§ 31. Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that while the pensioner signalmen employed at the Port War Signal Station, Breakwater Fort, Devonport, have been placed on the active list and their extra pay dated back to the 2nd August in accordance with the Admiralty decision, the other part of that decision, namely, that these men should receive allowances, has not been fulfilled; whether, in view of the fact that these men are employed on purely naval duties, he will see that they continue to receive the dockyard allowance to which, according to Admiralty Order, they are entitled; whether he is aware that the wives of these men have only received their separation allowances from the 3rd December, whereas, according to the Admiralty Order, these allow- 15 ances should have started on the 1st October; and can he see his way to remit to them the two months' allowance of which they have been deprived?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
As naval pay was substituted for civil pay in these cases dockyard pay cannot be issued. The issue of separation allowance is contingent upon the declaration by a man of an allotment of his wages in favour of his wife or other dependant. In the cases under notice the men's allotments could not have commenced before December last. In the special circumstances steps are being taken to pay separation allowances as from 1st October.
§ 33. Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that civilian pensioners engaged at the Royal Naval Barracks, Devonport, to take the place of men called up for active service are required to provide their own kit, amounting to an outlay of £2 11s. 6d. in each case; and whether he can see his way to make these men a similar allowance for kit as is done in other ratings who have joined for the period of the War?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Pensioners engaged at civilian rates of pay are in ordinary circumstances required to provide themselves at their own expense with a modified naval uniform if necessary. I scarcely think there is sufficient reason for departing from this long established rule.
§ 78. Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether his attention has been called to the cases in and around Merthyr in which there has been long and still continuing delay in the payments of allowances to dependants of soldiers; and whether the decision of the pension officer is final and binding in cases of mothers and other dependants?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Baker)
Through the assistance of the hon. Member, the War Office has been kept in close touch with the state of affairs at Merthyr, but I am not aware that there has been other than unavoidable delay in that district. The decision of the pension officer is not final, but is subject to review if the pension committee does not agree with it. I hope very shortly to announce a procedure by 16 which claimants can appeal against the decisions reached in their cases.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
Is there any authority to which soldiers' wives can make an appeal from the decision of the pension officer?