HC Deb 19 February 1920 vol 125 cc1036-7
47. Captain LOSEBY

asked the Prime Minister if he is yet in a position to make his promised statement in regard to the amelioration of the position of women who served with the British forces overseas during the late War and who, in the course of and owing to such service, became disabled?


I am aware that complaints have been made by women discharged from Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, the Women's Royal Naval Service and Women's Royal Air Force as to their inability to obtain compensation, or as to the adequacy of the compensation obtained, for disablements which they believed themselves to have sustained in their employment. These complaints have been carefully considered by the Departments concerned. I must point out that women who entered these corps were enrolled, like other persons engaged in service ancillary to the War, on a footing that-differed very little from that of ordinary civil employment, except in the case of those members who enrolled for service overseas, for whom a special scheme of compensation under the injuries in War Compensation Act was framed. The rate of compensation payable under that scheme for total disability is being raised consonantly with the addition to payments under the Workmen's Compensation (War Addition) Amendment Act, 1919, and I do not think that I should be justified in asking the House to re-consider the entire basis of compensation, and to give employment of this character the advantages of the Royal Pension Warrants. I think, however, that the procedure for making and establishing a claim for compensation is not altogether satisfactory, and steps will be "taken forthwith to make known generally the procedure by which a claim can be made and, in the case of disablement attributable to service in the United Kingdom, as to the right of appeal to the Treasury or County Court, as the case may be. I would, at the same time, remind the House that, under the Work- men's Compensation (War Addition) Amendment Act recently passed, an addition of 75 per cent. instead of 25 per cent. is being made to the weekly amount payable under that Act, and this addition applies to members of the three Women's Corps whose employment brings them within the scope of that Act, and who are totally disabled by injuries sustained in the United Kingdom.

Viscount CURZON

Do ladies injured at Etaples get the same compensation as private soldiers would have got under the same conditions?


I should want notice of that question.


Does this compensation apply to British women who served in the forces of our Allies?


I must ask for notice of that question also.

Captain LOSEBY

Can the hon. Gentleman explain why a woman broken in the War should not be treated in the same way as a man;