HC Deb 06 December 1950 vol 482 c357
46. Mr. A. R. W. Low

asked the Minister of Defence what steps he proposes to take to relieve the hardship caused to young Reservist officers under 25 years of age who, having married after leaving the Colours, are not given full rates of marriage allowance when recalled to the Colours.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. Shinwell)

These officers, like other officers and men recalled to the Colours in the recent emergency, are eligible to apply for National Service grants if they are unable to meet their civilian commitments from their Service emoluments.

Mr. Low

Does not that put them in a very curious position, and should not the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the operation of the rule on this matter? Would he give an assurance that he will reconsider it?

Mr. Shinwell

I am anxious, as I am quite sure everyone is, to avoid any hardship, but this rule has been in operation for quite a long time. I doubt whether we could do anything at present. I will look into the matter, however, to see whether anything can be done, but I cannot make any commitment.

Mr. Turton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most of the young officers who are at present Reservists in Korea are suffering this hardship, as are their families? Will not the right hon. Gentleman make the rule a universal one?

Mr. Shinwell

There is no reason for hardship. If they apply for the National Service grant I have not the least doubt that if they can sustain a case of hardship the matter can be dealt with. I have reason to believe that where an application has been made for a National Service grant a grant has been made, and the hardship removed.

Mr. Low

In view of the great importance and urgency of this matter—the great hardship suffered by Reservists' wives, and the particular importance of wives being able to make application themselves—I beg to give notice that I shall raise it on the Adjournment.