HC Deb 03 March 1915 vol 70 cc818-20W

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether of six coast-guardsmen employed at Bembridge three enjoy separation allowances and three do not, although the duties of those who do not enjoy the separation allowance are exactly similar; whether some men recently sent to this station, who are not regular Navy men, receive a higher victual-ling allowance than the regular; and, if so, will he explain the reason for this differentiation?


Three of the men attached to Bembridge Coastguard Station are residing with their wives in official quarters, and it naturally follows that separation allowance is not applicable to them in such circumstances. The remaining three men, although normally constituting a part of the crew of Bembridge Station, are prevented by the exigencies of the Service from residing with their wives in official quarters. They are at present employed and accommodated at another wireless telegraph station, and their wives are consequently entitled to the separation allowance that is being paid to them. In regard to the second part of the question, there appears now to be only one naval petty officer—not a member of the regular coastguard—who is in receipt of a higher victual-ling allowance than the regular coastguard, and he is entitled to a rate which is higher by 2d. a day by reason of coming under Naval Regulations instead of those applicable to the coastguard. The coastguard rate is paid continuously, while the slightly higher rate for the Navy is, as a rule, paid for temporary service ashore only.


asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he can assist Mrs. J. D. Burgess, whose husband was killed in action in East Africa on the 25th September, 1914; whether he is aware that Mr. Burgess was an engineer in the employ of the Magadi Soda Company, Limited, receiving £450 a year, and volunteered to defend the colony when it was attacked; and that the widow, with two children, has been granted a pension of only 14s. a week, and has no other means; and whether the Government will do something under these circumstances?


I am aware of the facts referred to in the second part of the hon. Member's question, and the matter received my careful consideration. As Mr. Burgess was a private in the East African military forces, his widow, on a strict application of the Army Pay Warrant, could not receive more than 8s. a week. In view, however, of the special circumstances connected with military service in the tropics, it was decided to fix the amount provisionally at the rate mentioned by the hon. Member. The whole question of pensions to dependants of persons killed in action in similar circumstances will be reviewed in the light of the decision taken on the Report of the Select Committee as explained in the Memorandum which has been presented to Parliament (Command Paper 7662).


asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he will favourably consider the claim of ex-Sergeant John Dooner, No. 4140, 5th Leinster Regiment, to a disablement pension, who at the present time is in receipt of Poor Law relief in consequence of ill-health; and whether, having regard to the fact that he spent 15 years and 248 days in the Army, of which 8 years and 239 days were spent in India, and that there are three of his brothers at present in the Army, in the 2nd and 7th Leinsters, and to the effect it would have on recruiting if a discharged soldier who served so long was thrown on public charity, he will give his case special consideration?


I shall be prepared to consider any claim that may be made by this man or on his behalf in the proper quarter—i.e., to the Commissioners of Chelsea. No such claim appears to have yet been made.


asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he will make further inquiries into the case of Mrs. Fowler, Ivy Cottage, Little Budworth; whether he is aware that Mrs. Fowles is only receiving 5s. 6d. a week allowance from the War Office and 3s. 6d. a week allotment from her son, Trooper Harold Fowles, No. 145, Cheshire Yeomanry; whether he is aware that both Mrs. Fowles and her son were informed that in the event of the latter's enlistment she would receive 12s. a week from the War Office; whether he is aware that before he enlisted Trooper Fowles allowed his mother 16s. a week, and that Mrs. Fowles encouraged him to enlist; and whether he is aware that the statement made that she was satisfied with the award is said by Mrs. Fowles to be incorrect?


If Mrs. Fowles is dissatisfied with the award made in her case, it is open to her to make use of the appeal machinery now established.