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Military Attachés

Volume 446: debated on Tuesday 27 January 1948

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asked the Secretary of State for War what is the equivalent rank in the Diplomatic Service for Military and Assistant Military Attachés; whether they receive the same pay and allowances; what is the present arrangement for dealing with local cost-of-living changes; whether such arrangements are retrospective; and whether an inspector has been sent out to inquire into their financial problems.

As the answer is long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Can the Under-Secretary say whether, in a particular case such as France, where for many months the franc has obviously not been worth the equivalent of what should have been paid to these people, he is doing the same as the Foreign Office, and making a financial adjustment so that these people will not suffer?

The hon. Member will see from the answer that that matter is not overlooked.

Following is the answer:

There are no ranks in the Foreign Service strictly equivalent to Military Attaché and Assistant Military Attaché, but for purposes of precedence a Military Attaché normally ranks with, but after the Counsellor, and the Assistant Military Attaché with, but after the Second Secretary. Although Military Attachés and Assistant Military Attachés do not receive the same pay and allowances as any members of the Foreign Service staffs, the local allowances for Military Attachés are assessed in relation to those for Counsellors and the local allowances for Assistant Military Attachés in relation to those for Military Attaches. Where, as a result of changes in the local costs of living, the allowances for Counsellors are adjusted, proportionate adjustments are made in the allowances for Military Attachés and Assistant Military Attachés.

Where increases are made in local allowances for Military Attachés, they are given the same degree of retrospection as is applied to the allowances for Foreign Service staffs. The allowances for Foreign Service staffs are adjusted in the light of information obtained by visiting inspectors and, in view of the relationship maintained between those allowances and the allowances of Military Attachés and Assistant Military Attachés, no necessity for visits by other inspectors has been seen.