§ 38. Mr. YEO
asked the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that it is the practice of life insurance companies to refuse payment of insurance without production of a death certificate, which causes hardship, through delay, upon widows or relatives of men killed in action; and, seeing that in the case of missing men the War Office refuse to issue death certificates within twelve months after they are reported missing, whilst treating wives as widows and reducing, separation allowance to the scale of pension after thirty weeks whether, to alle- 1073 viate the hardship, the War Office will issue the certificate not later than the same date as the reduction in allowance?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Forster)
I am aware of the practice of insurance companies to which my hon. Friend refers. In regard to the second part of the question, my hon. Friend is under a misapprehension in supposing that the War Office refuse to issue a certificate in "missing" cases under twelve months. The minimum time is thirty weeks, and if relatives give early notice that they require certificates it is generally possible to issue them shortly after the completion of this period, but the actual time in each case must depend upon all the circumstances.