HC Deb 19 July 1916 vol 84 cc999-1000
25. Mr. R. MCNEILL

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will take steps to amend the Regulation made on the recommendation of the Select Committee under which the family of a soldier whose wife dies after his enlistment is placed in a worse financial position than where the wife has died before her husband's enlistment by enacting that the full allotment made by the soldier to his wife, together with the full separation allowance she received, shall, in the event of the wife dying while her husband is serving with the Colours, be paid to the soldier's sister, aunt, or other relative undertaking the charge of his children and without other means of support?


It is not proposed to alter the Regulations. These cases fall within the sphere of the Statutory Committee, who, I understand, are arranging to supplement the allowances to the children in proper cases.


Can the hon. Gentleman say when this will be completed?


I think the Committee have settled to take the action which I have indicated, and I think they are only awaiting the creation of the local committees in all parts of the country.


Will the hon. Gentleman give the information as to the scale of allowances?


The scale would be up to the maximum of the separation allowance. I may say that, so far as the War Office is concerned, the Department is very anxious that these people should get the allowance up to the maximum scale of separation allowance. We really think the statutory body is the best body to do it.


Will the hon. Gentleman take care there is no undue delay? Is he aware that there are great complaints of delay in obtaining this money?


I hope there will be no avoidable delay.