73. Captain COOTE
asked the Secretary for War whether he is aware of the hardship and suffering caused by the delay on the part of the War Office in notifying to parents the presumed fate of missing men; upon what system is death presumed and after what period of time, and whether he will cause an immediate report to be made in the two following cases so that the parents may be relieved from suspense and may claim effects and pension: Private A. R. Owen No. 325572, 1st Cambridge Regiment, missing 18th May, 1918; and Private H. O. Howlett, No. 43878, 11th Suffolks, missing 9th April, 1918?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Presumption of death has now been approved in the two cases mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend, and the notifications will reach the next of kin accordingly in due course. I regret it has not been possible to settle these cases earlier, but the normal practice is to take these cases, of which there are a great number, in turn. No special periods are laid down before death is presumed.