Lost Kit (Compensation)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons on 25th April 1944.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Sidney Shephard Mr Sidney Shephard , Newark

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that compensation for loss of officer's kit due to enemy action is subject to depreciation amounting in some cases to 50 per cent.; and will he take steps to see that an officer is not financially penalised by reason of enemy action.

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

An officer is responsible for the maintenance of his kit from his emoluments. If kit is lost, in circumstances in which compensation is admissible, the compensation is based on the reasonable cost of replacement of the articles specified in a published list, less an abatement for wear and tear. This abatement takes into account the estimated useful life of the article lost but in no case exceeds 50 per cent. of its value new. If depreciation were ignored, the officer who lost his kit would be at an advantage over the officer who had to replace his kit when it was worn out.

Photo of Mr Sidney Shephard Mr Sidney Shephard , Newark

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this rigour of treatment is greatly resented by serving officers, and will he not re-examine the whole question?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

My experience has been that when serving officers complain, and the trouble is taken to explain the Regulations to them, they go away satisfied.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

asked the Secretary of State for War how many of the troops who took part in the battle of El Alamein and who left their kit at the base in Cairo have now discovered articles of personal equipment to be missing from their baggage; and whether replacements or compensation in full is provided by the Army authorities.

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I regret that I have no particulars which would enable me to answer the first part of the Question. Replacement is made, in cash or kind, of all articles of personal equipment necessary for the performance of military duties. Other personal property is, generally speaking, carried by the owner at his own risk.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in one regiment, which left its kit bags in Cairo, practically every officer's kit was tampered with; that many of the men received nothing but empty kit bags, and that they have been told that they will receive no compensation?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

If these were articles of equipment and not bulky personal belongings, which were not necessary for active service, it seems to me that the individuals concerned have been wrongly informed. Perhaps the hon. Member will let me have particulars of the regiment and I will investigate the matter.