§ Colonel ASHLEY
asked the Pensions Minister whether he is aware that the £5 558W bounty to widows has not been issued to the widows of those men who died in the service of their country before 1st July, 1916; that the widows of those men who died after that date are receiving the bounty; and whether he will state what reason there is for this treatment of the widows of those men who volunteered to serve their country?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Before the 1st July, 1916, the gratuity of £5 for the widow (with £5 for each child) was paid by the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation-out of funds received from the National Relief Fund. When, therefore, the Ministry subsequently conceded the award of the widow's gratuity, the 1st July, 1916, was fixed as the date after which the death of the soldier must have occurred for the widow to be entitled. I am informed that it was the practice of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation to make certain inquiries as to whether the husband's death had involved the widow in expense, before making the grant, so that there may be a certain number of widows of soldiers dying before 1st July, 1916, who did not obtain the gratuity.