Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forges (Dependants' Allowances)

– in the House of Commons on 17th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir Norman Hulbert Sir Norman Hulbert , Stockport

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider amending the Regulations whereby Sailors, soldiers and airmen, when undergoing detention for purely military offences, forfeit the whole of their pay during such detention, in order that their dependants do not also suffer punishment in cases where only disciplinary offences are involved?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

It is true that serving men forfeit the whole of their pay during detention, but family allowance continues undisturbed. Each Service has, moreover, arranged concessions to mitigate the hardship to the family resulting from stoppage of pay, and I do not consider there is any case for making a radical change in the present system.

Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that conditions in detention camps are sufficiently severe to deter members of the Services from committing crimes without this additional hardship?

Photo of Sir Norman Hulbert Sir Norman Hulbert , Stockport

Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries of Service welfare officers to ascertain the great hardship caused to families in this matter?

Mr. McNeil:

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that in many cases local authorities have to step in and relieve these families, thereby demonstrating that there is a case of hardship?

Miss Ward:

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact mat in the assessment of unemployment assistance allowances the Ministry of Labour disregards dependants' pensions, he will consider similar disregards of dependants' allowances with regard to the assessment of Service dependants?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I have been asked to reply. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to a Question by her on this subject on 10th November.

Miss Ward:

While apologising for the fact that this Question has appeared on the Order Paper twice, may I ask whether, in view of the tremendous successes of the Services, the Government will take steps to see that all these paltry pinpricks in relation to their financial payments are removed at the earliest opportunity?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I do not know whether the hon. Lady has read the reply. I said, in the latter part of the reply:

"…cases in which the operation of the present rules cause a reduction in Service de pendant's allowance on the award of a pension by the Ministry of Pensions are being specially considered."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 10th November, 1942; col. 2324, Vol. 383.]

Miss Ward:

While I thank my right hon. Friend, is he aware that there are hundreds of other small pinpricks to deal with, and that my Question was comprehensive?