HC Deb 22 February 1898 vol 53 cc1351-2

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he has observed the remarks of Mr. Justice Grantham on the evils consequent on the payment of pensions to army pensioners in quarterly instalments—namely, that the result in hundreds of cases is that the money is spent in drink within a day or two, and then for the remainder of the quarter the men are destitute; whether it is practicable to pay them more frequently in smaller sums by postal orders or otherwise; and whether arrangements can also be made for giving soldiers their deferred pay in instalments through the Post Office Savings Banks?


The sums due to Army pensioners and Reservists, who are employed under the War Office and the Post Office, will in most cases, at any rate, be paid weekly with the wages as soon as the necessary arrangements can be completed. There would be hardship in making weekly payments to all pensioners, because many of the men would have to proceed long distances in order to receive their money, and would incur much loss of time thereby. As regards deferred pay, the hon. Member will observe from the memorandum of the Secretary of State accompanying the Army Estimates, that it is proposed to materially reduce it in amount. Under the present system the bulk of the money is deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank in the name of the soldier, and is not handed to him in cash.