HC Deb 23 April 1947 vol 436 cc1021-2
37. Mr. Medland

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that on 28th March, 1947, Mrs. M. E. Roberts, 26 Corporation Road, Peverell, Plymouth, received a telegram from his department that her husband was missing, believed accidentally drowned, at Bermuda on 26th March; that on 2nd April she received a letter ordering her to return her R.N. allotment book as she was not entitled to any payment after 28th March and has since received no further communication from his Department; that evidence at an inquest held on her husband showed that he was blown through some railings in Bermuda Dockyard by a gale; and what steps are being taken to see that dependants of men who lose their lives while on foreign service are properly informed of the cause of death.

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Walter Edwards)

My hon. Friend has written to me about this case and I will let him have a full reply as soon as the detailed report is received from Bermuda.

Mr. Medland

Will my hon. Friend give an assurance that when men who are abroad- lose their lives, their wives shall be properly informed instead of being left, as was the case in this instance?

Mr. Edwards

I do not think it can be said that the wife was not properly informed. I am prepared to admit that there was, perhaps, a little haste in order to provide her with information. I can give an assurance that we shall at all times go into any case such as this and we shall do all we possibly can to make things as easy as possible for the widow concerned.