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Kit Allowance

Volume 391: debated on Tuesday 13 July 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War what items of expenditure the 5½d. a week kit allowance to soldiers is expected to cover; and when was this allowance fixed at its present level?

Until the outbreak of war this allowance was an element in clothing allowance, the rate of which was last changed in February, 1939. It is a grant in aid of the expenditure incurred by the soldier on such items as haircutting, toilet and shaving soap, razor blades, toothpaste and blanco.

Has my right hon. Friend had any experience himself which would lead him to believe that 5½d. a week is sufficient to meet the necessities he has mentioned?

No, it is not sufficient to cover the whole cost. That is why I said that it was a grant in aid.

That question was dealt with in the general settlement of pay and allowances, which was debated in this House some months ago. I think that at present it is as well that that settlement should stand.

Would it not save an enormous amount of labour if the sum was made a round 6d.? That would save the reckoning of small sums which has to be done now?