§ 21. Sir WALTER de FRECE
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the regulations affecting marriages on the strength have been modified in recent time; and, if so, in what direction; and whether the existing regulations ogre regarded as satisfactory?
§ Mr. LAWSON
Yes, Sir, the regulations were modified in 1920 in a direction favourable to the soldier, and so far as I know are regarded as satisfactory. The details are rather too long to read, and with the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate the full answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Broadly, however, the change consisted in recognising the right of any soldier over 26 years of age, of whatever rank, to marry and to receive an allowance towards the maintenance of his family. Before the War, only a small percentage of soldiers were recognised as married.
§ Viscount CURZON
Does the hon. Gentleman representing the Admiralty agree with the answer that has just been given by the representative of the War Office?
§ Following is the answer:
§ Before the War, only a small percentage of soldiers in the lower ranks was admitted to the Married Roll. Such soldiers had first to obtain the consent of their commanding officer to the marriage and comply with certain other conditions. They were provided with free quarters for their wives and children, and an allowance towards the maintenance of their families if separated from them by the, exigencies of the service. No provision was made for the maintenance of the wives and children of soldiers not admitted to the Married Roll. The regulations were revised by Army Order 357 of 1920, which allowed every soldier over 26 years of age to marry and to receive an allowance, termed Marriage Allowance, towards the maintenance of his wife and children. In addition, a proportion of the married soldiers over 26 years of age are admitted to the Married Quarters Roll, and receive, besides Marriage Allowance, either public quarters or lodging allowance for their wives and children, and certain other privileges. The percentage of soldiers who may be admitted to the Married Quarters Roll is in course of revision.