HC Deb 21 April 1921 vol 140 cc2034-5
8. Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL

asked the Minister of Pensions whether in the case of disabled single officers and men who are in receipt of war pensions, any additional allowance is made on marriage; and, if not, whether he will take the matter into consideration, having regard to the fact that in many cases the disablement is of a character which makes it urgently necessary that the men should have assistance in doing things for which the nature of their wounds seriously handicaps them?


Wife's allowance, as an addition to pension, is not granted unless the marriage took place before the man's disablement. To remove this restriction from the Warrant, together with the corresponding restrictions relating to children's allowances and widows' and children's pensions, would involve an exceedingly heavy expenditure, which (according to an estimate made by my predecessor) might amount to as much as £30,000,000 a year. With regard to the latter part of the question, I may remind my hon. and gallant Friend that in cases of total disablement, a special allowance is granted if the constant attendance of another person is necessary.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise how seriously this may handicap many of these men who were, unfortunately, wounded in the War, and were not married at the time? Taking into consideration that the allowance is made in regard to that disablement, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that something might be done for these men who are partially disabled?


As I stated in my reply, the expenditure, if it is carried out thoroughly, might amount to about £30,000,000 a year. I have also pointed out that where a man requires constant attention because of his wounds we give him constant attention. We endeavour to meet in a special way the cases of these disabled men.


Would that apply to the wife of a man who has married under these circumstances, if he needs constant attention?


I think that is so. I will look into it; but I believe the wife does get some money for attendance when she marries one of these men.