HC Deb 01 August 1939 vol 350 cc2147-8
41. Mr. Oliver

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that widows, whose sons who were their only support and are now receiving training under the Military Training Act, are being subject to the means test in respect of dependant allowances, so that in order to live widows possessing small savings are being compelled to draw upon these small amounts and, in addition to the loss of the son and his earnings for six months, are being called upon to make the additional sacrifice of having to pay for it; and whether he will give the undertaking that in cases where children are the sole support of either or both parents the full dependants allowances will be granted irrespective of any small savings the parents may possess?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The extent to which other means of a dependant are taken into consideration in determining the rate of allowance issuable is shown in the White Paper (Cmd. 6043). It will be seen that only income, and not capital, enters into the calculation.

Mr. Oliver

Will the right hon. Gentleman kindly inquire into this matter, because I have a case in my own constituency where the capital has been taken into account and has been assessed, that is, capital invested in the Post Office Savings Bank?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

If the capital has been wrongly taken into account and the hon. Member will be good enough to furnish me with the particulars, I will make immediate inquiry.

64. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the number of applications received for dependant allowances under the Military Training Act, 1939; the numbers of the respective rates that have been granted; and how many of such applications have been refused?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The latest returns received indicate that approximately 14,000 militiamen have applied for grants of dependants allowance. Of these, some 5,300 have received awards at the rates of 7s., 12s., 17s., or 20s. 6d. a week (each inclusive of an allotment of 3s. 6d. from the militiaman's pay). In the remaining cases, the applicants were not found to be eligible for awards under the conditions prescribed (which are shown in the relevant White Paper, Cmd. 6043), but an allotment of 3s. 6d. a week from the militiaman's pay is being made in each case. I regret that particulars as to the numbers in receipt of awards at the 7s., 12s., 17s., and 20s. 6d. rate, respectively, are not available at the War Office.

Mr. Day

Have these militiamen who are not satisfied the right to appeal?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I think not so.