SIR,—After listening to Frank Laskier's postscript to the B.B.C. News Bulletin recently I recalled your corre spondent's recent interest in the Royal Merchant Navy. I recalled also that since there has been a debate in the House of Lords on the subject without any apparent result.
Millions of listeners have been profoundly impressed by the heroism of Paddy Boyle (of the blazing Tanker San Dernetrio) but how few are aware that if Boyle left a widow (with or without children) she is entitled to no pension For she loss of her husband, according to the War Pensions and Detention Allowances (Mercantile Marine, etc.) Scheme, 1941.
In a London Police Court recently I heard a Merchant Seaman charged with failing to rejoin his ship. lie swore that he went to Euston in our severest " Blitz " to find no trains running, so he went home to his family. He was fined £10 and costs.
In similar circumstances a soldier would have been absolved by a chit from the R.T.O. at Euston.
No excuse for a Merchant Seaman failing. to rejoin his ship is entertained but if as a result of duty and tension he jumps overboard or, even if he is washed overboard his widow is not entitled to a pension.
The scheme should he revised without delay and your paper, or one of its public spirited readers, can earn the gratitude of the Merchant Service and of the general public by leading an agitation for such revision.
H. T. HOGRESBank Chambers,
211, Streatham High Road, London, S.W.16.