CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - SEPARATION ALLOWANCES.

To ask the Minister for Defence if he will state what additional arrangements have been made to speed up the payment of Separation Allowances to the dependents of the large number of men who within the last two months joined the National Army, and if he will take steps to see that speedy payments are made in all cases.

There are at present adequate arrangements. There are facilities by which the claim can be made either by the man himself or by the dependent interested.

When I made a statement on this matter on 12th January last, there were 3,966 claims to be investigated and dealt with. Payments have actually since been made in respect of 3,835 additional cases.

Principally due to recruiting, a large number of fresh claims have since been made. At the moment 6,000 claims are under investigation and 1,300 are awaiting being placed in the hands of the investigators. They will be in their hands immediately.

Our investigation machinery—which is necessarily the slowest portion of our machinery—is capable of, and is actually at the present moment, dealing with cases to the number of 200 a day.