Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces (Emoluments).

– in the House of Commons on 2nd June 1942.

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Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the disparity in the emoluments enjoyed by those in civilian employ and those serving in the Forces and the hardships thereby entailed, particularly as regards the discharge of such obligations as mortgages, he will consider increasing the pay of those serving in His Majesty's Forces, either by additional weekly payments to the individual or else by instituting a system of deferred payment which would be received in a lump sum by a man on demobilisation?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

My hon. and gallant Friend will recollect that the emoluments of the Forces were reviewed by His Majesty's Government a few months ago and that a number of improvements, including the institution of the post-war credit, were announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 10th February last. I cannot in these circumstances undertake now to review the matter afresh. As regards the discharge of financial obligations by members of the Forces, the improved arrangements for war service grants are designed to prevent hardship from this cause.

Photo of Commander Sir Archibald Southby Commander Sir Archibald Southby , Epsom

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the discrepancy in the payment made to one man in the Army as compared with another man who is doing the same job leads to a considerable amount of soreness, and is he aware that the disparity in payment between men who are risking their lives in the service of the country and those in industry is a source of considerable uneasiness throughout the country?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Labour Party Conference last week asked for an increase in the pay of these men, and will he take note of that?

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is still considerable feeling in the country about the treatment of Service men and their dependants, particularly in regard to investigations into their family means? Will he take steps to look into the matter and re-examine it, with a view to an early decision?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

I will certainly take note of any points which my hon. Friend brings before me.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Will the right hon. Gentleman not look into the general question himself? Is he not aware that great movements of different types in this country are feeling keenly about this matter?