asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the ordinances under which wives, now in this country, of temporarily locally recruited officers of the Malayan Civil Service are not entitled to any allowance because their husbands are not entitled to accruing salary while they are prisoners of war; and the reason for the differential treatment in the cases of wives whose husbands, just before the fall of Singapore, were enrolled in some branch of the military services and who now receive a regular weekly payment?
There are no ordinances governing this question. It will be appreciated that His Majesty's Government have to consider the claims of dependants not only of the temporary officers of the Civil Government in Malaya but those also of temporary civilian staff employed in Malaya by the Naval, Military, and Air Services. In all such cases of locally recruited and temporarily employed staff it was decided that His Majesty's Government could not accept a general claim to continuing salary, but that in individual cases of need ex gratia grants could be given in excess of the ordinary rates of maintenance if it could be shown that His Majesty's Government or the Malayan Government had any special responsibility towards the officer concerned. The distinction in the case of dependants of men in the combatant forces in Malaya is due to the fact that the local military forces are regarded as entitled to the same treatment as the Regular Army and their dependants accordingly receive the standard Army allowances.