HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1687-8W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will give the purposes for which the money known as the Greenwich Hospital Fund was raised; whether, at the time of raising the money, anything was said about allocating any portion of the money subscribed to pensions for officers; and will he further say how many seamen and Royal Marines eligible for the grant of fid. a day are still awaiting the award?


The objects of the foundation of Greenwich Hospital, as defined in the original Charter of 1694, were briefly: The relief and support of seamen of the Royal Navy, who by reason of age, wounds or other disabilities are unable to maintain themselves; the sustentation of the widows, and the maintenance and education of the children of seamen slain or disabled in the services of the Crown; the further relief and encouragement of seamen, and the improvement of navigation.

Assistance to officers was not mentioned, but while Greenwich Hospital existed as an establishment for in pensioners, that is, from about 1700 to 1865, a considerable number of posts were assigned to officers of the Royal Navy. During the period from 1707 to 1827 officers also contributed out of their prize-money, etc., to the funds of Greenwich Hospital, and it was in consideration of these facts that Greenwich Hospital pensions to officers were established.

The annual amount granted in pensions to officers is £7,700, or about 3½ per cent. of the income of the hospital.

The number of eligible applicants to whom the age pension of 5d. a day has not been awarded is about 520. Of these about 140 are men who are not in need of assistance, and about 380 are men who entered the Service after the 29th June, 1878, to which class age pensions cannot yet be awarded because the available funds are at present required to grant pensions to those who entered the Service before that date, and who, therefore, in accordance with the finding of the Select Com- mittee of 1892 on Greenwich Hospital, are considered to have a strong claim to special consideration.

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