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Service Pay And Allowances (Co-Ordination)

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1943

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asked the Prime Minister what permanent machinery exists for the purpose of co-ordinating rates of pay and allowances between the three Services; and is he aware that so far as the Navy is concerned there has been no advance in the pay of senior officers since 1938 and that each of the three Services appears to act in this matter with little or no consideration for what the others are doing?

Co-ordination in this sphere of Government as in others rests ultimately on the existence of a united Government collectively responsible for its acts. It is maintained in practice by the normal machinery of constant Ministerial and inter-departmental consultation, and I cannot accept my hon. and gallant Friend's suggestion that the Services or the Ministers responsible for them fail to co-operate to the fullest extent in matters of common concern. As regards the pay of senior naval officers, no general advances have been made since 1938 in the pay of senior members of any Crown Service, and none is at present contemplated.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a tendency to isolated discussions with the Treasury, which, unless they are coordinated, do certainly lead to anomalies? There was a case in the House only last week concerning a rise of pay for commissioned officers in the Army, which is a case in point.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that quite frequently suggested improvements are put up by the Service Departments and are not accepted by the finance branches of those Service Departments, and that it is only when the House forces a Debate that we can get any improvement? Is there no better way?