§ 47 and 69. Sir F. CAWLEY
asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the fact that allowances to dependants have been withheld on the ground that the soldiers who had made the allotments had been convicted of offences, he will take immediate steps so to alter any regulation on the matter as to ensure that the punishment shall be, so far as possible, limited to the guilty person; and (2) of the Under-Secretary of State for War whether there is a regulation by virtue of which the authorities can deprive a dependant of a soldier of the separation or other allowance in the event of the soldier being convicted of an an offence; what are the terms of such regulation and the date of its enactment; and whether or not it has been acted upon?
§ 78. Mr. GOLDSTONE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether Driver No. 1175, No. 3 Company, Army Service Corps, made an allotment of 3s. 6d. per week in respect of an allowance which he desired to have made to his parents; whether the amount has been regularly deducted from the man's pay; whether, notwithstanding this deduction, an allowance has been refused and the amounts deducted not refunded; and whether it is the policy of the Army Council to refuse an allowance in similar cases in which an amount varying from 12s. to 15s. has been contributed by the man concerned to the upkeep of the home merely because the pension officer and the pension committee disagree in the case?
The policy of the Army Council in these matters is to carry out the recommendations of the Select Committee which recently reported. The particulars of individual cases are not kept in the War Office and are known only to the Regimental Paymaster concerned, in this case Woolwich. If the hon. Member has reason to think that there has been an error the fact could most speedily be ascertained by reference to that officer; if, however, the hon. Member wishes inquiry to be made through me, perhaps he will be good enough to give the man's name for purposes of identification.
§ 80. Mr. RAFFAN
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether applications for separation allowances from mothers and similar dependants of soldiers are being refused where the family income 962 reaches a certain level; whether there is a lack of uniformity in the application of this rule; if so, whether steps will be taken to establish a uniform system; and whether clear instructions will be issued promptly to paymasters and secretaries of Territorial Associations on the subject?
No such rule is now in force. An instruction has been issued stating that a dependant otherwise eligible is not in any case barred by the possession of income from other sources.
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
In those cases where there are two or three sons is the amount to be allowed to the mother confined to 12s. 6d. per week?
§ Mr. RAFFAN
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that all over the country mothers have been refused their separation allowances on the ground that the family income is sufficient for the maintenance of the family without separation allowance; if that is not a correct interpretation of the wishes of the War Office, will he so instruct the paymasters and secretaries?
I do not think what the hon. Member asserts is the case now; certainly no instruction contradicting that has been issued.
§ Mr. JONATHAN SAMUEL
Have the War Office issued their circulars to the old age pension committees as well as to the pension officers, because the members of those committees are certainly ignorant of the rule?
I cannot say whether or not the instructions have gone to the pension committees as well as to the pension officers. I do not see why they should not.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
If I submit a number of cases to the hon. Gentleman, will he see that they are attended to in accordance with the rule?
§ 82. Mr. GOLDSTONE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether a soldier who in normal times would have passed into the Reserve on the completion 963 of seven years with the Colours is not allowed to allot any portion of his pay to relatives; and whether separation allowance is not payable in such cases, notwithstanding the financial straits in which the dependants of the man may be placed?
Any soldier may allot; and the qualification for separation allowance as a dependant is extended under the recommendations of the Select Committee, to any person who is found as a fact to have been dependent on the soldier before mobilisation.
The only test is that approved by the Select Committee: whether, in fact, there was dependence before mobilisation or enlistment.
As I have already stated, separation allowance will continue in these cases so long as the soldier remains in the Army.