HC Deb 19 June 1956 vol 554 cc86-7W
81. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Secretary of State for War when he expects a decision to be reached in the case of Captain J. M Allison, Royal Army Education Corps, 69393, who has now been denied his proper entitlement of pay for nearly four years.

Mr. F. Maclean

Very shortly.

83. Mr. Shurmer

asked the Secretary of State for War why the father of 22561235 Sapper Williams has never been officially notified of the serious accident to his son in Hong Kong four months ago; and if he will see that the parents or relatives of Service men are notified when they are involved in a serious accident.

Mr. F. Maclean

It is our practice only to notify the next-of-kin officially if a soldier is on the dangerously or seriously ill list, if he loses an eye, limb, hand or foot, or in certain circumstances such as emergency operations, when he is unable to write to his family himself. Sapper Williams did not come into any of these categories. In all other cases of injury or sickness, we think it better to let the soldier write home to his family himself explaining in his own words what has happened rather than to cause undue anxiety by a formal notification. Help in writing, if needed, is readily available from hospital staff and voluntary workers. From long experience, we are satisfied that these arrangements work well. My right hon. Friend reviewed them last year and decided that no alteration was necessary.