Pay.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 10th February 1942.

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Photo of Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid , St Marylebone

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any information as to how the pay of a private in the British Army compares with that of a man of the same rank in the Canadian and the Australian forces?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

asked the Secretary of Stag for War how the pay and rations of the British Army compare with those of the American soldiers as stationed in this country or Northern Ireland?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg , Altrincham

I cannot speak with authority on the rates of pay and allowances drawn by soldiers in the Dominion and American Forces, but I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement containing information that I have been able to obtain in regard to the pay of private soldiers.

Photo of Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid , St Marylebone

Is it not a fact that the minimum pay for a private in the infantry in the British Army is 2s. 6d., while the minimum pay for a similar rank in the armies of our Dominions is 5s.?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg , Altrincham

This is a very delicate and difficult question which I do not think it is at all desirable to discuss by Question and Answer in this House.

Photo of Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid Captain Alec Cunningham-Reid , St Marylebone

Would the hon. Gentleman answer this Question; is it not a fact that Dominion soldiers, when they come over here, get an increased allowance, while our soldiers, when they go abroad, do not?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg Lieut-Colonel Sir Edward Grigg , Altrincham

I must ask the hon. and gallant Member to study the statement which I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

The pay of a private in our own Forces depends on his length of service and proficiency, and if he is a tradesman, on his trade rating. The rate of a non-trades- man private rises from 2s. 6d. a day on enlistment by the addition of increments and proficiency pay to a possible maximum of 4s. 3d. a day after three years' service. These figures do not take into account the effect of any announcement the Prime Minister may make.

I hesitate to speak about the pay of the Canadian and Australian Forces; but if my information is correct the non-tradesman private in the Canadian Army receives 1.30 dollars a day. An Australian receives about 4s. 9d. in English sterling, while in Australia; outside Australia, I understand, certain additions are payable in the form of exchange allowance and deferred pay which bring the daily pay up to the equivalent of 6s. 9d. a day, sterling.

The private soldier in all Armies, of course, receives a good deal apart from his pay in other ways, e.g. in our case food, lodging, free insurance, laundry, and amenities of various kinds, as well as allowances for family or dependants, special grants from the Ministry of Pensions in certain circumstances and non-effective benefits in the event of death or disablement.

To make a full comparison it would be necessary to take all these things into account with any corresponding provision that may be made for Dominion soldiers and the conditions which govern them. I cannot speak with knowledge of all these details but I understand, for example, that the Canadian private has to allot approximately half his pay as a condition of drawing an allowance for his family. I am also informed that a non-tradesman private in the United States Army draws 21 dollars a month on enlistment rising to 30 dollars after four months, these rates applying equally to single and married men. I am not aware what proportion of these emoluments the man may draw in sterling in this country' or Northern Ireland. The hon. and gallant Members will in consequence realise that comparisons of rates between one country and another are apt to mislead and also to breed dissatisfaction.