§ 85. Mr. HOHLER
asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Bombardier J. Mills, No. 63118, V Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, now serving in France, lost his father on 14th June, 1915, leaving his mother, Mrs. Mills, of 66, Rochester Avenue, Rochester, a widow; that the son, on hearing of his father's death, allotted his mother 3s. 6d. a week, now increased to 7s., out of his pay, but the widow receives no separation allowance; that on the 12th May last the case was represented on her behalf to the War Pensions Statutory Committee and separation allowance asked for; that beyond a printed acknowledgment the Statutary Committee appear to have done nothing; and will he at once take steps to see that separation allowance, with arrears, be issued to Mrs. Mills?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Hayes Fisher)
The grant of a separation allowance in a case of the kind referred to is a matter for the War Office. It has not, I believe, been their practice to grant separation allowances in such cases, but they have been approached on the subject by the Statutory Committee, and they are giving consideration to it. As regards Mrs. Mills, the facts appear to be as stated in the question, except that her case has received attention from the Statutory Committee. They have been in communication respecting it with the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association, who, pending the taking up of their duties by the local committee, have been carrying on the work. They are informed that, in addition to the allotment 1334 of pay from her son, Mrs. Mills receives 7s. a week from her daughter, and that she does laundry work herself. She does not seem to be in need of help at the present time, but arrangements have been made by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association for giving her assistance should the need for it arise.
§ Mr. HOHLER
Is the right hon. Gentlean not aware that the Financial Secretary to the War Office stated that these pensions would be granted by the Statutory Committee, and has he made any inquiry as to what is the charge of 7s. a week upon the wages of the daughter?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The Statutory Committee are perfectly willing to consider the question, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association have, in fact, already considered it.
§ Mr. HOHLER
Did not the Financial Secretary to the War Office state, in this House, that the Statutory Committee would grant this separation allowance in cases of a widow becoming dependent after the War?