HC Deb 18 October 1916 vol 86 cc529-33

asked the Secretary for War if he is aware that the father of Private Joseph M'Evoy, No. 7849, Irish Guards, who was killed in action, has only received a pension of 5s. per week; if he is aware that the deceased soldier contributed a sum of 12s. per week before enlistment to his family consisting of his father, Henry M'Evoy, his mother, Johanna M'Evoy, and two young brothers, and also made contributions of food, clothes, and extra cash payments; and, having regard to these circumstances and to the fact that the father is unable to work and has a wife and two young children depending upon him, whether steps will be taken to have a proper pension granted to the M'Evoy family?


I am afraid I have nothing to add to my answer to the almost identical questions asked by the hon. Member on the 20th July.

15 and 18. Mr. P. MEEHAN

asked the Secretary for War (1) if he is aware that the father of Private John Phelan, No. 7867, Royal Irish Regiment, B Company, 1st Battalion, British Expeditionary Force, has made repeated applications for dependant's allowance without effect since April, 1915, when his son enlisted; and if he will state why the soldier's father has not been allotted or paid dependant's allowance; and (2) if he is aware that Joseph Brady, who enlisted again in the Army on 15th May, 1915, No. 3813, Leinster Regiment, was discharged on the 26th June, 1915, as physically unfit, and that he has received no pension, his application being refused by the Chelsea Commissioners; if he is aware that Brady previously served seven years with the Colours and four years with the Reserves in the Norfolk Regiment, and has in all spent forty-three years in various regiments; and whether, on account of his long service in the Army, and taking into consideration the fact that he is now too old and feeble and that his various discharges are good, his application for a pension will be reconsidered?

44. Mr. J. P. FARRELL

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office the grounds on which Private William Carroll, No. 4624, Leinster Regiment, has been discharged from the Army without pension; whether he is aware that this man is suffering from acute rheumatism due to lying on the wet ground in camp; whether he is aware that, in the case of soldiers so discharged from regiments in the Canadian brigades, pension is allowed; and will he see that one is granted in this case?


Inquiries are being made into these cases, and I will let my hon. Friends know the result.

16. Mr. MEEHAN

asked the Secretary for War is he is aware that Private J. Bowan, No. 9987, Irish Guards, who enlisted on 22nd October, 1915, and Private W. Rowan, No. 11476, Royal Irish Regiment, who enlisted on 4th January, 1916, each allowed their mother £1 per week before enlistment; if he is aware that the mother and an invalid sister have not received any dependants' allowance whatever in respect of either soldier; and whether steps will be taken at once to have the usual allowance paid to the dependants of these soldiers, together with arrears since the dates of enlistment?


Neither of these soldiers has made any allotment or claimed dependants' separation allowance. If they are desirous of claiming an allowance for their mother, they should apply to their respective Commanding Officers for the necessary form of application.


May I ask the Financial Secretary whether the relatives of men who have fought and died at the Front are allowed to go into the workhouses in Ireland because they will not get anything from the English War Office?


Certainly that statement is without foundation. The hon. Member is wholly mistaken in the view he has expressed.


I am not wholly mistaken, and I know what I am talking about.

17. Mr. MEEHAN

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Andrew Dunne, of Dryamaterril, Ballinakill, Queen's County, aged sixty-five years, has given six sons to the Army—namely, Private Patrick Dunne, No. 3450, Irish Guards; Private William Dunne, No. 4390, Irish Guards; Private John Dunne, No. 11191, Dublin Fusiliers.

Private Andrew Dunne, No. 3819, Leinster Regiment; Private Martin Dunne, No. 3869, Irish Guards; and Private Thomas Dunne, No. 11513, Irish Guards; if he is aware that the first three soldiers have been killed in action; if he is aware that Andrew Dunne and three of his younger children, aged fifteen years, thirteen years, and nine years respectively, were totally dependent on the soldiers save for the small earnings of the father; if he is aware that Private Thomas Dunne, who enlisted about four weeks ago, allowed his father a sum of 12s. per week out of his wages before enlistment; if he is aware that the father, Andrew Dunne, is only receiving an allowance of 10s. a week in respect of his son, Private Martin Dunne, and has received no allowance in respect of his son, Private Thomas Dunne, and no pension in respect of the three sons who were killed in action; and whether he will say if Andrew Dunne and his younger children will receive such pension and dependants' allowances as will be considered reasonable and commensurate with the services this family have rendered to their country?


The 10s. a week which the father has been receiving has been in respect of the sons, Patrick, William and Martin. No application appears to have been received at present in respect to Thomas. The father is also receiving 4s. 8d. a week allotment from Martin. The maximum pension admissible in respect of Patrick and William will be 5s.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether this man will receive a pension in respect of the three sons who have been killed?


I understand that he has not received any yet, but he will receive it, I hope, very shortly. I should like to correct any misapprehension there may be on this point. The separation allowance, as the hon. Gentleman knows in these cases, is continued for twenty-six weeks after death, and then the pension begins.

20. Mr. MEEHAN

asked the Secretary for War if he is aware that Private J. Downey, No. 9320, Irish Guards, who enlisted on 22nd July, 1915, allowed his mother 26s. per week out of his wages as a carpenter before his enlistment; if he is aware that the mother has been refused a dependant's allowance on the technical ground that the soldier inadvertently did not comply with Army Order 1/1916 by omitting to sign Army Form O 1838 within the prescribed time; and whether a dependant's allowance is now being paid to the soldier's mother under Army Form O 1838?


Yes, Sir; dependant's separation allowance is now being paid to Mrs. Downey.

25. Major HUNT

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the attention of the. Adjutant-General had been called to specific instances of malversation in respect of the allotment of recruiting rewards in the years 1914 and 1915 in various commands of the United Kingdom; and whether he will state what steps, if any, had been taken to rectify the hardship on soldiers and others who had been wrongfully excluded from sharing in the distribution of these rewards as prescribed by regulations and Army Council instructions in 1915 and 19161


I am not clear what my hon. and gallant Friend may mean by malversation in this connection. If he will furnish specific and properly authenticated information as to any seeming irregularities which have come to his notice, investigation could be made.

38. Colonel HOPE

asked the Secretary of State for War whether married officers promoted from the ranks who are quartered in camps and hutments in the United Kingdom may draw lodging, fuel, and light allowance, as provided in Army Order 307 of 1915, in addition to field allowance; and, if not, whether steps will be taken to carry out the concession granted in the above Army Order to assist a class of officers specially desirable and valuable in the present juncture?


The answer is in the negative.

55. Mr. HOGGE

asked why the War Office refuse to pay either pension or gratuity to a dependant if he or she is still drawing allowance for another son?


Where a pension is payable it is not withheld. Where only a gratuity is payable and the dependant is for the time provided for otherwise it has been withheld in some instances. I will look into these cases further.


Can the hon. Gentleman say if a gratuity is withheld for a son for whom the mother was drawing an allowance, the War Office can say she is provided for?


It depends on the circumstances.

56. Mr. HOGGE

asked what pension is payable to orphan children of a soldier killed in battle or who has died from disease due to service?


The rate for motherless children is 5s. a week each.


My question is not about motherless children, but about orphan children who have lost both father and mother?

57. Mr. HOGGE

asked whether a parent who has lost a son or sons in the War who now requires help, but who had no allowance from such while they were serving, can apply anywhere for a dependant's pension, and, if so, where?


Though a parent so situated is generally speaking not eligible for an allowance from Army funds, the failure to secure an allowance, if it arose from delay in setting up a claim to separation allowance at the beginning, may not disqualify. I shall be glad to consider the case the hon. Member has in mind if he will give me the particulars. The hon. Member is aware of the functions of the Statutory Committee in these matters.


Can the hon. Gentleman say what kind of evidence the War Office would take as to dependency?


It would be very hard to make a general statement of that kind, and if evidence is submitted it will be sympathetically considered.

58. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether there is ever any interval between the date on which a provisional pension expires and the fixing of the further pension when the discharged soldier gets no payment of any kind?


I regret to say that there has been an interval in some cases, but steps have been taken to prevent this from happening in future.