Fight for Soldier’s Dependants

November 1939

Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 11.

Conisbrough UDC back Hemsworth
In Fight for Soldier’s Dependants

A copy of a resolution from Hemsworth Urban Council “recording its concern at the inadequate allowances to dependents of men serving with the Forces, and requesting the Government immediately to take steps to increase them,” prompted a long debate on this subject at Wednesday’s meeting of Conisbrough Urban Council.

Hemsworth asks for a resolution on similar lines from Conisbrough.

Councillor G Oldfield and Councillor A.M.Carlin endorsed it.

Definite Figures.

Cllr J.T.E.Collins said while he agreed with its phraseology, he felt they should make some definite move to establish a minimum figure. The Council would be aware that at the moment a wife received 17 shillings. Her husband had to make an allocation of seven shillings, and in addition, she received five shillings for the first time, three shillings for the second, two shillings for the third and one shilling for each subsequent child.

It appeared that those who drafted the scales felt that younger children were not worth as much to the country as older ones. There should be no such differentiation. And evacuee child was made an allowance of 8s 6d. He wanted the Council to say skill should be one pound the wife, exclusive of any allowance made from her husband, and six shillings for each child, irrespective of the number. It was little enough, and not a great deal in excess of full-scale Public Assistant allowances. The lease, the country could do was to see that those were left behind, were not worrying as to how they could make ends meet.

Cllr H Gomarsall, seconding the resolution, cited the case of those who were perhaps living in comfortable circumstances before the war, and who were now find it difficult to pay their rent is – some of them in Council houses. Very soon they were going to have to examine this position carefully.

Cllr B Robert said he agreed with the figures quoted by Cllr Collins. He felt also that rent should be paid for soldiers defendants. Otherwise, when the soldier returned, he was going to come back to debt.

Cllr D Sheldon said he felt soldiers were doing a job, and as such, should be paid wages that would make them independent of anyone. They did not want the Government to pay their rents: if the scales were sufficient, they would be able to pay them themselves.

Cllr Oldfield said the milder the resolution, the more chance it might stand of being considered.

Cllr R.H.Shephard said they were too mild. They too often went “cap in hand.”

Cllr Roberts suggested 15 shillings for the wife, five shillings for each child and full rent. It was mentioned that the rent questionably considered in committee, but that had been discarded for the time being, owing to an earnest desire to obtain first and adequate scale of allowances which would enable rents to be paid.

Cllr Colin said the matter had received attention at last weekend’s Y.M.A. branch meeting, and it was then felt that adequate allowances were the better course. It was felt that the matter should be brought forward through the local authority, and in all probability it would be brought forward at a neighbouring authority on similar lines.

The Council adopted the resolution which will be forwarded to the proper quarters.

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