§ Mr. HOHLER
asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether he is aware that Bombardier J. Mills, No. 63,118, V Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, now serving in France, lost his father on 14th June, 1915, leaving his mother, Mrs. Mills, of 66, Rochester Avenue, Rochester, a widow; that the son, on hearing of his father's death, allotted his mother 3s. 6d. a week, now increased to 7s., out of his pay, but the widow receives no separation allowance; that on the 12th May last the case was represented on her behalf to the War Pensions Statutory Committee and separation allowance asked for; that beyond a printed acknowledgment the Statutory Committee appear to have done nothing; and will he at once take steps to see that separation allowance, with arrears, be issued to Mrs. Mills?
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
The grant of a separation allowance in a case of the kind referred to is a matter for the War Office. It has not, I believe, been their practice to grant separation allowances in such cases, but they have been approached on the subject by the Statutory Committee, and they are giving consideration to it. As regards Mrs. Mills, the facts appear to be as stated in the 1229W question, except that her case has received attention from the Statuory Committee. They have been in communication respecting it with the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association, who, pending the taking up of their duties by the local committee, have been carrying on the work. They are informed that, in addition to the allotment of pay from her son, Mrs. Mills receives 7s. a week from her daughter, and that she does laundry work herself. She does not seem to be in need of help at the present time, but arrangements have been made by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association for giving her assistance should the need for it arise.
§ Mr. P. MEEHAN
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Henry M'Evoy, of Meelick, Mary-borough, Queen's County, has only been awarded a pension of 5s. a week in respect of his son, Private Joseph M'Evoy, No. 7849, Irish Guards, killed in action, although he has been in receipt of 12s. 6d. per week until recently; if he is aware that Private M'Evoy's mother and two young brothers were dependent on the deceased; if he is aware that deceased contributed 12s. per week in cash to the family and also supplied food, clothes, and extra money contributions; if he is aware that the family now have to depend on the 5s. a week pension; and whether, under the circumstances, a full adequate pension will be granted to the family?
§ Mr. FORSTER
This is the maximum admissible, since the father was not totally dependent on the soldier.
§ Mr. MEEHAN
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that owing to the omission of Private J. Downey, No. 9320, Irish Guards, to sign Army Form O 1838 his mother, who is totally dependent on him, was not granted a dependant's allowance; if he is aware that before his enlistment Downey allowed his mother 26s. per week out of his wages, and that she is now suffering from privation owing to the cutting away of this allowance and the non-granting of a dependant's allowance in lieu thereof; and whether, under the circumstances, he will consider the advisability of altering the Army Order to meet such cases as the foregoing and enable a dependant's allowance to be granted?1230W
§ Mr. FORSTER
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to him on the 22nd June, to which I regret I am unable to add anything.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether L. M. Wilson, who was discharged from the Army last May, on account of varicose veins, has been refused a pension; whether he received from the hon. Member for Mansfield, last May, a certificate from the general manager of the Sherwood Colliery, Mansfield, that this man had worked for eight years at this colliery, that he had regularly attended his work, was a sober and steady workman, and that the only time he had been absent from his work owing to illness was for three and a half weeks owing to an injured thumb; whether he is aware that this man at the present time is a cripple; and why, therefore, is a pension refused, seeing that the man was employed doing heavy work in a mine prior to the time of his enlistment?
§ Mr. FORSTER
My hon. Friend will recollect that I have written letters to him about this soldier on 16th May and 13th July. His claim to pension has been considered by the Commissioners of Chelsea Hospital. The medical board which invalided him from the Army consisted of five medical officers. Its opinion, endorsed by the Director-General of Army Medical Service, is to the effect that Mr. Wilson's disability was neither caused nor aggravated by his service as a soldier. Special inquiry has been made from the regimental authorities and from Mr. Wilson's former commanding officer, and it appears that Mr. Wilson was employed on light duties and always worked indoors as office cleaner and in the dining-room, and that he was not subjected to any special hardship or strain. In these circumstances I am afraid that no disability pension is admissible.
§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will arrange for the issue of a new regulation providing that all soldiers and sailors discharged from the Army and Navy on the ground of ill-health or disablement shall be entitled to continue to receive the amounts of their pay and separation allowances until the date on which the pension commences to be payable, or on which a pension is refused?
§ Mr. FORSTER
In order to meet the case of men whose pension is not assessed 1231W by the date of discharge, a special allowance of 10s. a week, or 20s. if the man has a wife or other dependants, has been introduced, payable weekly from the date of discharge. With this assistance to the men it is not considered necessary to continue pay and separation allowance as suggested. The Admiralty has a similar arrangement for sailors.
§ Mr. F. MEEHAN
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Private Charles Bretts, who enlisted in Sligo, on the 13th of November, 1915, in the 10th Battalion Dublin Fusiliers, No. 25,114, made the usual allowance out of his pay to his mother, as she was depending on him; and that his mother, who lives at Sracrenan, Glencar, Sligo, has received no further allowance; and whether, as her son is now in Rathmines Hospital, Dublin, her claim will be considered and an allowance granted?