HC Deb 19 February 1918 vol 103 cc626-7W
Colonel L. WILSON

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether under Navy Regulations separation allowance is not granted to wives who had been separated from their husbands before joining the Navy; whether children's allowance is also not granted to such wives; and, if so, whether, seeing that this is contrary to the practice of the War Office, further instructions can be issued in order to bring the practice of the Navy into line with that of the Army, and so avoid leaving wives and children of men serving under the Admiralty practically destitute?


In cases in which prior to his entry into the Navy a man had been living apart from his wife and children and had not been making any payment towards their maintenance, Navy separation allowance is not granted to the wife for herself or for the children. If, however, such a man had been supporting them and, by reason of his naval and marine pay being less than he was earning in civil life, is no longer able to do so, separation allowance is paid, within the usual scale limits, to make good the deficit. My hon. and gallant Friend will realise, therefore, that, if a man shows any willingness properly to support his wife and family, the Admiralty helps him. If, on the other hand, being in a position to help maintain wife and children, he declines to do so, the wife receives under the amended Naval Discipline Act, a compulsory stoppage from his pay at regular weekly intervals up to 7s. a week.