asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the actual pay of men of the Maritime R.A. is much lower than that of members of the Merchant Navy whilst serving in the same merchant ships under conditions on board which are largely similar; and will he take steps to remove the anomaly and satisfy himself that other conditions which apply to the Maritime R.A. and not to the merchant seamen such as clothes, sick pay, marriage and children's allowances, free travel, pension rights and any other differences, cause the position of the R.A. men to be, on the whole, as favourable as that of the merchant seamen?
It is true that the actual pay of men in the Maritime R.A. is lower than that of members of the Merchant Navy. The former are, as my hon. Friend suggests, in receipt of benefits additional to their actual rates of pay which are not available to men of the Merchant Navy, but it is difficult to make a close comparison of the gross emoluments of the two categories of personnel. Men of the Maritime R.A. are paid at the same rates as soldiers in other sections of the R.A. and it would be invidious, in comparison with those other soldiers, to pay the Maritime R.A. on the basis applicable to the Merchant Navy, whose conditions of service are entirely different.