Monday, 19 January 2015

Difficulty Over an Expense Claim

Tuesday 19th January 1915: Despite the important work they are carrying out there has been some difficulty over expense claims made on behalf of the Special Constabulary. Major Stevens, the Chief Constable, has returned an account for £156 12s 9d to Mr H. G. Allen saying he doubts it can be paid as “it is expenditure incurred without the previous sanction of the Committee. Also so far as regards some of the items, I have considerable doubt whether the Police Authority could expend the money.” Mr H. G. Allen has today fired off an indignant reply:
I cannot just now possibly produce vouchers for everything as the statement of accounts are drawn from approximately 300 special constables residing all over the shire. I do not suppose for one moment that a large majority of the special constables can produce any vouchers for the smaller amounts which I should have thought could have been taken as being correct. In regard to my own amounts, naturally I can produce a signed statement but not necessarily vouchers shewing how these accounts are made up.
The small items which you criticise, such as 3/- and 2/-, may appear absurd, but they are for men only drawing about 16/- to 20/- per week, and therefore every penny is of consequence to them. The claims sent in are only out-of-pocket expenses and do not by any means represent the cost which has been incurred by individuals. As a matter of fact it has cost a good deal more than the total sum sent in. Seeing that the Government are allowing expenses for the Emergency work I should have thought that these expenses could have been allowed for as well.
I would add however that if it can be shewn that there are any other counties in the Country where a force of Special Constables have been raised for patrolling and guarding hundreds of miles of road and wires throughout the shire (the nature of which work has made the out-of-pocket expenses such an important item) and they have not asked for expenses, then I think there would be no justification for the Standing Joint Committee to grant us a sum. It is of no use comparing this account with any expenses that may have been incurred by Special Constables for Town duty as these naturally have no expenses at all. I herein return you the account.[1]
Source: Emergency Committee Papers [WW1/EC4/2]

[1] Unfortunately there is no further correspondence to indicate whether or not the expense claim was eventually paid. 

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