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Malayan Volunteer Defence Force (Dependants)

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that in the case of British subjects who were in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion and, as members of the Volunteer Defence Force, were called upon to defend the Island and were subsequently killed or taken prisoners, their dependants receive no allowances on the grounds that these men were civilians; that in most cases this has caused hardship both to the actual dependants and to their relatives who have had to maintain them; and whether the matter will be reviewed in the immediate future and these hardships removed or adjusted?

My hon. Friend must have been misinformed. Dependants of members of the Malayan Volunteer Defence Forces who were killed or taken prisoner are being paid pensions or allowances, as the case may be, at the rates applicable to dependants of members of the Regular Forces.