HC Deb 19 February 1895 vol 30 cc1075-6
SIR H. S. KING (Hull, Central)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India—(1) whether his attention has been called to the fact that, under existing Rules of the Bombay Civil Fund, while the widow of a deceased subscriber receives £400 a year, and each daughter £100, and any daughter who came on the fund after 1865, receives a further bonus of £1,000 on marriage, no provision is made to give extra benefits to daughters, who, coming on the Fund in middle life, at 40 years, or over, have practically no expectations of marriage; (2) whether a memorial has been submitted to him by a lady, who stated that her father died in 1890, at the age of 85, having paid subscriptions to the Fund for 63 years, and his wife, having predeceased him, left four daughters on the Fund, whose ages ranged from 62 to 45, whose prospective chances of obtaining £1,000 by marriage she stated to be nil, and complaining that, although her father had made exceptional sacrifices to the Fund these daughters are excluded from a part of its benefits; and (3) whether, as under Sections 2 and 4 of the Bombay Civil Fund Act, 1882, discretion is given to the Secretary of State to give additional benefits, if he shall deem it reasonable, he will exercise the discretion by arranging that a lady pensioner, coming on the Fund after a certain age may, by abandoning her claim to £1,000 on marriage, receive compensation in the shape of interest on that sum, to be added to her pension of —100 per annum.


The facts are as given in the hon. Member's first and second questions, but he is mistaken if he supposes, as he apparently does, that the pension of £100 to a married daughter continues after marriage. The donation of £1,000 is contingent on marriage, and the pension then ceases. An unmarried daughter has her pension during her life. As regards the third question, it was proposed to the subscribers of the Fund, before the passing of the Act of 1882, that the donations to sons on attaining majority, and to daughters on marriage, should be somewhat diminished, in order that children's pensions (including, of course, those of unmarried daughters) might be increased; but the members of the Fund declined to accept this suggestion; and it is not intended to propose any variation of the settlement which was then made, and was distinctly accepted as final.