§ 30. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Secretary of State of War what assistance is given to wives and unmarried mothers in respect of 131W claims and maintenance orders against men serving in the Forces; and whether wives are normally entitled to know the exact whereabouts of their husbands in order that they may if necessary see them on domestic matters.
§ Mr. Shinwell
As the answer is necessarily rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the answer:
If a wife or unmarried mother has an effective maintenance or affiliation order against a serving officer or soldier, his pay may be stopped up to the amount prescribed by the order, provided he is left with a certain minimum; if a wife has no effective maintenance order and makes a claim for maintenance to the War Office her husband may, after investigation of the circumstances, similarly be placed under compulsory stoppages of pay. My Department has no power to stop pay as a contribution towards an illegitimate child's maintenance in the absence of an affiliation order, but in such cases a serving soldier alleged to be the father of the child is given an opportunity of making a voluntary allotment.
As regards the second part of the Question, it is contrary to the practice of the War Office to disclose the addresses of members or ex-members of the Army to their wives, but in order to facilitate maintenance proceedings it is the practice to disclose last recorded addresses to solicitors, the police or the clerk of the court to enable proceedings to be instituted or legal process to be served.