§ MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is' aware that since the 780 Report of the Committee on the various War Funds was issued the Patriotic-Commissioners have reduced the allowance of 5s. per week given by them to-widows previous to such Report to the sum of 3s. per week; and whether, as the Committee contemplated, as is shown in the Report, that larger rather than smaller sums should be granted by the Patriotic Commissioners, the Government are prepared to advise the abolition of the said Commissioners, and whether the Government are willing to provide adequately for the wives and dependents of those who lose their lives in the service of their country.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am in receipt of a communication, from the Commissioners of the Royal Patriotic Fund, which deals with the third part of my hon. friend's question. The Commissioners say that the widows placed on the Transvaal War Fund have not had any different treatment meted out to them since the issue of the Report of the War Funds Commission. A small proportion of the total number of widows on the fund have had their allowances altered both before and since the issue of the Report by reason of their having been granted permanent annuities of a substantial character from overlapping local funds; and it would be unfair to other widows if such further allowances were not taken into account by the Commissioners. But the Commissioners have undertaken to frame a scheme of allowances for all widows when the war is over, and when the number of applications has been definitely ascertained. As to the second paragraph of my hon. friend's question, he is probably aware that the Government have pledged themselves to deal with the question of making provision for all widows and orphans.
§ MR. GALLOWAY
May I ask: whether that is the answer of the Patriotic Commissioners or of the right hon. Gentleman's own? Because, in the former case, I take leave to question its accuracy.
§ [No answer was given.]