§ 29. Mr. WARDLE
asked whether a service pension is continued to a private soldier when he is called up under the Military Service Act or the Military Service (Review of Exceptions) Act, 1917, while serving; and whether such service pension is paid in addition to any disability pension that may be awarded for such disability as may be incurred later?
§ 31. Sir G. TOULMIN
asked what is the rule governing excess allotments beyond the minimum made by a sailor or soldier in favour of a dependant Class A; and whether, if dependency is assessed at a given sum made up of required allotment and allowances an excess allotment by the sailor or soldier above the required amount is added to the gross issue, or whether the Government allowance is reduced by the amount of the increased allotment?
§ Mr. FORSTER
An excess allotment by the soldier is added to the gross issue. As regards the sailor, the question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary at the Admiralty.
§ 33. Major NEWMAN
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, on the same date on which the Order increasing a widow with one child's allowance from 15s. to 18s. 9d. came into force, an Order was also made decreasing the widow's dependants' allowances from 6s. 7d. to 4s., with the result that the net pension is only increased by Is. 2d. weekly; and, if so, if he will explain the action of the War Office in the matter?
§ Mr. FORSTER
My hon. and gallant Friend refers, I think, to the case of a woman with husband and a brother in the Army and one child who has lost her husband. In such a case the amount payable as dependant's allowance is limited to such sum as, with the pension, will bring up the family income to the level at which it stood before the husband's death. The increase of 1s. 2d. is due to the fact that a smaller share of the brother's allotment is taken in aid of the smaller dependant's allowance, and the balance is paid to the mother.
§ 35. Mr. PENNEFATHER
asked the Pensions Minister whether the receipt of a gratuity precludes the recipient, whether a discharged soldier or sailor or the dependant of a discharged soldier or sailor, from receiving a further award if the disability in the case of a soldier or sailor continues or increases or in the case of a dependant 1598 the dependency is increased by old age, infirmity or other circumstances; and whether the principle involved in Section 5 of the new pay Warrant applies to the award of gratuities?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Mr. Barnes)
The principle in Section 5 of the Royal Warrant to which the hon. Member alludes, namely, the recommendation of a case where a man can show that there has been a substantial increase in the extent of the disablement due to the original cause, applies to all cases where the disablement is accepted as attributable to or aggravated by service, whether the man is awarded a pension or, in case of slight disablement, a gratuity in lieu of pension. It does not apply in cases where the disablement is not attributable to or aggravated by service.
§ 36. Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
asked the Pensions Minister if he will state, when an application for a pension is made by a soldier or sailor, whether there are any means by which the reasons for the refusal are made known to applicants; and, if not, whether he will take steps that in future such reasons will be stated to the applicant in order that applicants may have an opportunity of restating their cases and meeting the reasons given by the pensions officer upon which the refusal of the application rests?
§ Mr. BARNES
Men discharged from the Services as medically unfit, such unfitness having been certified as not being attributable to or aggravated by service during the present War, are granted a gratuity in lieu of a pension and are informed of this reason for the grant. The only other cases in which no pensions are granted to discharged disabled sailors or soldiers to whom the hon. Member's question is taken to apply is where the disability is due to the man's serious negligence or misconduct, and this as a rule is stated in the communication. If my right hon. Friend has a case of this nature in mind where such has not been done, I shall be glad to have it investigated.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
In a case where the reasons have not been given is the applicant entitled to ask for the reasons, and to obtain them?
§ 37. Mr. HOGGE
asked the Pensions Minister whether he is now prepared to alter the basis upon which increased allowances to the dependants of apprentices are granted by the statutory committee from one of hardship to one of prewar dependance as and when the lad's wages would have increased, and so place all mothers on an equal footing?
§ Mr. BARNES
The matter to which the hon. Member refers has not escaped attention and is, I think, one for reconsideration. The Regulation, however, is framed to prevent hardship. I am not clear on the suggestion contained in last part of the question but will be glad to discuss the matter with the hon. Member. If he suggests that mothers of serving soldiers should be placed on an equal footing with mothers of deceased men then I would remind him that there is an important qualification in the conditions entitling the latter to a pension.