HC Deb 05 March 1900 vol 80 cc28-30

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that soldiers who marry without leave, when they fulfil the requirements of having £5 in the savings bank, seven years service, and two good conduct badges, which qualify to be placed on the marriage roll, cannot be put on it without the sanction of the general officer commanding, and provided there is a vacancy, and no qualified applicant for leave to marry exists; whether, in view of the exceptional trial the war has cast upon the wives of soldiers, he will inquire whether there are any who, having married without leave, now fulfil those requirements, and yet have not been able to be put on the roll owing to want of vacancies; and whether he can see his way to relax these conditions as regards the deposit in the savings bank, the length of service, and number of good conduct badges, so as to extend separation allowances to many deserving wives of soldiers now debarred by this regulation.

MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)

I beg at the same time to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the distress which has been caused by the war to the wives and families of many soldiers married without leave, the Government will make an exception in favour of men married without leave who are on active service, and grant their wives separation allowances during the time their husbands are serving at the front.


This question is engaging the attention of the Secretary of State, whose decision will not long be delayed. Meanwhile it is not likely that any deserving wives of the soldiers referred to will fail to obtain assistance from one or other of the funds existing for the purpose.


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War what is the weekly cost of housing and maintaining the families of officers and of soldiers married with and without leave; and what proof is required by the War Office from officers or soldiers of the sufficiency of their private means to maintain a family.

*MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (for Mr. Wyndham)

It is not possible to state with accuracy the cost referred to in the first paragraph of the question. No proof is required of sufficiency of private means in the case of officers or of non-commissioned officers including the rank of sergeant. In the case of ranks below that of sergeant, men admitted to the married establishment are required to show that they have to their credit a sum of £5 in the savings bank.