HC Deb 25 February 1941 vol 369 cc351-2
33. Mr. Ammon

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the family allowances of soldiers' dependants now living in the Channel Islands are being paid into an account or will they be allowed to accumulate until such time as they can be paid to the persons concerned?

Captain Margesson

The normal family allowance is intended to assist in meeting the current costs of maintenance of soldiers' families and it is not issuable in respect of families in enemy-occupied territory. Arrangements have, however, been made by which a soldier may, if he so desires, have placed to his provisional credit a special separation grant in respect of his family under certain conditions, one of which is an appropriate allotment from his pay. These amounts will only be withdrawable at the discretion of the War Office. Permission to withdraw will usually be given when the family returns from enemy-occupied territory, or restrictions on remittances to the territory are withdrawn. I will circulate particulars in the Official Report.

Mr. Bellenger

May I ask the right hon. and gallant Gentleman in what way these allowances, which are paid to the credit of the soldier, differ from the allowances generally given to a soldier's dependants?

Captain Margesson

I am giving full details of the scheme in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the particulars:

The general conditions of the grant in respect of officers' and soldiers' families residing outside the sterling area are as follow:

As a special war-time scheme, when the family of an officer or soldier is residing in an enemy-occupied country, or elsewhere outside the sterling area, and family lodging allowance or family allowance, as the case may be, is withheld owing to his consequent inability to make remittances through normal channels for their support, a special separation grant may, if he desires, be placed to his provisional credit under the following conditions.

The members of his family in respect of whom this provisional credit may be given are his wife, and legitimate or statutorily-adopted children or step-children under the age of 16 years in the case of an officer or 14 years in the case of a soldier; a soldier's child who has reached the age of 14 years but not that of 15 may also be admitted for this purpose if he or she is not gainfully employed.

An officer or soldier situated as in the first paragraph who desires to come within the scope of this scheme will be required to make formal application and to give authority for an amount to be withheld from his pay equivalent in the case of officer to two-sevenths of his current pay and in the case of a soldier to a rate not less than would be required as a qualifying allotment if family allowance were in issue.

When authority is given for the application of this scheme to an officer or soldier, the amount withheld from his pay, together with a grant from army funds at the rate of 21s.* a week in the case of an officer or 13s.* a week in the case of a soldier, will be placed to his provisional credit.

This grant will be known as a "Special Separation Grant."

The amounts provisionally credited will only be withdrawable when War Office sanction has been given, and under such conditions as may then be prescribed. This permission will normally be given when the family returns to the sterling area, or when the restrictions on remittances to places outside that area are removed. In any event, the release of these credits will be effected as soon is circumstances permit after the end of the war.

*If family lodging allowance or family allowance would, under normal conditions, not have been issuable in respect of the officer's or soldier's wife, and for only one child, this credit will be at only one-half of the normal rate stated above.

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