§ 11. Mr. LYONS
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has now reconsidered the case of Mrs. Fieldhouse, of 25, Ash Street, Leicester; and whether, as the prior allocation of 5s. weekly has been stopped by the Minister in his discretion since a refusal by her husband to contribute, in disobedience to a separation order of the court, he will now restore the weekly allowance to Mrs. Fieldhouse with effect from the time of cessation?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
Under the terms of the Royal Warrant an allowance in respect of the wife of a pensioner is granted specifically to him and can only be granted as replacing support normally given by him and reduced or stopped by reason of his war disability. In the case of a separated wife a discretionary allowance may be given but only on evidence that the husband is making an adequate contribution to her support and only for so long as he does so. As my hon. and learned Friend has already been informed, it appears that Mrs. Fieldhouse has received no support from her husband for some considerable time and consequently no allowance can be issued. If, however, she can induce him to make a reasonable and permanent weekly contribution towards her support I shall be enabled to re-issue to her a separated wife's allowance. In this connection I may say that Mrs. Fieldhouse has recently requested the Ministry to forward a letter to her husband and this has already been done.
§ Mr. LYONS
May I ask the right hon. and gallant Gentleman whether it is a fact that this husband, in defiance of the order of the court, has left the neighbourhood, and that his whereabouts are unknown to his wife; and in these circumstances, now that the husband has deserted her, will he exercise his discretion in her favour?
§ Major TRYON
No, Sir; we are doing what we can to help the wife by forwarding her letter to the husband, and, as a result, I hope we shall be successful.
§ Major TRYON
I find that in other similar cases a letter of this kind has led to a resumption of payments, and I hope that in this case it will have the same effect.