HC Deb 25 June 1941 vol 372 cc1065-6W
Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for Air why Thomas George Bevan of 21, Llwyn on Street, Caerphilly, was sent home on sick leave without pay or allowances and was compelled to apply for public assistance for himself and his wife, assistance having been refused by the Assistance Board and, despite three letters from the public assistance officer to the air authorities, this airman and his wife were chargeable to the public assistance committee from 28th January, 1941, to 23rd April, 1941, and continued so to be; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?

Sir A. Sinclair

This airman was sent home on sick leave on 18th December, 1940. On 23rd December, 1940, his discharge was authorised, but was held up pending his return from sick leave. The airman's pay ledger shows that in the third week in December he received the sum of £3 10s. in respect of pay up to 27th December. As regards allowances, the airman's wife was drawing family allowance at the rate of 25s. a week at the time he was sent home and she continued to draw this allowance until the second week in February. Payment was interrupted when Mrs. Bevan, without being asked to do so, returned the Order Book on 19th February, having cashed orders up to 12th February. In the meantime an oversight had unfortunately occurred in regard to the airman's pay, in that the fortnightly interim payments which should have been made to him under the regulations were in fact not made. He received the sum of £10 in March, however, and a further payment of £6 15s. was made to him in April. On 30th April his discharge was effected and a payment of £3 us. 1d. has now been issued in final settlement of his account. The arrears of family allowance from 13th February to the date of her husband's discharge, were paid to Mrs. Bevan on 23rd May. Although Mrs. Bevan, in returning her order book voluntarily, was in part the unwitting cause of family allowance being stopped, much of the blame for the trouble and inconvenience, which are regretted, rests with my Department, and steps are being taken to prevent, as far as possible, the occurrence of similar cases in future.