§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, whether, in case an army pensioner's wife deserts him while he is willing to maintain her in his home and becomes chargeable on the poor rates as an inmate of a workhouse, the Army authorities are in the habit of deducting from the man's pension the amount claimed by the guardians, without show of legal warrant, for the woman s maintenance; and, if so, whether such stoppages from pensions are legal and will be continued; and, will he explain why the army authorities do not leave the poor law authorities to proceed by law for the recovery of the claims against army pensioners, as in all other cases?
When a pensioner's wife or family becomes chargeable on the poor rates the Secretary of State is authorised by the Royal Warrant to issue a certain portion of his pension to the guardians if he considers that such a course is expedient. Every case is examined on its merits and each quarter before the issue is made the pensioner is allowed 15 days in which to show cause against the issue. In such a case as is referred to in the Question it is improbable that any issue out of the pension would be made.