Marriage Allowance.

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy. – in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Vice-Admiral Taylor:

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, under the marriage allowance scheme, childless married officers in an appointment on shore where no official quarters are provided and who nominally receive 7s. 6d. and 6s. 6d. extra a day will be financially better off at the end of the year, and to what extent in the case of captains, commanders, and lieutenant-commanders, respectively?

Mr. Cooper:

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Captains will, however, benefit only to the extent of a few shillings. Commanders and lieutenant-commanders will gain £2 2S. 6d.

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

since the date mentioned there have been six visits to Malta and five to Gibraltar by the Ministers in question. With the hon. and gallant Member's permission I will circulate the further details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Reginald Fletcher Mr Reginald Fletcher , Nuneaton

What is the matter with the naval establishments at Malta and Gibraltar when they call for such frequent visits of inspection from representatives of the Admiralty—11 visits in seven years?

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

Eleven visits in seven years is not a very large number. The hon. and gallant Member must recollect that Ministers have changed during that period. The right hon. Gentleman opposite was about to carry out one of these visits when a change was made in the Government.

Photo of Mr Reginald Fletcher Mr Reginald Fletcher , Nuneaton

Do not these numerous visits to Malta and Gibraltar indicate that they are far more for the purpose of affording a joy ride than for naval inspection purposes?

Following are the details:

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

The White Paper announced that the officers will receive 7s. 6d. and 6s. 6d. a day, but does the First Lord not consider, in view of the answers that he has given to me, that that is an exceedingly misleading statement? The officers only receive, in the case of a captain, 7s. 6d. & year, and in the case of the other officers £2 2s. 6d. a year.

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

I have explained on several occasions to my hon. and gallant Friend that this alteration was made in order to make sure that under the new scheme married officers without children should not be worse off than before. As a result of it, it was intended that they should be about the same, but they are in fact better off. As I have informed my hon. and gallant Friend often before, no officer will be worse off as a result of the change, but nearly every officer will be better off.

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

While thanking my right hon. Friend, may I say that it is not a very great recommendation to the married officers to say that no officer will be worse off under the scheme than he was before?

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether a captain in a shore appointment with an official residence, on the service furniture of which he has to pay 7 per cent. per annum of its capital value, will receive marriage allowance under the scheme?

Photo of Mr Duff Cooper Mr Duff Cooper , Westminster St George's

Married officers, who are provided with an official residence in which their families can join them, draw children's allowances only.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

May I ask whether in the matter of these allowances the First Lord has consulted the Minister of Labour, who has a wide experience of how low allowances can be?

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

May I ask a supplementary question?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

There are 101 Questions on the Order Paper. If hon. Members persist in asking so many supplementary questions, the House will have to arrange some other method of dealing with Questions.

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

I have not asked a supplementary question on this question. I ask your permission to put one.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

Hon. Members may ask supplementaries on their questions, but it is not necessary on every occasion to ask a supplementary question.

Vice-Admiral Taylor:

On a point of Order. If the answer the hon. Member receives does not clear up the point which he desires to clear up, is he not permitted to ask a supplementary question?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

Whether the Minister clears up the point or not, very often hon. Members ask supplementary questions.