Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (Discharge Gratuities).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

(by Private Notice) asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that the workmen who took their discharge on 25th February from the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, were advised by the representatives of their Departments that in the assessment of their gratuities due on discharge for long and satisfactory service account would be taken of War bonus; and whether he can confirm this, in view of the statements now being made in the Press that these men will only be paid on the basis of their ordinary gratuity?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

As regards the first part of the question, I am not aware that any announcement as to the effect upon these gratuities of the Debate in Committee of Supply last week has been made by the Woolwich Departments. As regards the second part, the question of any change in the method of calculating these gratuities would, under the Statute, be for the Treasury.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

Surely the workmen at Woolwich taking their discharge should have at least equal consideration with the civil servants, whose question was debated—in connection with the pensions of higher officials being based on salaries plus a percentage of the war bonus—only last week.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

I am sure all these considerations will be taken into account.

Photo of Mr Arthur Hayday Mr Arthur Hayday , Nottingham West

May we take it that the matter, as set forth in the latter part of my question, has not been definitely and finally settled?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel George Stanley Lieut-Colonel George Stanley , Preston

I do not think so, but I have no authority to answer that question.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it a fact that the decision arrived at in the House of Commons last week on this pensions question took effect at the time it was passed?

Mr. YOUNG:

I made a very careful statement as to the period at which it would take effect, and perhaps I may refer the hon. Member to that.