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Surgeon-Commanders (Retired Pay)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the position of certain senior surgeon-commanders, Royal Navy, as a result of the awarding in the year 1919 of a 50 per cent. Increase; in pay and pension of officers; whether surgeon-commanders who were over 50 years of age at the time of this increase now find themselves entitled to a pension less than 10 per cent. greater than the old rate, though by age and length of service they have earned up to 50 per cent. increase: whether this small group of officers were considered by the Halsey Committee and their case embodied in the Report of that Committee; and whether steps will be taken to remedy this state of affairs?

The position of these officers has already been brought to the notice of the Admiralty. The Halsey Committee, on whose recommendation the changes made in the rates of retired pay in 1919 were based, did not propose an all-round percentage increase in the rates, but aimed at assimilating, as far as possible, the rates in the various branches, and with this object, laid down a uniform scale of retired pay for all officers of the relative rank of commander, including surgeon commanders. On this scale, the rate of retired pay was subject in each case to a maximum of £600 per annum. As the maximum obtainable by a surgeon commander under the old Regulations was £547 10s. per annum, the rates for certain surgeon commanders under the new Regulations were increased by less than 10 per cent., and the percentage increase generally is smaller than that in other branches, where smaller maxima were previously in force. Such a difference, however, is inherent in any scheme which has for its aim the assimilation of the conditions in various branches, and while, therefore, some officers may have benefitted more than others by the changes made, the Admiralty do not think it desirable to make any modifications in the scheme in order to meet the case of particular classes of officers.