War Gratuity (Limitation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1946.

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Brigadier Maclean:

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether it is still the policy of His Majesty's Government to withhold payment of a war gratuity in the case of men killed in action within six months of joining the Forces.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

Yes, Sir. This is in accordance with the general decision that war gratuity is not paid to anyone where less than six months' service has been given.

Brigadier Maclean:

Is it not unfair that a man who is considered sufficiently trained to go into action should not be considered eligible for a gratuity?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I do not know about that. All I know is that there has to be a line drawn somewhere—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] There has to be a line drawn somewhere in view of the nature of the gratuity, and I cannot depart from the decision made-some time ago, not by my Department only.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Holderness

In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is replying on behalf of the Minister without Portfolio, whom we all wish a speedy recovery, will he represent to his right hon. Friend now that now we have a coordinating Minister for all three Services, the Service Chiefs should be called together with a view to abolishing this obvious anomaly?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I will certainly bring the matter to my right hon. Friend's attention.