HC Deb 08 March 1944 vol 397 cc2050-1
54. Sir Granville Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for War why, in the case of an officer dying as a result of illness whilst on service abroad, his nearest relatives at home are debited with the expenses of the funeral and the cost of the cable informing them of his death.

Mr. A. Henderson

An officer who dies abroad is normally buried under arrangements made by the military authorities at the expense of Army funds, unless his relatives or other persons concerned prefer to make private arrangements. If private arrangements are made the cost of the funeral is a charge against the officer's estate under the Regimental Debts Act, 1893, but a grant of £10 would be allowed from Army funds towards those expenses. I do not understand my hon. Friend's reference to the cost of cables. The cost of the official notification is borne by public funds.

Sir G. Gibson

If I give my hon. and learned Friend a specific case where a father was charged the cost of funeral expenses and cabling the announcement of death, will he see that he is reimbursed?

Mr. Henderson

I will certainly look into the case.