§ 4. Colonel DAY
asked the Minister of Pensions how many orphans of soldiers, sailors and airmen killed in the late. War are in orphanages and similar institutions, and how many are in the Poor Law schools; and has he undertaken the complete financial responsibility of all children thus placed?
I assume That the hon. Member has in mind children taken under my care under Section 9 of the War Pensions Act, 1918. There are 3,291 such children, of whom 2,539 are boarded out in private homes and 752 are in institutions because of mental or physical infirmities, for training or for other reasons. These children, so far as they are of school age, are attending elementary schools or are receiving appropriate education in the institutions. The pensions payable for these children are in accordance with the terms of the 2443 Royal Warrant, and are supplemented where it is necessary in order that proper provision may be made.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
In cases where soldiers have been removed from pauper lunatic asylums and are now chargeable to the Pension Fund, will their children and other dependants who are now dependent on the Poor Law be paid for by the Ministry of Pensions, or are they classed as paupers while their fathers are now removed from pauperism?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Is it not the fact that the practice of the Ministry is to board out the children of deceased ex-service men in respectable families wherever it is possible?
Lieut.- Colonel STANLEY
That is so. As to the question of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury), I must ask for notice; I cannot give him the information off-hand.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say how many of these children are in Poor Law institutions?
I inquired about that, and, as a general rule, there are none. Every now and then it may occasionally happen that, while they are waiting to be boarded out, they may be placed in an institution, but it is only for a short time, and they are removed from the institution as soon as possible.