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Internment Pay (Widow's Claim)

Volume 439: debated on Wednesday 9 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that Mrs. Meredith, the widow of the late Registrar of Vehicles under the Singapore Municipality who was interned by the Japanese, has been unable to obtain any satisfaction for her claim for the balance of her husband's salary during internment; and, in view of the fact that in official correspondence the Colonial Office has promised full pay during internment to municipal employees, when this claim will be settled.

This is a matter for the Singapore Municipal Commissioners. The President states that Mrs. Meredith has been paid the total of her husband's Provident Fund Account to 31st January, 1942, and she has also received an advance of £1,870 on account of internment pay, leaving a balance of approximately £2,200. The resealed Grant of Probate was received by the Commissioners on 17th May, 1947; they are now prepared to make a further payment of £2,200, on request, pending the finalising of the account, and I understand that Mrs. Meredith is being so informed.

Is the Minister aware that application for the payment was made to the municipal authorities two months and more ago, and that no reply has been received? Does the Minister repudiate the last paragraph of my question that the Colonial Office guaranteed payment to the municipal employees during their internment by the Japanese?

This is really a matter for the municipal authorities. I think in regard to this particular case a settlement will now be finalised with the payment of the £2,200.