HC Deb 16 July 1919 vol 118 cc361-2

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a civilian who volunteered in 1917, and obtained a grant from the Military Service (Civil Liabilities Department) to be paid to his wife in order to meet expenditure for which he was liable, had his grant withdrawn and payment of the needed money withheld from his wife whilst he was with the Army in France and unable to make other arrangements; whether the reason for the action of the Military Service (Civil Liabilities Department) in stopping the agreed payment during the husband's absence was owing to the wife having rented two rooms in her house on certain occasions and not given full information to the Department; whether consideration has been given to the fact that the wife rented rooms at inconvenience and privation to herself, solely because, owing to the increased cost of living, she found herself unable to make both ends meet to properly support herself and children and to pay the liabilities during her husband's absence; and whether, under the circumstances, he will instruct the Department to pay up the arrears of the grant and to continue paying it until the soldier returns to civilian life?


I understand that the hon. Member refers to the case of a Mrs. Wilson. The facts are that the grant made in this case was first reduced and then cancelled because of the failure of Mrs. Wilson to disclose the true facts as to the rent she was receiving for letting her rooms. As regards the past, I do not see my way to going back upon the cancellation of the original grant, but I am willing to have the case reconsidered to see whether, on compassionate grounds, the payment of the grant or any part of it can be resumed.


Is the irregularity of a wife in carrying out the rules and regulations of the Department a justification for preventing a volunteer obtaining the amount promised to him by the Civil Liabilities Department?


I will look into that.