Skip to main content

National Relief Fund

Volume 66: debated on Wednesday 26 August 1914

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that it is proposed to devote part of the money subscribed to the National Relief Fund to assisting the widows and orphans of soldiers killed on active service; and whether, in view of the large amount of unemployment and poverty caused by the war, the Government will take steps to see that the dependants of those who have died in the defence of their country should be adequately maintained out of public funds, so that the whole of the money subscribed for national relief may be devoted to relieving those cases for which no other provision is available?

I understand that there is no decision to devote part of the National Relief Fund to supplement systematically the pensions of widows and children of soldiers, though arrangements have been made to assist the Royal Patriotic Fund in making temporary payments to obviate distress until pensions can be paid.

May we take it that the policy of the Government will be to provide for the widows and orphans of soldiers and sailors out of public funds, and not by private charity?