HC Deb 15 February 1917 vol 90 cc818-20W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office why, in spite of the public announcement on 19th January that childless wives and other dependants of soldiers than wives and children could apply to the local war pensions committee for increased allowances on account of the higher cost of living, they are being refused on the ground that there is no Regulation which authorises them to do so?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Regulations have been made by the Statutory Committee to deal with the cases referred to in the question, and local committees have been notified by circular, dated the 9th instant, as to the scale of assistance which might be given in these cases.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he will state what steps the Government intend to take to provide for the dependants of soldiers that met with their death by accident whilst employed by the Army authorities; and if he is aware that a numbers of soldiers' dependants are now being provided for by the Poor Law authorities?


I cannot, in reply to the first part of the question, anticipate the proposals which the Minister of Pensions will presently make to this House for altering the pension provisions of existing Royal Warrants. With regard to the second part of the question, I will have immediate inquiries made if the hon. Member will give me particulars of the cases which he has in mind, but I would point out that it is always open to a dependant in need of assistance to apply to the local war pensions committee of his or her district.


asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Pensioner No. 20,820; whether he is aware that this man has been discharged as a lunatic to the Royal Naval Hospital at Great Yarmouth, with a pension of £51 6s. per annum in respect of his service of 22 years 179 days; whether he is aware that no part of this pension is paid to the man's wife, who has to bring up five young children on an allowance of 6s. a week from the charitable fund of Greenwich Hospital; whether the Admiralty are debarred by law from paying any portion of the pension for the maintenance of the wife and children of this man; and will he, at an early date, introduce amending legislation to meet such cases?


The facts are as stated by my hon. Friend. The man in question was invalided a year ago for insanity not attributable to the Service, and under present Regulations his pension is not payable while he is maintained at the cost of the State in Yarmouth Hospital. The whole question of how the maintenance in these cases can be met whilst at the same time securing some provision for the wives and children is under consideration.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that John Clear, No. 7490, South Lancashire Regiment, was killed at Mons; that his father, Michael Clear, was granted a pension of 9s. per week up to the date of his death, 28th March, 1916; and that his wife, mother of John Clear, received no pension until 12th December, 1916; and whether it is proposed to pay arrears of pension from 28th March, 1916, up to 12th December, 1916, to Mrs. Clear?


Payment of these arrears has been authorised.