§ Colonel DAWNAY (York, N.R., Thirsk)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the proposal made by the York and other Unions, that the pensions of Army pensioners should be issued monthly instead of quarterly; and what reply, if any, he has made to the proposal?
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincoln, Horncastle
My attention has been drawn to this proposal, and I have caused a reply to be made to the Unions. It is too long-to be brought into an answer in this House; but its general purport is that while only 1 per cent, of all the pensioners are in Unions, most of the remainder would be injured by a change under which, instead of getting a quarter's pension in advance, they would get only one month's, while they would have to make 12 visits to the Post Office every year instead of four, with the probability of expense involved. This is 867 irrespective of the great extra labour and expense which would be thrown upon the Public Service. At the same time, I have intimated that I shall be ready to consider specially any case which a Union may report of a pensioner who habitually throws himself upon the rates until the time for drawing his pension arrives, when he discharges himself.