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War Service Grants

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 11 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will amend the procedure notified in Army Council Instructions 566/1943, whereby officers in receipt of war service grants must communicate with the Officer in Command, Army Pay Office, on any matter affecting their pay through their commanding officers and allow such officers to correspond direct with Officer in Command, Pay Office?

Before this Army Council Instruction was issued some officers in receipt of war service grants received their pay from Army agents and some from the Army Pay Office. Manchester. In order to simplify administration it was decided that all these officers should in future receive their pay through the Army Pay Office. Correspondence addressed to this Office about Army pay and allowances from any officer must go through his commanding officer. But this does not prevent an officer writing about a war service grant as hitherto direct to the Ministry of Pensions.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in some cases commanding officers do not look too favourably on officers under their command making applications for war service grants, and as the Ministry of Pensions are doing everything they can to encourage officers and other ranks to make such applications, will he arrange for, perhaps, some secrecy for officers in this matter?

It does not work out that way at all. They are entitled to write to the Ministry of Pensions direct. The Ministry of Pensions have to verify the particulars, and they are verified through the commanding officer.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that is not the case? Verification is done through the commanding officer. Will he say how it helps to simplify administration if somebody else has to intervene in the matter?

I should have said, in reply to the previous Supplementary Question, it is the Army Pay Office the Ministry of Pensions write to, and there is a general rule that correspondence with the Army Pay Office, on every question about pay and Army allowances, should go through the commanding officer.