§ LORD SHINWELL
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what cuts in Defence costs intended by the previous Government are likely to be accepted and implemented; and how the respective Services will be affected.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE FOR THE ARMY (LORD BRAYLEY)
My Lords, we shall not reverse any of the reductions announced by the previous Government and provided for in the Estimates. As to the respective Services, their efficiency and wellbeing will continue to be of major concern in the review we are undertaking.
§ LORD SHINWELL
My Lords, can my noble friend be more specific? Can he say, pending the introduction of the Defence White Paper, whether regard will be had to the demand now being made—and rightly so—that the men in the Services should have their rates of pay raised to a level comparable with rates of pay in civil life? To save my putting another supplementary question, if my noble friend answers this one satisfactorily, may I also ask whether the demand that was made, even if it was not carried unanimously, at the recent Labour Party Conference, to reduce Defence expenditure by £1,000 million has been accepted or abandoned?
§ LORD BRAYLEY
My Lords, Service pay is under review, and the Government will be looking seriously at the report when it is received. All I can say to my noble friend is that the Services do a little better than when I joined and received two shillings a day. With regard to the £1,000 million cut, I cannot prejudge the review; we are looking at Defence commitments as well as capabilities and shall ensure that the one is matched with the other and both with the resources likely to be available.