HC Deb 28 February 1917 vol 90 cc2007-9
8 and 9. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty (1), in view of the fact that the Admiralty have stated that they do not consider any hardship is involved in the payment to the wife and children of a sailor in the lower ratings a separation allowance which, including maximum allotment from pay, may be 6s. a week less than that of a private soldier's wife and family, whether the Admiralty has made, any representations to the Treasury that the scale of Army separation allowances is too high; whether it has resisted, as extravagant and wasteful, proposals to raise the naval separation allowances so as to secure that in no case shall a sailor's wife and family receive a smaller separation allowance, including allotment, than a private soldier's wife and family; and (2) whether the Admiralty has invited the Statutory Committee to make a supplementary grant in those cases where the total separation allowance received by a sailor's wife and family, including the maximum allotment from the sailor's pay, is less than the separation allowance received by a private soldier's wife and family; whether any answer has been received from the Statutory Committee: and whether the Statutory Committee refuses to supplement the hat rate of separation allowance paid by the Admiralty to the wives and families of its lower ratings, so as to raise these allowances, including allotment, to the level of the allowances in the case of a private soldier?


As I have indicated in previous replies, no scheme which provides for the payment of flat rates will secure absolute uniformity in treatment, but to attempt to meet individual cases by a general increase in the flat rates would not, in my opinion, be justified. I am in communication with the Treasury and the Statutory Committee, through the Pensions Ministry, and hope to be in a position to make a statement on the subject at an early date.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he will state the objections of the Army Council to relieve; local rates from funds placed at their disposal for Army purposes, in consequence of which families of soldiers in rate-aided institutions are pauperised when maintained in Poor Law institutions while Army separation allowances are continued when such families are received into philanthropic or charitable institutions; and whether he is aware that the soldier husband or father is himself thereby legally held to be in forma pauperis by the relief afforded to his dependants in rate-aided institutions?


The objection to the relief of local rates out of the Exchequer, otherwise than by specific provision of Parliament, is a general principle not confined to Army Funds. I am not aware that any substantial disability is thereby imposed upon the soldier, but I will look further into that aspect of the matter.


Is there a greater objection to the relief of institutions which are subsidised from the rates than to the relief of philanthropic and charitable institutions outside?


Yes, I think so.