HC Deb 31 July 1916 vol 84 cc2097-100W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the widow of a soldier who at the time he was killed had the rank of acting-sergeant and was receiving sergeant's pay is entitled to a pension at the rate paid to the widow of a sergeant; and, if not, will he state the reason why?


The exact treatment of acting rank for purposes of pension is under consideration. I will let the hon. Member know the result.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the application of Corporal Henry Coop, No. 2985, Lancashire Fusiliers (T.), for a pension has been decided; whether he is aware that this man is now dependent on the earnings of his wife and one boy; and whether he was passed as fit in November, 1914, and discharged for medical reasons after nearly twelve months?


Inquiries are being made, and I will inform my hon. Friend of the result in due course.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he can now give any information as to the date when separation allowances will be given to the five children of Private Wallis, 84th Provisional Battalion, Territorial Force, Herne Bay; if he is aware that Private Wallis has been over eight weeks in the Army and that there are more than fifty men in this battalion whose wives or children have not received separation allowances; if such treatment of the men is subversive of discipline and specially hard on the colonel and officers of the battalion, who are in nowise to blame; and if he will press that recruiting officers should complete the necessary forms when men are attested?


As I have already informed my hon. Friend I am having this case carefully investigated and will communicate the result to him as soon as I am in a position to do so.


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will state the reason for the delay in the payment of separation allowances due to wives and mothers of men transferred from the National Reserve to the York and Lancaster Regiment; and whether steps will be taken to secure the prompt payment of the amounts due to these women, who have received no separation allowance since 3rd July, although transfer papers were sent off by the secretary of the West Lancashire Territorial Force Association directly he was notified of the transfer?


Urgent inquiry is being made and my hon. Friend will be informed of the result.


asked whether men who desert their wives in civilian life, and who have magisterial orders against them for the support of their wives and successfully elude their responsibilities, on joining the Army are forced to make an allotment of 3s. 6d. per week to their dependants; and, if so, why, where such an allotment is made by the soldier, the War Office refuses to make the usual allowance to the wife; whether the fact of a magisterial order being against such a soldier proves his liability in law, and why the War Office uses the fact of the man leaving his usual place of residence to evade his responsibility to prove non-dependency and thus rob the wife of her rightful allowance; and, if the man is made by the War Office to fulfil his obligations on becoming a soldier, why the War Office does not fulfil its responsibilities and pay the usual allowance?


Separation allowance is only given as compensation for separation caused by Army service. The responsibilities of soldiers who have deserted their wives are fixed by law.


asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board how many of the county councils who have adopted schemes under the Naval and Military War Pensions Act have appointed district committees; and whether the circular which was issued by the Statutory Committee to the county councils advising them that the appointment of district committees was not an essential part of the county scheme has been withdrawn?


In ten cases in which county councils have framed schemes for the constitution of local committees under the Act of 1915, they have divided the county into districts and have provided for the appointment of district committees. Eight of these schemes have been approved by the Statutory Committee, and the other two are now under consideration. The Statutory Committee have not withdrawn any circular issued by them on the subject of district committees. In their view it rests with the county council to determine whether or not the county shall be divided into districts under Section 2 (4) of the Act.


asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board how many district committees have been appointed in the City of London and Metropolitan boroughs under the Naval and Military War Pensions Act; and whether the councils have appointed a majority of the members of such district committees in accordance with Sub-section (4) of Section 2 of the Act?


District committees have not been appointed in London by the county council under Section 2 (4) of the Act. Consequently the point referred to in the latter part of the question does not arise. The County Local Committee have, however, appointed subcommittees for a period of six months, and have asked the several Metropolitan borough councils to nominate three members each to serve upon them. I understand that in the great majority of cases the borough councils have decided to adopt this course.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that John M'Govern, of Cleen, Dromahair, was refused dependant's allowance out of his son Private J. M'Govern, No. 10,093, Irish Guards, on the ground that he did not apply within the prescribed time; and whether, having regard to the fact that Private M'Govern was not informed of the rules of applying and had made the usual allowance out of his pay, dependant's allowance will be made good to his father?


Inquiries will be made into this case, and the result will be communicated to the hon. Member in due course.