asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the recent article headed "Red Tape: Soldiers paid for Crime," a copy of which has been sent to him; and what steps he takes to ensure that if a civil servant non-commissioned officer is reduced in rank, even for disciplinary reasons, he is not compensated by an increase in his civil pay by the amount he has lost from his military pay?
Yes, Sir, but the suggestion conveyed by the article that civil servants serving with the Forces receive unduly favourable treatment in this matter is not one which I can accept. When a civil servant thus serving is reduced in military, etc., rank for disciplinary reasons, Departments are instructed to consider what action would have been taken had a similar offence been committed by him whilst in Departmental employment. If the offence would have involved dismissal from the Civil Service, balance of civil pay is to be stopped; if the offence is rather less serious, balance of civil pay may be continued at the same rate as before without compensating for the reduction in military, etc., pay, or it may be otherwise adjusted at the Department's discretion. It is only when a civil servant is reduced in rank in circumstances which do not call for any downward adjustment of his total emoluments that the reduction in military, etc., pay is made good by an increase in balance of civil pay.