HC Deb 28 February 1918 vol 103 cc1571-3W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) if he will make inquiry into the case of Private A. Gumming, now No. 50933, B Company, No. 1 Platoon, York Hussars, Bridlington, Yorks, formerly at Richmond Barracks, Dublin, in view of the fact that the mother, Mrs. Gumming, 12, Siddons Road, Tottenham, N. 17, has received no separation allowance from 10th March, 1917, to 23rd February, 1918, during which time the 3s. 6d. has been regularly deducted from his pay; and whether he will make inquiry of the regimental paymaster at Hamilton, where he was previously stationed, and of the regimental paymaster at Nottingham, where he was in July, 1917; and (2) whether he will make inquiry into the case of Private W. Preston Tillett, No. 340618, Labour Corps, Eagle Works, Nottingham, transferred from the Training Reserve Battalion, whose mother, 90, Shelbourne Road, Tottenham, has received no separation allowance from 13th October, 1916, to 25th January, 1918, when a new ring paper was received with five weeks' allowance from 25th January to 20th February; and whether he will call for the paymaster's report and at the same time ask for a medical examination of Private Tillett, who is suffering from heart trouble?


Inquiries are being made into these cases, and I will inform the hon. Member of the result as soon as possible.

Colonel YATE

asked the Pensions Minister whether, in view of the declaration required in Army (Widows' Pensions) Form No. 1037, to the effect that the widow's private income has not been increased, including personal earnings and voluntary allowance from relatives and friends, it is the intention of the Ministry of Pensions to prohibit any widow in receipt of a pension from performing any duty for which payment is made or from receiving any gift from relatives or friends and to reduce or stop the pension in the case of the widow doing so; and, if not will he have this declaration cancelled?


The form referred to provides for a declaration of means, which is only intended for use by widows whose pensions are contingent on the amount of their private income. This declaration is not required from widows whose pensions are issued by the Ministry of Pensions, as such pensions are not contingent on private income, and the portion of the form providing for such a declaration should be crossed out before it is sent to a widow drawing a pension from that Department. Every endeavour is made to see that this, is done, but possibly my hon. and gallant Friend's attention has been called to a case in which this has been omitted by oversight. I understand that a fresh form omitting the means declaration altogether is in course of preparation for use in cases dealt with by the Ministry of Pensions.


asked the Pensions Minister whether his attention has been called to the feeling of injustice caused by the refusal to give to the widow of an officer who dies from disease contracted on active service, and caused solely by that service, the same gratuity as is given to the widow of an officer killed in action or dying from wounds received in action; and whether he will take steps to procure a remedy for this inequality, and to enable an equivalent gratuity, or some gratuity, to be given in the. case of the widow of an officer dying from disease under such circumstances?


I must refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply I gave to the question put to me by the hon. and gallant Member for Reading on the 21st instant.