Time-Expired Soldiers.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

27.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether time-expired soldiers returning from foreign service are entitled to any leave or bonus in lieu irrespective of whether they are retained beyond their time or not; and whether soldiers are given the opportunity to purchase or retain their warm clothing, if necessary?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

Under present rules a soldier returning from foreign service for discharge is entitled to leave only if it can be granted within the period of his engagement. He is not entitled to bonus in lieu of leave. The question whether any change should be made in these rules is at present under consideration. In reply to the second part of the question, a soldier on discharge is entitled to keep all his personal clothing, e.g., boots, service dress trousers, underclothing, etc., but he cannot take away with him any article of public clothing, such as a uniform, greatcoat or foreign service helmet. He may, however, purchase a civilian suit (including a civilian greatcoat) from the Government or elsewhere, and he receives a money allowance towards the cost of this.

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that soldiers returning from tropical countries will not be discharged minus a greatcoat and without money to purchase one?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

That is exactly the question I have answered. The discharged soldier is entitled to purchase civilian clothes, including a greatcoat, either from the Government or from other sources, and he receives an allowance towards the cost of it.

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

What is a soldier to do if he has no money? Cases have actually happened this winter where soldiers have been discharged without greatcoats.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I am not aware of it, and I would be much obliged if the Noble Lord would give me information that would enable me to identify any cases in which that has happened. It ought not to have happened.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

What is meant by "an allowance"?

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

Without notice, I cannot tell the hon. Member the exact figure in shillings and pence, but it is an allowance towards the cost.