HC Deb 30 November 1939 vol 355 cc260-1W
Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether instructions have been given to local registrars to extend for the duration of the war the free verification of births of the dependants of men serving in the armed forces where ordinary birth certificates are not in the possession of the applicants; and will he take further steps to make this known, as, up to a recent date, local registrars had received no intimation to this effect and were therefore making the usual charge for copies of certificates?

Captain Crookshank

As has already been stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, in reply to the hon. Lady the Member for Wallsend (Miss Ward) on 9th November, it is not intended to issue any certificates free or otherwise for this purpose, and local registrars are not therefore concerned. The arrangement which has been introduced for the duration of the war is that if the ordinary certificates are not already in the possession of applicants, suitable alternative evidence may be accepted; if no such alternative evidence can be produced, the facts stated are referred to the General Register Office by the Service Department and verified free of charge to the applicant.

I am informed that detailed instructions on the procedure to be followed have been issued to all personnel concerned.