40. Mr. GRIFFITH
asked the Under-Secretary for War whether, owing to the fact that Army Form 01,838, paragraph 3, lays down that a soldier joining the Colours must claim separation allowance for his dependants within one month of his enlistment, and that consequently on account of the shortness of such period a large number of dependants who have a legitimate claim to such allowance are thereby deprived of the same, he will consider the advisability of extending the period to at least three months?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Forster)
The soldier is given every facility for claiming separation allowance for his dependant at the time of enlistment or when called up from the Reserve. If he does not avail himself of the facilities then afforded, he is still allowed a month's grace in which he may change his mind and prefer a claim if he so desires. It is not considered necessary to extend the period of grace to three months as suggested by my right hon. Friend.
If a request is not made within a month is the man debarred for ever from having this right?
§ Mr. FORSTER
We do not interpret the Regulation harshly in any way, but we have found in practice that it is essential that there should be a time limit within which these claims should be made.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I think I may say, without reflecting upon the honesty of the great bulk of the men who have joined the British Army, that there has been a very considerable number of fraudulent claims. It is very difficult to deal with these if a prolonged period has elapsed between the date on which the soldier joins and the time when the claim is made.
§ 87. Mr. JOWETT
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if his attention has been drawn to the case of ex-Private Joseph Brown, late of the 2nd Battalion Yorks Regiment (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own), who has served in the Regular Army and in the Reserve from October, 1902, including two years in India and in France from November, 1914, where he took part in the battle of Neuve Chapelle, and in the battle of Festubert where he was struck by a shell, as a result of which his leg has since been amputated; whether he is aware that payment of separation allowance for his wife and family was stopped on 23rd April and his Army pay on 30th April; if he is aware that it is proposed to pay him 25s. per week for two months, no instalment of which he has yet received, and at the end of two months it is proposed to allow him a disablement pension at the minimum rate of 10s. 6d. per week, and only 1s. 3d. per week for each of his two children aged three and eight respectively; whether he will make representations in favour of these latter amounts being increased; and if he will arrange for the arrears owing to be paid without further delay?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The Commissioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, have reviewed this case and awarded Brown 25s. a week, together with 2s. 6d. a week for each child for two months, and then 14s. a week for life with an allowance of 1s. 3d. for each child. He has been supplied with an artificial leg at the public expense. Payment was made on the 27th instant; the delay was due to the man's own failure to return the requisite certificate.