asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that, in the case of an officer killed while flying on duty, the widow does not immediately receive even a proportion of the salary actually earned by her husband before his death, since the whole sum is withheld to ascertain any contingent liabilities; and whether, in view of the frequent embarrassment thus caused to the bereaved family, he can institute some more generous system of financial treatment?
As regards the first part of the question, payments cannot be made from a deceased officer's estate without regard to the requirements of the Regimental Debts Act, 1893, and before ascertaining what testamentary dispositions he may have made. As regards the second part, arrangements exist for providing immediate assistance in suitable cases and I have no reason to believe that there is frequent embarrassment. If the hon. Member has any evidence to the contrary and will let me have it, I will gladly investigate it.