HC Deb 19 November 1917 vol 99 cc851-3
47. Mr. WING

asked the Prime Minister if the Government will consider the advisability of granting allowances to parents who have struggled to maintain their sons in training for professions or as apprentices to trades and, owing to the continuance of the War, find themselves in severe straits owing to their early expectations of income not being realised, they receiving no More than the allotment?


The cases of hardship to which the hon. Member refers are covered to some extent by Regulation 9 (b) of Part II. of the Regulations of the Statutory Committee, under which a special separation allowance may be granted As the hon. Member is doubtless aware, it is proposed to extend the scope of this Regulation:


May I take it that the actual payments will be the same as other payments that are made to dependants, or does the payment rest upon the judgment of the Statutory Committee in the various districts?


In the first place, the local committees should direct attention to any claims made. At the moment we are, as I have already indicated, considering the proper course.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Ministry of Pensions has been considering this matter at the moment for the last six months, and also the basis of the payment of a separation allowance by the Statutory Committee for hardship and the basis of pre-war dependence; and when is the office going to bring these things into unison?


I have not been Minister of Pensions for six months, and, as I have already indicated the matter is under consideration.


Has not the Ministry of Pensions been in existence for twelve months; and how much longer are the mothers of the apprentices who joined voluntarily to wait for their separation allowances, seeing that the Mothers of apprentices who joined under the compulsory system have now got their full separation allowances?

72. Colonel F. HALL

asked the Pensions Minister whether he is aware that Able Seaman Arthur Edward Hanna, No. 232,914 D, lost his life in His Majesty's destroyer " Laforey" on the 23rd March, 1917, having served continuously since 1903; whether at the time of his death allotments of 10s. per week were in force; whether he is aware that his mother declined on patriotic grounds to apply for a separation allowance, and that in consequence thereof she has been refused a pension; and whether, if this is the recognised law of the country, he will take such steps as are necessary to enable dependants of deceased sailors and soldiers who have declined to claim separation allowances to recover such pensions as they would have been entitled to had they taken advantage of obtaining such separation allowances?


In cases where no separation allowance has been claimed it is necessary to make local investigations to ascertain the extent of dependence before a pension can be awarded to dependants. The local inquiries in Mrs. Hanna's case are not yet complete, but steps have been taken to expedite an award.

Colonel HALL

Has the right hon. Gentleman any idea when he is likely to have a reply?


I should think within a week.

73. Mr. PETO

asked what is the amount of pension granted to a lieutenant in the British Army invalided out of the service on account of disease contracted in and due to his military service in the present War under the Royal Warrant of 1st August, 1917, on the basis of pre-war earnings of £600 a year, and whether this increases if he has a wife and child dependent on him; if he will state what is the minimum and maximum pension granted in such cases; and whether the rank and rate of pay or the pre-war earning capacity is the factor that predominates -in arriving at; a decision


The amount of the alternative retired pay would naturally vary according to the officer's earning capacity. If that were totally destroyed, the retired pay on a basis of pre-war earnings of £600 a year would be £450. If the officer were considered capable of earning, say, one-third of his former earnings, the retired pay would be £250. The existence of a wife and child does not affect the retired pay, since they would equally have been a liability on his previous earnings. Alternative retired pay is essentially based on pre-war earnings and present earning capacity and is not effected by rank and military pay, except that in the case of a Regular officer his pre-war pay and pre-war earnings are identical.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to bring the answer which he has just given to the attention of the Secretary of State for India or the Under-Secretary for India, and will he complain to the Indian authorities of the administration of pensions there, with a view to the exercise of a little of the energy and sympathy which he displays in his own office here?


I did not hear the question of the hon. Member, but if he desires any information and will come to the Pensions Office I shall be glad to meet him.