To ask the Minister for Defence if he has received several applications for Dependent's allowance on behalf of Private Michael Browne, Factory Street, Mountrath, Leix; if he will state the reasons why same has been refused or deferred, and seeing that Browne (Ref. No. 196, now stationed in Durrow, Leix) is now serving since May, 1922, he will expedite payment of whatever allowance his mother may be entitled to.

Private Browne's mother was notified on the 16th December last that her claim had been disallowed. His net contribution to his home for a reasonable period prior to enlistment did not amount to the minimum extent required by regulations, namely, 12s. per week. A soldier is expected to contribute at least one-third of his Army Pay to his dependents, and such contribution in this case would compensate his mother for the loss of his pre-enlistment earnings.

Can the Minister say what he terms a reasonable period in the case of that kind before enlistment?

A reasonable period would probably be six months or so.

Unemployed previous to enlistment?

If a man is unemployed previous to enlistment or for a period previous to enlistment he does not receive dependent's allowance on being enlisted.

That raises a very important point.