HC Deb 25 March 1942 vol 378 cc1968-9
6. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Mrs. Evans, Dunfermline, whose son is serving with the Royal Air Force and whose total income is 25s. 6d. from widow's pension and allotment; and whether anything can be done to make a special allowance to ease the poverty from which she is suffering?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

As I have already informed the hon. Member, this airman applied for a dependant's allowance for his mother in January, 1942. He was not a member of his mother's household prior to his enlistment, and as his contribution to her support was only 5s. a week, no allowance could be made. If the mother's circumstances have changed and it can be shown that she is suffering hardship attributable to her son's war service, a war service grant might be issuable. This, however, would be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions.

Mr. Gallacher

Can the Minister not recommend to his right hon. Friend a modification of this Regulation, which imposes such a means test upon mothers? Is he aware that we are having requests from serving airmen and soldiers all over the country about the shameful treatment of dependants, especially mothers—and widowed mothers in many cases? Can he not do something to make the situation better?

Sir A. Sinclair

I think the thing to do is to apply to the War Service Grants Committee.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Will not the Minister reconsider this whole case, from the point of view that, although the lad's contribution was 5s. a week, many such men also used to buy clothes and other necessities of life for their parents?

Sir A. Sinclair

That can all be taken into account by the War Service Grants Committee.