§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Prime Minister -whether he will consider the advisability of assisting in some way those ex-service men whose normal occupation was that of fishermen and who are now on a co-operative basis endeavouring to reestablish themselves in such an important industry?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I have been asked to reply. The Military Service (Civil Liabilities) Department was created for the purpose, among other things, of assisting discharged and demobilised officers and men to re-settle in their previous business or occupation in civil life. A number of ex-service men whose pre-enlistment occupation was that of2138W fishermen have been and are still being assisted under this Scheme to re-settle on their own account after demobilisation, and applications from such fishermen who, instead of resuming on their own account, desire to carry on business on a co-operative basis will, provided they are eligible for a grant under the Scheme, be considered and dealt with on their individual merits, co-operation in itself being no bar to a grant.
§ Captain REDMOND
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the. War Office whether soldiers who enlisted previous to the War and were since disabled are entitled to assistance from the Civil Liabilities Department?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I have been asked to reply. Regular soldiers serving at the outbreak of the War are not included in the benefits of the Civil Liabilities Resettlement Scheme. This scheme, as ite name suggests, was designed to deal with the hardships inflicted on civilians whose careers were seriously affected by military service. The reason which led the Government to distinguish between ex-regulars and the men who interrupted their civilian occupations to join the Colours, was, broadly, that in the case of the first class of men the War did not affect or break into their normal career. While profoundly sympathising with the case of the disabled ex-Regular, I must point out the broad difference of principle which separates these cases from the others.
§ Captain BOWYER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will inquire into the case of Private John Clarence Rickard, No. 55959, Royal Fusiliers, now of Tyring-ham, Newport Pagnell, Bucks; whether he is aware that this man -svas terribly wounded in the jaw and has now set up a hand laundry at Tyringham; that from the 29th October, when application on Resettlement Form C for a grant was sent to the Military Service (Civil Liabilities) Department, Reading, delay after delay has occurred, and letter after letter has been received asking for further particulars; and whether he will cause a settlement to be arrived at in this case, as any further delay will make it impossible for Mr. Rickard to carry on his laundry?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I have been asked to reply. I am advised that an application on behalf of Private John Clarence 2139W Rickajrd was received by the Military Service (Oivil Liabilities) Department at Reading on the 30th October, and after the necessary local inquiries had been made and a letter from the Bucks Local Committee received on the 27th November giving the particulars required, a decision was given on the 29th November by the Commissioner to the effect that no grant could be made owing to their being no serious financial hardship due to his military service. This applicant had already received the sum of £50 in May, 1919, from the King's Fund, to enable him to start his laundry business.