HC Deb 07 December 1939 vol 355 cc856-7W
Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for War, in view of the official announcement that claims for family allowance must in all cases be made by the soldier, what action should be taken by wives whose husbands refuse to take steps to obtain an allowance for them?

Sir V. Warrender

Entitlement of a wife or any other person to an allowance from Army funds derives through the soldier concerned, and, if he is not prepared to seek an allowance for her, no claim is accepted from any other party. Where the soldier and his wife are separated owing to the unwillingness of one party to live with the other, family allowance—which is a grant to assist the soldier in maintaining his home—is inadmissible. Where, however, a soldier's wife has obtained a court order against him for maintenance, or the appropriate military authority is satisfied, without such a court order, that he has deserted her or left her destitute without cause, he can be placed under compulsory stoppages of pay under Section 145 (2) of the Army Act, and wives situated as suggested in the question should therefore either seek a court order or represent the circumstances to the War Office with a view to the case being dealt with under the section quoted.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Command Paper 6139 gives only a general description of the allowances for families and dependants of men in His Majesty's Forces, and that many important details of the scheme are omitted; if the full scheme is published and available to members of the public; and, if not, will he arrange for the immediate publication of the full scheme in convenient form?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

If hon. Members wish to go into more detail than is given in the White Paper, I can only refer them to the actual regulations.

The Army regulations for family allowance are contained in Section 5 of the Army Allowance Regulations, 1938, as amended by Army Order 66 of 1938. A further amendment is about to be made incorporating the new rates of children's allowances which are shown in the White Paper. The Army regulations for dependants' allowance are contained in Army Order 170 of 1939.

Analogous regulations have been published for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.