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Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many short service commission officers will not get the tax-free gratuities they were promised when they signed On.

Payment of gratuities to officers on non-pensionable short-service commissions will continue. The gratuities of certain aircrew officers in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with special terms are still under review in the light of pensions legislation.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the last occasion on which his Department or one of the Services placed advertisements with national newspapers offering applicants for short-service commissions tax-free gratuities as part of their terms of engagement; and if he will place an exemplar of the advertisement in the Library.

Advertisements for several types of short-service commission with tax-free gratuities are appearing in the national Press at the present time. If, however, the hon. Gentleman has in mind the 16-year commission for Navy and RAF aircrew, the pension and gratuity arrangements for which have been the subject of recent Press comment, this was last advertised in the national Press with specific mention of gratuities in April 1975. I will arrange for a copy of that advertisement to be placed in the Library.