HC Deb 14 July 1919 vol 118 cc19-20
34. Brigadier-General Sir OWEN THOMAS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the list of pensions which have been conceded to the dependants of the merchant seamen lost in the Royal Mail steamer "Leinster"; and whether he has observed that the average weekly rate paid to the widows of seamen and firemen is only about 5s.; and whether the Government will so augment the pensions that the widows of these men do not suffer want as well as grief?


The widow of a sailor or fireman lost in the "Leinster" would be awarded a lump sum under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The pension payable under the Government War Risks Compensation Scheme is so calculated that when added to the amount of the annuity which could be purchased with this lump sum it will make up a total not less than £35 15s. a year. In addition, an allowance of not less than £13 a year is made in respect of each child under sixteen years of age. The average amount of pension and allowances paid to widows in the cases in question exceeds £1 a week.

This is in addition to the sums paid under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The compensation paid in the case of the "Leinster" was in accordance with the general Government insurance scheme.