§ 75. Mr. PENNEFATHER
asked the Pensions Minister if he is aware that local committees have no direct power to grant allowances to guardians of motherless children whose fathers have died either whilst serving in the Navy or Army, or as a result of wounds or sickness attributable to such service, but have only power to continue for twenty-six weeks any allowance previously granted, and after the expiration of that period can only recommend the Special Grants Committee to make temporary allowances; if he will state whether any steps are being taken to enable the allowances to guardians in such cases to be of a more permanent nature; and, if so. what arrangements are being made?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY Of PENSIONS (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen)
The facts are as stated. In the case of a serving soldier whose children become motherless, the special allowance is only paid where some person enters the home with the object of keeping it together against the soldier's return. If the soldier also dies, that object can no longer be achieved, and the allowance is then only continued in suitable cases until permanent arrangements for the future care of the children can be made. These permanent arrangements have to be within the limits of the very liberal scale provided for motherless children by the new Warrant.
§ 91. Mr. R. MACDONALD
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the War Office is considering the effect of the increasing cost of living upon the existing scale of separation allowances; and whether there is any intention of increasing those allowances, especially as regards children?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Forster)
The answer is in the negative. The Government has already made provision for extra assistance, where it is necessary, through the local War Pensions Committee.
§ Mr. MACDONALD
Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the great unwillingness of self-respecting women to make personal appeal to the Committee, and make it possible for them to live on the separation allowance?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I entirely sympathise with the difficulties of these women, but, in the interests of public economy, I am afraid I cannot see my way to adopt the suggestion at present, at any rate.
§ Mr. BILLING
Has the right hon. Gentleman made representations to the Government, and asked them to consider the advisability of raising the allowance to these women, having regard to the fact that the prices of commodities have nearly trebled in the past two years?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am not convinced that the increase in the cost of living has been so great.
§ Mr. WING
Is the right lion. Gentleman aware that the powers of the committees are so limited that the whole extent of the relief makes it practically no relief at all?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I am not aware of that.