asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, in view of the hardship involved on the wives of soldiers proceeding long dis- 294W tances every week during the winter to draw in person their separation allowances, he will consider the practicability of authorising payment through the post to those women who live more than two miles from the nearest post office?
§ Mr. ILLINGWORTH
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am not prepared to undertake payment of separation allowances through the post except in isolated cases where peculiar hardship would be caused by insistence on the ordinary rules. If the hon. Member had any such special cases in mind, I shall be glad to inquire into them.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that the extra 3s. 6d. London separation allowance is stopped in many cases where soldiers' wives go away for four or five weeks for health reasons, and is not reinstated on their return; and if he intends taking action in the matter?
§ Mr. FORSTER
No, Sir; I am not aware of this, and it would be contrary to the Regulations. The hon. Member brought one case to my notice recently in which the wife was absent for six months, and this will be inqured into.
§ Mr. BYRNE
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the widow and orphans of the late Driver R. Flatman are still being provided with the necessaries of life by the Dublin Poor Law administrators; if he is aware that this man met his death by accident whilst in the service of his country and that his dependants have received no pension; and if he will say when the case will be considered?
§ Mr. FORSTER
In my answer to the hon. Member on this case on 20th December I explained that no pension could be given from Army funds, but that it was a case for consideration by the Statutory Committee. I drew the attention of the Committee to it, but any question as to their action in the matter should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether a soldier who, after serving for twelve years, left the Army a time-expired soldier, who volunteered for the South African War and served one year and seven months on that occasion, and who volunteered again for the present War in September, 1914, and is serving yet, is entitled to bounty 295W for voluntarily joining the Army on this last occasion, to proficiency pay by reason of his previous service, and if his service during the South African War and during the present War, either or both, will be allowed to count cumulatively in his record of service; and whether if he desires to continue in the Army after the War, to complete twenty-one years' service, he will be allowed to do so with full pension rights for the whole period of twenty-one years' service?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The bounty is given only to men who were serving on an Army engagement on August 4th, 1914. The previous service mentioned counts towards the two years required for proficiency pay, if the man is serving in an arm which is eligible. All his service will count towards pension, but the question of his continuing in the Service to complete twenty-one years cannot be settled until the termination of the War.