§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Pensions Minister if he will state the present position in regard to the pension of parents who have lost one or more sons in the War and whose claim for a pension has been denied on the ground that there had been no pre-war dependence, the sons in question having been apprentices, secondary school scholars, or in receipt of progressive wages when they enlisted, now that it has been decided that separation allowance ought to be paid to the parents in such cases, can the parents referred to claim a pension; and, if not, why this claim cannot be entertained?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
Under the existing Regulations the parents of any soldier, sailor, or airman who has lost his life as a result of service in the present War may, if at any time either or both of the parents is or are wholly or partly incapable of self-support from age or infirmity and in pecuniary need, be granted a pension of not less than 3s. 6d. and not exceeding 15s. a week. The recent concession as regards separation 1135W allowance carries with it a 5s. pension to a parent or parents who had been drawing the allowance under the conditions laid down, if their son has lost his life as a result of service in the present War.
§ Mr. MORRELL
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether there is still an inequality, amounting in some cases to 3s. a week, as between the separation allowance granted to a sailor's wife and that granted to a soldier's wife; whether there is any reason for such inequality; and whether it is proposed to take any steps to remove it?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
In May last provision was made, by a scheme of supplementary Navy separation allowances—subject to an increase in allotment which would still leave the sailor or marine with 10s. 6d. a week for his personal use—to ensure that the wives and dependants of the lower ratings and ranks in the Royal Navy and Marines should receive as much in the form of separation allowance, allotment, and allotment concession, as the family of a private in the Army. As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, rates of pay in the Navy are, except in the lower ratings, higher than in the Army.
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he will inquire if Mrs. K. Bone, of 9, Chesterfield Road, Enfield Lock, received on 20th June Effects Form 161 acquainting her that her son, Private E. W. Bone, No. 131686, Infantry branch, Machine Gun Corps, killed in action, had executed no valid will in her favour, and that, consequently, though he had been his mother's support and she had brought him up entirely, her husband having deserted her many years previously, the amount due to him from Army funds must be paid to the father; and, if nothing else can be done, in view of these circumstances, will a compassionate allowance be granted to this woman from Army funds?
§ Mr. FORSTER
The late soldier left no will disposing of his estate, and the War Office has no power to act contrary to the law in the matter. Under the law of intestacy the estate is the sole property of the father and could not be paid to any other person without his consent. I understand from the Ministry of Pensions that a pension of 11s. weekly is being awarded to the mother, Mrs. Keziah Bone, with effect from 6th August, 1918.