HC Deb 10 August 1914 vol 65 cc2245-6

May I ask the Prime Minister whether steps are being taken to help the wives of soldiers and sailors to pay their rent, and, if so, whether an announcement will be made publicly in order to relieve the anxiety of any who may fear or who may be threatened with eviction?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)

I have received notice that this question is to be raised on the Motion for the Adjournment. It is not easy to have it dealt with at Question Time, and I will make a statement on the Adjournment.


I can state now all I have to say on the matter. I have made a very careful and detailed survey of the distress likely to arise among the wives and children of sailors of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, and particularly as regards the wives and families of Reservists called out on mobilisation. These represent the more urgent cases, since the income from civil employment ceased with mobilisation. Each man on mobilisation was entitled to receive a month's pay, but the rapidity of the operation of mobilising probably made it impossible for the man, except in a very few cases, to hand any money direct to his wife. Many, however, since mobilisation have sent remittances or have declared regular monthly allotments. In the cases where the men have received a month's pay in advance for August, these allotments are not payable until the 1st September, but steps have been taken immediately to pay the allotments declared in any case where the Reservists have not actually received the month's pay in mobilisation. Further, I have stated very fully the situation to the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, and made a number of suggestions for meeting urgent cases, not only as regards families living in the neighbourhood of the Naval ports, but families generally distributed throughout the country, and action designed to give immediate assistance in urgent cases upon which representations have been made is now being taken.