asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps has recently retired, after 20 years' service, with a pension of £328 per annum, and that this sum is £37 below the sum he understood he would receive, after 20 years' service, when he joined the corps; and if he will take steps to secure that no officer who joined the corps before the warrant of 1919 came into force will in future be retired on a lower pension than he would have received under conditions existing when he joined the corps?
The fact referred to by the hon. and gallant Member is due to the joint effect, on this individual case, of the rule that service on the West Coast counts double towards the 20 years required for voluntary retirement, and of the introduction in 1919 of a rank element into the calculation of retired pay. I am, however, looking further into the position.
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a major, Royal Army Medical Corps, retiring after 20 years' service, only received an increase by the 1919 Warrant of £31 to his previous pension of £365, and that, by the reduction of 5½ per cent. on the increased pension of £396, he has had the increase reduced not by 27½ per cent., but by nearly 67 per cent.; and if he will take steps to secure that these officers do not in future have their pensions reduced by a larger amount than 27½ per cent. of the increase granted in 1919?
My hon. and gallant Friend's question is, I think, based on a misapprehension. The revision due to the fall in the cost of living which was made from the 1st July last, applied to the 1919 rate of retired pay itself and not to the difference between the rates under the 1914 and 1919 Warrants. A reduction of 5½ per cent, was therefore applied correctly to the 1919 Warrant rate of £396 per annum in the instance quoted. A full explanation was given in the statement which appeared in the Press last December, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. and gallant Friend.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that., despite his explanations, this fact and similar facts are responsible in a large degree for the failure to recruit to this Service, which is so dangerous for the whole Army?
I am very sorry if that should be the case. I can quite well understand that some misapprehension has arisen, and it is for that reason that a printed statement of what actually has happened has been circulated, and I shall be very glad to send the hon. and gallant Member a copy.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that, it is not the misapprehension, it, is the fact that he is sailing so close to the wind and not giving sufficient remuneration?