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Officers (Expenses)

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 26 February 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for War for an estimate of the annual expenditure on uniform, messing and social life which is a consequence of the grant of commissioned rank; and what steps he is taking to keep such expenditure within reasonable limits.

The estimated annual expenditure on uniform maintenance is £50 and this amount ranks for Income Tax rebate. The maximum daily messing charge permitted is 2s. 6d., or some £45 a year. The rate within this limit is determined within each mess and the average is probably about £30 a year.

Would the right hon. Gentleman say, in particular, whether National Service officers are required to wear No. 1 Dress; and, if so, whether he thinks this is necessary?

Would the right hon. Gentleman tell us what messing allowance applies to junior N.C.O.s in the Brigade of Guards?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are certain regiments in which it is impossible for a man to accept a commission unless he has a private income, and that he is told so by the commanding officers of those regiments?

I should like to take this opportunity of categorically denying that statement. The Brigade of Guards have stated emphatically that there is absolutely nothing to prevent an officer joining the Brigade of Guards who has no private income whatever.