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Widow's Pension (Mrs W R Munro)

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that Mrs. Munro, widow of the late William Ross Munro, private, No. 11,874, 5th Dragoon Guards, has been refused a pension in respect of her late husband; that the grounds of this refusal are that her late husband was removed from duty prior to the date of marriage; that her husband returned to duty at Dunbar depot and served there for six months after their marriage; that she drew wife's separation allowance for this period; that later, when he was placed on pension, she was recognised as his wife by his having the statutory allowance of £1 for himself, 5s. for his wife, and 3s. 9d. for one child, making a total of £1 8s. 9d., which is the correct amount, and allowances for a 50 per cent, pension; that the decision of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal makes it appear that, while Mrs. Munro is accepted as the wife of a serving soldier and pensioner, she is not to he accepted as the widow; and that Munro was married on 2nd July, 1915, and his discharge from the Army is dated 6th January, 1916; and whether, in view of these facts, he will have this case reviewed?

The late soldier was removed from duty, prior to the date of his marriage, for a disability which resulted in his death, and I regret, therefore, that his widow is not eligible for an award of pension.

Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman taken into account the last part of the question, which says that Munro was married on 2nd July, 1915, and his discharge certificate is dated 6th January, 1916? Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman explain how he was married after he was discharged?

It is not a question of his being married after he was discharged. He was married after he was removed from duty on account of the illness. The point is that he got his illness before he married.

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this man returned to duty and worked for several months, that his wife drew a soldier's wife's allowance, and that, when he was pensioned, his wife drew a pensioner's allowance and an allowance for her child as well?

It is, of course, quite true that a soldier who marries naturally draws a separation allowance for his wife, but there would be in this case no allowance so far as this Ministry is concerned. As a matter of fact, they received more than they ought, because he was not really entitled to an allowance from this Ministry for his wife.

If the hon. Member will look at the Order Paper, he will see that we cannot debate every question. It does not give other hon. Members a fair chance at all.

I beg to give notice that, owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the answer on the facts as stated, I shall raise the matter on the Motion for Adjournment.