HC Deb 30 October 1918 vol 110 cc1472-3
79. Mr. JOWETT

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that soldiers on active service have reason to complain that regimental paymasters are inconsiderate in regard to the lack of simplicity and legibility of their communications to wives and dependants as well as in regard to unnecessary repetitions of requests for information, as, for instance, the regimental paymaster, Royal Army Medical Corps, Woking, who recently inquired of a soldier's wife what relation her children were to her husband, and if she was drawing any other allowance in respect to any other soldier, although during the three years' service of the soldier in question the marriage certificate and all the children's birth certificates had previously been sent to the paymaster for inspection on more than one occasion; if he will make inquiries into these matters; and, particularly, if he will ensure that regimental paymasters cease to communicate with soldiers' wives and dependants by means of pencilled letters instead of by means of letters plainly written in ink or typewritten?


I have no reason to think that regimental paymasters are inconsiderate in their communications to soldiers' wives, though there may be individual failures in isolated instances. If the hon. Member will give me the name of the soldier's wife referred to, I will have the matter inquired into and let him know the result. It would be quite impossible to provide typists and machines to cope with all the correspondence in pay offices. Pencil is used instead of ink, as it allows of the necessary carbon copies being made for retention in the offices.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether a pencil is used in communicating with officers and officers' relatives?


I think so. The pencil is used very generally throughout the Army.

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