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AFTER THE WAR, Issue 15703, 18 January 1915
AFTER THE WAR
PRESENT PENSIONS INADEQUATE. AT. T ER AT 10 N~X E C ES S ARY. A PROMISIXtTaSSURAXCE. At this morning's meeting of the executive of the Patriotic Association th© question of the existing scale of pensions provided for wounded soldiers and the dependents of those killed at tho front was briefly discussed, but even if there was no extended discussion, sufficient was said to indicate that the executive are fully alive to the fact that some material alteration in the Act is urgently needed. The. matter was introduced by Mr G. Cenwick, who road the following letter from the secretary of the Otago Law Society to .Mr J. A.' Johnstone, a_ chairman of the Public Appeal Committee : Dear sir,—l am desired by my council to inform you that at a. meeting held on Friday best the need for recruits_ tuic'i in relation thereto the question of the relief of soldiers disabled by wounds or sickness and the dependents of those killed in tho war, was considered, and my council are of opinion that the Government should be urged to at once reconsider the whole scheme of pensions and relief, and make a- public pronouncement of their intentions as an encouragement to recruiting and to private action. The council desire to call the attention of the committee particuhirlv to the provision of Section 80 (1) of the Defence Act, 1909, which is as follows : "If" such officer, non-commissioned officer, or private leave* no widow or children, an annual allowance, as specified in th* third column of the aforesaid wale, may be granted to liis mother, provided she is a, widow and in distressed cive.umsta.uces. and was mainly dependent upon th-e decoa.sed for sup"port, but if the mother is herself :u receipt, of a pension from the Govcrnuiy.it, or has any other provision of any kind from the public," no allowance ' under this section shall bo made to her on account of her .son unless stie le.'inrjuishes such pension or pro/ision, and in tho event of her remarrying any allowance that may have been granted to her tdinll eeas-a.'" Under this section any public contributions towards the support of the mother of a- soldier killed in action would igo to relieve the State and not the mother. Mr Fenwick said that the Law Sx-ebty ; had really made the necessity tor .recruiting the basis of their action, but they now had the assurance of Go]- >nel Stmieham that recruiting was go,'";: on satisfactorily. | He did not. however, think that even if more recruits were coming forward than was necessary they should ahstain from discussing tho matter. (Hear, hear.) The ; question was ; "Were the pensions adequate? Voices (emphatically) : No. Mr Fenwick agreed that personally he thought they were quite inadequate, and he vias of opinion that the committee should express their views and urge the Government to do something, sot kit' these who were injured and the" dependents of those who were killed fthoulu receive a reasonable, allowance. (Hear. hear. I The Government- had never yet made any announcement on the matter, except when at South I)unedii> Mr Massey made a small expression of opinion—viz. : There was one point he would specially like to refer to. He had noticed in the Press that the pensions to Irs provided for the widows of the men who might be killed iu the war were said to be inadequate He was not able to say offhand whether th.it was. -io or ivn. a.-. the Act covering the point was passed at tho conclusion of the. Boer Was. If, however, the pensions named iu that Act were not sufficient, the (.hiveinmeat would do the right thing. (Applause.) Mr' Fenwick continued that, by. believed that it was the case that, as stated by Mr Massey, some provision had been made at the close of the Boer War. There appeared to have beet: a reaffirmation of pensions which were now quite- inadequate, and were possibly quite inadequate at the time they were granted, fie wisli-d to urge the .committee io take the. matter into consideration, „ot front the point of view of assisting in the matter of recruiting, but from tlie point of view that those who wore serving their country and their dependents should receive adequate pensions if the occasion demanded it , My P. R. Sa.rgood said that lie | v .d db-eus.-vcd the matter with the- Minister of Defence, who had given him the. assurance that the Government had tho matter in hand, and were a.waiting e-rrtain information from the Commonwealth Government,
Mr Fenwiclc rinal.lv pave notice C> hav< the matter fully d'iseusscd at the next meeting of the- executive.
AFTER THE WAR, Issue 15703, 18 January 1915
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