§ Major Thornton-Kemsley
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) upon what grounds it has been decided that officers in the War Department Lands Branch should draw pay at Civil Service rates, though they hold the King's Commission and are subject to military law, while other officers in kindred branches of the Services, but with less technical qualifications, draw staff pay and allowances at military rates; and will he take steps to remove the dissatisfaction felt by officers in this branch at the discrepancy between their net emoluments and conditions of service, particularly with regard to tax free allowances and prospects of promotion and leave and those of other officers of the same rank in other technical or semi-technical branches who do not hold professional qualifications;
(2) whether any obstacle will be placed in the way of officers in the War Department Lands Branch, whose terms of service approximate to those of the Civil Service, giving one month's notice at the end of the war in order to take up immediate professional work for which they are qualified, and for which there is likely to be an urgent demand; and what arrangements he has in mind for carrying on the work of the Lands Branch arising out of war-time occupation of heritable property?
§ Mr. Sandys
Officers of the Lands Branch are employed mainly in dealing with civilians on civilian matters. Their pay and general conditions of service are determined in the light of those prevailing in comparable employments outside the Government service and in other Departments, including the other Service Departments. Their agreements provide for one month's notice on either side. There is no reason to anticipate difficulties in retain-1340W ing or obtaining suitable staff to carry on the work of the Lands Branch after the war.. Since these officers have to work side by side with military officers and their duties take them into all establishments and areas, it was found convenient, after trial, to give them commissions, on the understanding that these would not carry military pay or allowances. The nature of their work remained the same.