HC Deb 19 December 1946 vol 431 cc2147-8
15. Mr. Swingler

asked the President of the Board of Trade, if it is his intention that ex-Servicemen demobilised since 13th June, 1945, who have lost their clothes ration vouchers through causes other than burglary and fire, shall forfeit their right to the additional allowance of coupons.

Sir S. Cripps

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer which I gave to similar Questions on this matter on Thursday last.

Mr. Swingler

Is it not totally unfair that ex-Servicemen who have inadvertently lost their vouchers should have, no opportunity whatever of proving their bona fide claims for this allowance?

Sir S. Cripps

If my hon. Friend will read the answer he will see that that is not the position.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

What is the position of ex-Servicemen who have never received their first voucher—and I know there are some?

Sir S. Cripps

If they are entitled to it they should apply for it.

28. Mr. Lipson

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will arrange that ex-merchant seamen be granted the additional clothing coupons to which ex-Servicemen are entitled.

Sir S. Cripps

I am satisfied that the special treatment already given to merchant seamen is fair, both during his time at sea and afterwards, and I am afraid I cannot adopt the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Lipson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his reply will bring great disappointment to a fine body of men who have given very distinguished service during the war, and would he reconsider it? Should not these ex-merchant seamen be put on a par with other ex-Service-men?

Sir S. Cripps

Ex-merchant seamen are in a very much better position that other ex-Servicemen, and I will remind the hon. Member what the advantages are. In addition to an allowance of coupons for an initial outfit, the merchant seaman receives 109 coupons a year for his personal use. On discharge to civil life he has a personal assessment through a needs test by the Customs up to 153 coupons, and his losses at sea may be met up to 300 coupons.

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