§ 73. Colonel ASHLEY
asked the Pensions Minister whether he is aware that the late Second-Lieutenant William Mylrea Livsey, Royal Field Artillery, was accidentally drowned on the 2nd of June, 1917, whilst stationed with a Royal Field Artillery brigade at Athlone, Ireland; that the Pensions Department have declined to grant his widow and child a pension, as the deceased officer did not meet with his death whilst on military duty; and that the Pensions Department issued a full pension to the widow of Acting-corporal Richard William Dexter, No. 682, 7th. Battalion Essex Regiment, who was drowned whilst bathing; and whether, in view of the deceased officer's patriotism in joining the Colours almost on the outbreak of war and his two years' service in the ranks in France, he will take steps to inquire into the circumstances with a view to granting a pension?
§ Colonel GIBBS
This case has already had the personal consideration of my right hon. Friend. The officer was accidentally drowned while boating on Lough Ree for his own recreation. My right hon. Friend cannot, after due consideration, admit that his death was attributable to military service and regret that his widow is therefore ineligible for pension. But she has been granted a gratuity of £387 16s. 3d., being two and a-half years' pay of her husband, as the widow of an officer dying on full pay during the War. The circumstances of death of Acting-Corporal Dexter who was drowned when practising swimming are not parallel to those of the case of Second-Lieutenant Livsey.
§ Brigadier-General McCALMONT
Is it not the case that one is learning to swim and that the other is boating for pleasure?
§ 74. Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked the Pensions Minister how many men are in receipt of pensions who have not seen service abroad?
§ Colonel GIBBS
My right hon. Friend regrets that the records of the Ministry do not enable him to furnish this information, which could only be obtained with accuracy by a detailed examination of cases. This is not practicable at the present time.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
Is the hon. Gentleman unable to give the figures because the number of men who have been taken into the Army broken and discharged is so many? Is it not very essential that we should have these figures, particularly at this time?