HC Deb 22 June 1903 vol 124 cc59-60
CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state whether the wives and families of the men killed and injured in the recent explosion at Woolwich Arsenal are entitled to any benefits from public funds; and, if not, whether, seeing that these men received no extra or special pay on account of the nature of their occupation and were moreover working for less than the current rate of wages in the locality for unskilled labour, he will consider the advisability of granting special pensions to their wives and families while providing immediate succour for them.


Under the scheme of compensation drawn up in accordance with the Workmen's Compensation Act, the wives and families of the men killed are entitled to gratuities equal to three years' earnings, with a minimum of £150 and a maximum of £300. This gratuity may, under certain conditions be converted into a pension of not less than £10 per annum. Injured men are entitled to injury pay equal to half their average earnings. The rate of wages is under consideration in connection with the rates paid in similar undertakings.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take care that in this case pensions and not bulk sums are given?


I will give my best attention to the matter.