35, substantive Army rank of lieutenant-colonel cannot now be attained before the age of 43; and if he will take steps to rectify this anomaly.

Mr. Strachey

It is not correct to say that promotion to the substantive rank of lieutenant-colonel cannot be attained before the age of 43, though I agree that 42 or 43 is at present the normal age. The 1946 Pay Code contemplated broad equality between the three Services, but it was recognised that, generally, promotion in the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force would be earlier than in the Army. For this reason, qualification pay was granted as a compensation. Although it is desirable, for obvious reasons, to have parity between the three Services, it is not always possible to achieve this owing to their differing structure and requirements. As I stated on 11th July, a full examination is at present being carried out in regard to the career structure and prospects within the Army.