HL Deb 03 May 1985 vol 463 cc520-2WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What use has so far been made of their grant of £150,000 to the Royal British Legion to enable war widows to visit the graves of their husbands; how many widows have been refused assistance; and how many have been required to make a payment towards the cost of their journeys.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

The scheme to assist war widows to visit their husbands' graves overseas started only last month. Four widows have so far visited their husbands' graves with financial assistance under the scheme. Between May and November 1985 the Royal British Legion have made arrangements for fourteen further pilgrimages to cemeteries in Europe, the Middle and Far East. These are in addition to visits arranged under RBL's own auspices—in many cases before the Government scheme was announced.

No eligible widows have been refused assistance under the scheme, but all are asked to contribute one-eighth of the cost of their visit. Where they are unable to make this contribution assistance from within the Royal British Legion's own resources, or elsewhere, can be sought. The Royal British Legion have so far waived the one-eighth contribution in 15 cases and others are under consideration.