HC Deb 29 January 1855 vol 136 cc1117-8

said, he wished to ask the noble Lord the President of the Council whether the widows and orphans of those men who, serving under the Foreign Enlistment Bill, might fall timing the present war, were to participate in the advantages of the Patriotic Fund; also, if the widows and orphans of the officers of our army, navy, and marines who might fall in this war, were to participate in the advantages of that fund?


said, that as a member of the Financial Committee of the Patriotic Fund, he could give all answer to one of the questions asked by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The case of the widows and orphans of officers was before the consideration of the Finance Committee, who thought it might be treated as exceptional, some small assistance being given as a temporary grant, in the first place, to the orphans to the extent allowed by the Queen's regulation; and next, that to the widows of officers below the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army, and captain in the Navy, a provision might be given not exceeding one-third of the pension allowed them. With respect to the widows of officers in the lower grades, where the pension did not exceed 60l., the Finance Committee considered that one-half of that amount might probably be given. None of these temporary grants had yet been made, and all these cases must be considered as exceptional, and not finally decided on; anti they must be considered as subordinate to the claims in reference to which the Patriotic Fund was primarily responsible, namely, the claims of the widows and orphans of the non-commissioned officers and privates in the army, navy, and marines now employed in the war.


said, with respect to the first part of the question asked by the hon. and gallant Gentleman, he apprehended that the subscribers to the Patriotic Fund intended to devote their money exclusively to the widows and orphans of those serving in the English army, and it would not be possible, in his opinion, to divert any sums subscribed for one purpose to another. The Foreign Enlistment Act was not in existence when the greater part of the Patriotic Fund was subscribed.


said, he wished to know whether, in the case of the widows of officers receiving money from the fund, their title to the pension ordinarily granted would be prejudiced?


said, he should think not.