HC Deb 19 February 1946 vol 419 cc927-8
2. Lieutenant W. Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for War why the parents of men killed in action over 15 months ago have not yet received their gratuities; and what steps he is taking to improve this position.

Mr. Lawson

Since the issue of war gratuities in respect of deceased officers and other ranks commenced last Septem- ber, good progress has been made with the task of dealing with the cases involved, numbering upwards of 160,000. The importance of completing these issues as early as possible is fully realised, and my Department has allocated to this work the maximum staff which can usefully be employed upon it, having regard to the other pressing tasks upon which the War Office is now engaged.

Lieutenant Shepherd

Is the Minister aware that parents of men killed in 1940 are now being paid, and can he do something to expedite the matter?

Mr. Lawson

We are doing what we can in the circumstances to speed up this matter.

Mr. Sidney Shephard

Could the right hon. Gentleman say approximately how many cases his Department is dealing with per month?

Mr. Lawson

No, I could not.

39. Mr. Garry Allighan

asked the Secretary of State for War why the gratuity for service of men who enlisted for the duration of the emergency will only be paid to 15th August and not until the official date of the end of the emergency.

Mr. Lawson

The grant of a war gratuity is not related to the terms of a man's enlistment but to the war service which he has given. The end of the period which is to count as war service for this purpose has therefore been fixed in relation to VJ day, although it has been extended in spite of the cessation of hostilities until the anniversary of that day.