§ 130. Mr. Teeling
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that young men under 21 years of age who are already married and are earning livings to keep their wives and children are now being called up and given no allowances whereby their families can be maintained; and whether, in the interests of the nation and increasing the population, he will take steps to put this matter right.
§ 132. Lieut.-Colonel Corbett
asked the Secretary of State for War what financial provision he will make for wives of men under 21 years of age who are married before call-up.
§ 140. Mr. Shurmer
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the hardship caused to many wives of young soldiers under 21 years of age as a result of an order recently passed refusing marriage allowance to these wives; and, as it is undesirable to submit these wives to a means test before any help can be given, if he will suspend this order until the Army is on a peace-time footing.
§ 146. Mr. Parker
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will reconsider the question of marriage allowances for wives of men under 21 years of age, in view of the Government's intention to put conscription on a permanent basis.
§ Mr. Bellenger
There is at present provision for a married soldier under 21 who is not eligible for a marriage allowance 81W to claim a war service grant if he is a non-Regular or a service grant if he is a Regular. The scheme for dealing with applications for these grants is now working satisfactorily. The conditions of service, including provision to be made for families, of the men to be called up in peace-time are now being examined.
§ 154. Mr. Mathers
asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to maintain the pregnant wife of a young soldier, whose name has been communicated to him, who has been denied a married allowance on the ground that the soldier is under the married age permitted by Army Regulations; and whether he will see that the full married rate is paid as from the date of application.
§ Mr. Bellenger
A non-Regular soldier under the age of 21 who is married and was not receiving a marriage allowance at the end of June may claim a war service grant from the Ministry of Pensions. In deciding whether or not such a grant may be paid, the Ministry of Pensions, I understand, give consideration not only to the soldier's earnings and commitments in civil life, but also to all other relevant factors. The soldier in question, if he has not already done so, should submit an application for a grant.
§ 158. Mr. F. Lee
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now able to state what arrangements have been made between his Department and the Ministry of Pensions to ensure immediate payment of a marriage grant when married men below 21 years of age are called to the Forces.
§ Mr. Bellenger
My right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions is, I understand, doing everything possible to ensure that applications for war service grants are dealt with speedily.