HC Deb 22 April 1941 vol 371 cc18-9

  1. (1) The object of the usual family allowance granted from Army Funds in respect of married soldiers normally living with their families is to assist the men concerned with the expense of maintaining their homes. When they are separated from their wives owing to the unwilling ness of either party to live with the other, or as the result of a court order, and a joint home is therefore not maintained, this allowance is not issuable.
  2. (2)If a soldier, although separated from his wife, contributed towards tier maintenance on a voluntary basis for a substantial period (normally not less than six months) before joining the Colours, and hardship arises because as a result of joining the Army he is unable to continue his contributions at their usual level, it is open to him to apply for the grant to his wife of dependants' allowance under the scheme introduced at the beginning of the war for the assistance of per sons who are not eligible for allowances under normal peace-time rules. Details of this scheme were given in a White Paper published in November, 1939 (Cmd. 6138).
  3. (3) A soldier against whom a maintenance order for the support of his wife and/or legitimate children is in operation, is required, on a copy of the order being presented to the military authorities, to be placed under compulsory stoppages to the extent laid down in Section 145 (2) of the Army Act, in respect of the amount awarded against him by the court. If, because the order was made before he joined the Army when his means were greater, the amount of the maximum compulsory stoppages from his pay as a soldier falls short of the amount awarded by the court, the deficiency may be made good from Army Funds, provided that the total weekly amount payable does not exceed the sum the wife may hitherto have agreed to accept from her husband under the order, or the total amount that would have been payable by way of family allowance and qualifying allotment had 19 the parties not been separated. Full details were given in a White Paper published on 12th March, 1940 (Cmd. 6186).
  4. (4)A soldier against whom no court order exists and who can be shown to the satisfaction of the appropriate competent military officer to have deserted his wife and legitimate children, or to have left these in destitute circumstances without reasonable cause, may be placed under compulsory stoppages of pay towards their maintenance to the extent laid down in Section 145 (2) of the Army Act.
  5. (5)If the amount available for payment to the wife under the above paragraphs is insufficient to meet such serious financial hardship as may have been occasioned by the soldier's having joined the Army in connection with the war, a grant of special financial assistance may be made by the Ministry of Pensions War Service Grants Advisory Committee.
  6. (6))The fact that a soldier may have established a claim to special dependants allowance for an unmarried dependent living with him as his wife, does not affect the legal wife's claim to the full benefits mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 4 above (see Cmd. 6186). The legal wife's claim has priority over any claim by the unmarried dependant.