HC Deb 10 June 1915 vol 72 cc352-6

asked whether he can now give details of the scheme of separation allowances for the wives and families of warrant officers and Royal Marine gunners?


The allowance will be at the following rates, subject to a minimum allotment of 20s. a week in the case of wives:—

Wife 8s. a week.
First child 4s. a week.
Second child 3s. a week.
Third child 2s. a week.
Fourth and subsequent children 1s. a week.
Motherless children 5s. a week.
Allowances to dependants will be governed by the same conditions generally as existing dependants' allowances. Payment will date from the 15th April in the case of wives who are now in receipt of allotments of at least 20s. a week, and forms of application will be sent to them immediately without any action being required on their part. Where the qualifying allotment is not now in force but is declared without delay, payment will also be made from the 15th April; otherwise it will be made only from the date on which the allotment becomes operative. In each case a form of application will be issued as soon as the allotment declaration is received at the Admiralty. In the case of dependants, application must be made for the allowance by the warrant officer on a form obtainable on board ship, but where the warrant officer is serving abroad application may be made by the dependant on a form obtainable at any post office.


In view of the fact that the allowances are made according to rank, should not the wives' allowances in these cases be 10s. and not 8s.?


No. We have taken all relevant matters into consideration.


asked whether, in view of the fact that grants have been made to sub-lieutenants, assistant paymasters, and lieutenants in the Royal Navy, and that certain conces sions have been made to the parents or guardians of midshipmen, he can see his way to make an increase of 1s a day to the pay of commissioned warrant officers, warrant officers, and lieutenants promoted from warrant officers, seeing that up to the present time no grant has been made to these officers?


I regret I am unable to see my way to recommend the adoption of the proposal of the hon. Member. I would remind him that the recent grant of separation allowance in the case of warrant officers is, in itself, a very considerable concession.


In view of the fact that the allowance is 8s. and not 10s., does not the right hon. Gentleman think that 1s. a day would be a very proper increase to make?


The hon. Gentleman knows that this 8s. is a new allowance, and he must not compare it with the 10s. not previously existing.


asked whether George Frederick Plowright (M. 5979) entered the Navy on 20th May, 1913, served successively in the "Impregnable," "Talbot," and "Vivid," was discharged on 6th January, 1915, through mental breakdown caused by the strain of active service, and has received the sum of £2 3s. 11d. in full compensation; whether he is still incapacitated; whether he would have received a suitable pension had he been invalided out of the Army; and why there should be this difference in practice between the two Services?


Plowright was invalided for neurasthenia, which the medical reports state to be not attributable to the Service. On the assumption that this report is correct, the sum paid to him is the full amount allowable, under the Regulations, in respect of his service, which amounted to 1 year 232 days only. The suggestion now made that his disability was directly due to the Service is quite new, and inquiry will be made. If this statement can be substantiated, he will be granted compensation in accordance with the scale laid down by the Select Committee of this House. There is practically no difference in principle in the treatment given to men whether invalided from the Navy or the Army.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the fixed scale of pensions in the Navy?


The scale was very little for a long time. It will be more as from the 1st of March, upon the recommendations of the Select Committee, when we receive the Treasury sanction. The total disablement allowance is 25s. a week, with a small addition for rank and badges, and 2s. 6d. per child; 10s. 6d. for the loss of an eye or a limb; and for the rest, such a sum as together with that which the men would be capable of earning would bring the total up to 25s., plus small additions for rank and badges and possible allowances to children not to exceed 2s. 6d. each where granted.

23. Colonel BURN

asked whether he has received a petition from the employés of the Works Department at Dartmouth asking for an increase in wages owing to the increased cost of living, and that they might participate in the war bonus; why such petition was refused, having regard to the fact that civil employés at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, received a bonus on the 26th May, dated back to the 28th March last; and why the particular employés in the Works Department have been treated differently to other Government servants?


A petition to participate in the war bonus was received from Works Department employés at Dartmouth. The pay of these men is governed by the rates paid to similar labour in the district, and consequently they are not considered entitled to the war bonus. As regards the application for an increase of wages owing to the increased cost of living, if the local rates of wages are modified due consideration will be given to such modification in considering the wages of the men employed in the Works Department.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether it is necessary for a private in a Territorial battalion, serving in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, to sign personally the form A.F.O. 1838 before the case of his mother's allowance as a dependant can be considered?


Claims for such allowances depend upon the soldier's willingness to allot and should be made by him. If a man has left this country before making a claim for his mother, an application from her will be considered if made before 30th June; but payment cannot be made without reference to him.


Could not a temporary arrangement be made where evidence can be produced, for instance, by letter, that a soldier is willing to make the contribution?


We do everything we can to meet the case.