§ 34. Mr. Salt
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the hardships which are incurred by the wives of young officers owing to the small amount of their separation allowance; and will he remove the present differentiation by which the wives of officers over 30 years of age receive 42s. weekly against 21S. in the case of men under that age, and as wives of officers should at least receive as much as those whose husbands are in the ranks?
§ Mr. Eden
While I sympathise with the point of view of my hon. Friend, I would remind him of the reasons for the distinction, in respect of marriage allowance, between officers of 30 years of age or over and those under 30. The peace time scale of remuneration did not recognise officers as married until they were 30 years of age. It was considered that the ordinary peace time code could not fairly be applied in time of war, when many civilians who have married under 30 years of age serve with the Army. It was decided accordingly, that all married officers, irrespective of age, should receive an allowance. With regard to the latter part of my hon. Friend's Question, I would remind him that the income of an officer's wife is not limited to a marriage allowance from Army funds. On the contrary, an officer, equally with a private soldier, would normally make an allowance from his pay, and because of his higher pay the allowance would normally be greater.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg
Is my right hon. Friend not aware that there are warrant officers and N.C.O.'s who are deterred from taking commissions because of the scale of allowances made to the lower ranks of commissioned officers?