HC Deb 25 November 1941 vol 376 cc579-80
12. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that family allowances have been withheld from officers and other ranks who, with the Government's encouragement, sent their children to America or Canada, and that they are thereby prevented from providing for the reimbursement of the foster-parents after the war; and whether he will reconsider the matter?

Captain Margesson

Family lodging allowance for officers and family allowance for soldiers are provided in order to assist the officers and soldiers concerned in meeting the current expenses of maintaining their families. When their families are residing outside the sterling area in circumstances which preclude the remittance of funds for their maintenance, the allowances cannot be used for that purpose and are consequently not issued. The officer or soldier can, however, in such a case have placed to his provisional credit a special separation grant under certain conditions.

Mr. Keeling

Has my right hon. and gallant Friend seen the many letters in the Press suggesting that the generosity of American hosts is being met with pettifogging meanness? Will he make it widely known that allowances can be credited?

Captain Margesson

Yes, Sir. Most certainly.

Sir William Davison

Do I understand that it is possible for an officer to have his allowance accumulated at the War Office, and that it will be available at the end of the war if that is the national policy?

Captain Margesson

As I stated, in such cases the officer or soldier can, under certain conditions, have placed to his provisional credit a special separation grant. The details of the special grants were set out in my reply to the hon. Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon) on 25th February.

Miss Eleanor Rathbone

Does the scheme apply to other ranks besides officers?

Captain Margesson

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Bellenger

Did not the previous answer apply only to the Channel Islands?

Captain Margesson

No, Sir.