§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD (Essex, Epping)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a Sergeant Major Garner, 13th Battery Royal Field Artillery, who was killed at Farquhar's Farm in October 1899, left a sum of about £200 in the military savings bank; that his widow proved her claim to the money, but has not been able to secure the payment of a single penny of this money; and that all communications with the War Office have proved fruitless; and whether there is any reason for withholding the payment of this sum; and if not, what further lapse of time beyond the eighteen months indicated is likely to take place before the widow receives the money due to her.
A man's regimental savings bank account is kept with his battery or company. No notification of the existence of any account in this man's name has been made by the battery, and only in December, 1900, the widow reported to the War Office that her husband had left an account, said to be over £100. Inquiries were addressed to the battery, but no reply has as yet been received, The remainder of the estate, so far as it is known, has been issued, and the case was, on the 13th November, 1899, notified to the Patriotic Fund Commissioners, who, it is understood, made a grant of 6s. 6d. per week.
This matter involves communication with Natal, which, as my hon. and gallant friend knows, is very difficult just now. I will try and get an answer as quickly as possible.