HC Deb 09 August 1916 vol 85 cc1069-71W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether it has been decided to pay separation allowance to Mary King, wife of Private A. King, 4th battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, 19 Base Camp, 36th Division, Le Havre, who was married on 20th June, 1916?


Inquiry will be made and my hon. Friend informed as soon as possible.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will state the present position of Private Robert Dawson, of Knottingley, No. 2980, of the 5th battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry; why his pension has been stopped; and if he is aware that his left eye was blown out by a shell at Ypres and a portion of his face shattered on 5th September, 1915?


I am having inquiry made into this case, and will in due course let my hon. Friend know the result.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will state how many appointments have been and are intended to be made under Section 1 of the Naval and Military War Pensions Act, 1915; at what salary or remuneration; and whether it will be possible in future to appoint only past or present members of His Majesty's Forces to the posts?


Only one permanent appointment has at present been made by the Statutory Committee, namely, that of Accountant, at a salary of £400 a year. The rest of the staff is temporary and consists of about sixty persons, and includes about twenty persons who are acting as volunteers, or whose services have been temporarily lent by Government Departments. I cannot say what further appointments will be made, as the permanent arrangements are at present under consideration, and will require the consent of the Treasury. They must also be dependent on the extent of the work of the Committee which as yet can only be surmised. The Statutory Committee are desirous of appointing past and present Members of His Majesty's Forces, so far as the posts to be filled are suitable for them. My hon. Friend will realise that as regards some of them, namely, the typists, women are better suited than men.


asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether friendly society benefits are taken into account in determining the amount of any pension?


I presume the hon. Member refers to supplementary pensions to be awarded by the Statutory Committee. Under the Regulations only permanent income is to be taken into account in determining the amount of a supplementary pension, and thus benefits from the friendly societies would only be considered in so far as they partake of this character.


asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Mrs. Ongley, of 134, Rain-ham Road, Chatham, lost her husband in July, 1914, that Mrs. Ongley carried on her husband's small greengrocery business with the assistance of a son, who has since had to be removed to an asylum, and that Mrs. Ongley had shortly after to give up the business; that Mrs. Ongley's sole support is Private Leonard Ongley, No. 33849, 9th Lancers, now in France; that Private Ongley allots his mother 3s 6d. a week, but that no separation allowance has been granted; that on the 2nd of May last the case was fully represented to the Statutory Committee, who, beyond a post- card, have made no reply; that at some date after the 2nd of May Mrs. Ongley was requested to attend a committee of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association at Chatham; that the only relief offered was advice, namely, to give up her house and take a room and go out washing; is he aware that Mrs. Ongley has a lad at home to support; and will he at once arrange with the Statutory Committee or the War Office that separation allowance with arrears be granted to Mrs. Ongley.


I understand that Mrs. Ongley made an application to the Statutory Committee. The question of a separation allowanee in the case is one for the War Office, and the Committee are in communication with that Department with regard to it. I may, however, state that Mrs. Ongley's difficulties do not appear to have arisen out of the War. Her husband, who apparently was not in the Army, died befors the War began. Her soldier son, as I am informed, has been in the Army for about five years, and, presumably, there was no pre-war dependence. The Statutory Committee requested the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association, who are acting in Kent until the local committee are ready to take over the work, to investigate the case. The report of the association was to the effect that Mrs. Ongley appeared to be quite able to support herself.

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