§ 28. Lord CHARLES BERESFORD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can explain why it is that the wife of a naval man receives less separation allowance than the wife of a soldier of equivalent rank?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The difference between the various rates of Navy separation allowance and those applicable to corresponding ranks in the Army is based on the fact that pay and prospects of promotion are better in the Navy than in the Army. I would refer the Noble Lord to the White Paper, Cd. 7619, of the 22nd September last, in which the considerations bearing on this question are fully explained. I have sent the Noble Lord a copy.
§ 34. Mr. HOGGE
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the introductory Note to Cd. 7762 also covers the Special Report from the Select Committee on Pensions and Grants; if so, whether he will lay Papers showing how the Admiralty Orders and Regulations affect allowances and pensions; and whether all future Admiralty Orders and Regulations applicable to allowances and pensions will also be laid before they come into force?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I do not think that it would be 543 practicable to comply with the suggestion contained in the latter part, but I may point out that every Order in Council relating to sailors' pensions approved by His Majesty has to be laid before both Houses of Parliament.
36. Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether sailors on board yachts in His Majesty's service who have joined the Royal Naval Reserve for the period of the War are entitled to separation allowances for their wives; and, if not, will he state the reason?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The wives of Royal Naval Reservists are eligible for separation allowance provided their husbands are borne on the books of one of His Majesty's ships, are paid at naval rates of pay, and declare the requisite minimum allotment of 20s. a month in their favour. If these conditions were satisfied, the fact that the husband was serving in one of His Majesty's yachts would not affect the issue of an allowance. It should be observed that separation allowance is not payable in respect of men who have signed an engagement to serve at a mercantile rate of pay. Some men of this class are serving in His Majesty's yachts.
Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
Is the mercantile rate of pay the same pay that these men were drawing when the yachts were on pleasure bound, and if these men are now offering their lives for their country are not their dependants entitled to some recognition from the country?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The hon. Member probably knows that the mercantile rates of pay are generally higher than those of the Navy.
§ 50. Lord C. BERESFORD
asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make a statement as to the position of a woman having a husband serving in the Army and a son serving in the Navy; and whether she would be entitled to separation allowance from both husband and son?
§ Mr. MACNAMARA
Under existing regulations it is not possible to pay Navy separation allowance to a woman in respect of a son on whom she was partially dependent if she is in receipt of an Army separation allowance in respect of her husband. The question of abolishing this limitation has been placed before the Select Committee.
§ 70. Sir W. BULL
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he can see any way to mitigate the hardship caused to-the soldier's wife by her being sent in error by the paymaster a larger sum than that to which she is entitled, which is subsequently deducted from her weekly allowance, a case which is constantly occurring?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Baker)
Instructions are in force that such recoveries, when necessary, shall be made by small instalments spread over a considerable period.
§ 101. Mr. BUTCHER
asked the Under-Secretary for War whether men who, on joining the Forces, state that they have no one dependent on them, but subsequently through death or other causes become the supporter in whole or in part of a near relation, are allowed to allot a portion of their pay to this relation; and whether the person thus becoming dependent on them will receive the usual allowances?
§ 107. Mr. HOGGE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he can now give the date from which wives married after August, 1914, who have not been receiving separation allowances will be entitled to claim arrears; whether the full arrears will be paid; and whether they will be paid in a lump sum or in instalments over a period?
§ 111. Mr. HOGGE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the introductory note to Cd. 7662 also covers the Special Report from the Select Committee on Pensions and Grants; if so, whether he will lay Papers showing how the Army orders and regulations affect allowances and pensions; and whether all 545 future Army Orders and Regulations applicable to allowances and pensions will also be laid before they come into force?
§ Mr. BAKER
Yes, Sir. The introductory note applies to the Select Committee's Report. Every order as to pensions of soldiers made by His Majesty has to be laid forthwith before both Houses of Parliament under Section 2 of the Pensions and Yeomanry Pay Act of 1884, and I will arrange for copies of the Royal Warrant and Army Order to be placed in the Vote Office, but it is not practicable to adopt the suggestion contained in the last part of the hon. Member's question.