HC Deb 27 November 1946 vol 430 cc1608-9
50. Brigadier Maclean

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether it is still the policy of His Majesty's Government to withhold payment of a war gratuity in the case of men killed in action within six months of joining the Forces.

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, Sir. This is in accordance with the general decision that war gratuity is not paid to anyone where less than six months' service has been given.

Brigadier Maclean

Is it not unfair that a man who is considered sufficiently trained to go into action should not be considered eligible for a gratuity?

Mr. Bellenger

I do not know about that. All I know is that there has to be a line drawn somewhere—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] There has to be a line drawn somewhere in view of the nature of the gratuity, and I cannot depart from the decision made-some time ago, not by my Department only.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is replying on behalf of the Minister without Portfolio, whom we all wish a speedy recovery, will he represent to his right hon. Friend now that now we have a coordinating Minister for all three Services, the Service Chiefs should be called together with a view to abolishing this obvious anomaly?

Mr. Bellenger

I will certainly bring the matter to my right hon. Friend's attention.

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