Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Army Lieutenants: Position under Recent Award.

48.

asked the Minister for Defence how many lieutenants there are in the Army; how many will receive an increase in pay under the recent award; and what will be the lowest amount of any increase which will be received.

49.

asked the Minister for Defence why second lieutenants have been ignored in the recent pay increases announced for the Army.

I propose with your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, to take Questions Nos. 48 and 49 together.

Increases in pay for Army officers were designed to effect an improvement in the pay structure. It was considered that a scale of pay advancing to a revised maximum would be the best way of achieving this end. Having regard to the fact that there is fixed-period promotion to the rank of lieutenant after two years' service in the rank of Second Lieutenant and to Captain after eight years' service in the rank of Lieutenant, the rates of pay for these ranks were treated as a single scale. The minimum of this scale, i.e., rate of pay for second lieutenant, was regarded as not unreasonable. At various points leading to the maximum of the scale adjustments were made so as to give a reasonable degree of progression to the new maximum which has been increased by £70 a year for a married captain and £54 a year for a single captain.

There are 226 lieutenants in the Permanent Defence Force. Of these, 62 who have completed 6 years' service in the rank, will receive an immediate increase in pay under the recent award, the increase for single lieutenants being £23 and for married lieutenants £30 per annum. The remaining 164 lieutenants will not receive any immediate increase, but will, of course, benefit when they have completed 6 years' service in the rank and thereafter at two-yearly intervals until they reach the maximum point on the captain's scale or receive further promotion.

Is the Minister aware that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the scale?

I am not so aware.

There is nothing like shutting your ears to what you hear.

I am aware of people trying to arouse dissatisfaction.