§ MR. HARRISON-BROADLEY (Yorkshire, E.R., Howdenshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will grant separation allowances to married privates of the New Territorial Army, as he proposes to do in the case of the non-commissioned officers; and whether he has taken into consideration the fact that his failing to do so may have a deterrent effect upon the number of Volunteers who are expected to transfer after 31st March next.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. HALDANE,) Haddington
Married non-commissioned officers only will be granted separation allowances. The question of extending the grant to privates was very carefully considered but the large expenditure involved was held to be prohibitive. It has also been hoped that the privilege of the grant of this allowance will prove an extra inducement to non-commissioned officers to do more than they have hitherto been able to do in the way of improving their military efficiency, and should help to remove any possible obstacle in the way of attendance at camp. I must point out that in the Regular Forces the married establishment is very restricted, and that the grant is quite a novel concession, as neither the Militia nor the Yeomanry were given it during training.
§ MR. HARRISON-BROADLEY
Can the right hon. Gentleman state what the percentage of married men in the present Volunteer force is, and why we should draw a line of distinction between the married men in the Regular Forces and the married men enlisted under the New Territorial Army scheme?
§ MR. HALDANE
As I have said, the married establishment of the Regular 420 Forces is very restricted. Moreover, those men are on duty all the year round, excepting their furlough, and separation from their wives is therefore a much more serious matter in their case than a separation for fifteen or eighteen days, as in the case of the men of the Territorial Force going into camp.