65. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether a seaman in the lower ratings who has previously been the sole support of his mother and of three younger children cannot get a dependants' allowance for them of more than 10s. a week; whether a private soldier in similar circumstances may get an allowance of 28s. a week for his dependants; whether he proposes to take any steps to remove this injustice to men serving in the Navy?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The allowance would, in any event, be governed by the extent of the pre-entry dependence, and however high such dependence, I understand that in the case of the private soldier with four dependants as described, it could not exceed 23s. a week—including the allotment of 3s. 6d. a week from the soldier's pay. The allowance, plus allotment, in the case of a seaman similarly circumstanced would be limited to 10s. in those instances in which the man, if a Reservist, could allot only 5s., and 7s. 6d. in the case of active service rating similarly situated. I have previously pointed out to my hon. Friend that it is one of the functions of the Statutory Committee to grant relief in the comparaively small number of cases where hardship is found to result from regulations which are necessarily framed to meet the general case, and which do fairly meet the very great majority of cases. I am in communication with my right hon. Friend the Pensions Minister on the point.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Statutory Committee has all along in every case repudiated the 1459 interpretation which he places on its powers and refuses to do anything to raise the Admiralty flat rate for the lower ratings to the level of the private soldier?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
As I have just told the hon. Member, I am in communication with my right hon. Friend the Pensions Minister and I have taken note of his contention on the matter.
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that in every case for over a year the Statutory Committee has absolutely refused to do what he states?