§ 3. Mr. BAKER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether the present rates of pensions awarded to sufferers through the Great War are due for revision in 1926; and whether, having regard to the high cost of living, he will take action to stabilise the present rates and allow men who are commuting portions of their pension to commute same on the rates payable under the Royal Warrant, 1919, and not on the rates of the 1918 Warrant as at present?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I do not consider that I could properly take any steps at the present time to anticipate the decision on rates of pension, to the conditions that may obtain in the future. The maximum which may be commuted must, accordingly, continue to be calculated on the basis of the 1918 Warrant rates plus 20 per cent bonus. I may, however, explain that the question of the revision of rates does not otherwise affect commutation, since the capital sum granted is based upon the actual weekly amount of money which is surrendered.
§ 4. Mr. BAKER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, seeing that pensions awarded under Article 1163 of the Royal Warrant, 1914, are based on pre-War rates, he will take action with a view to ensuring that the men pensioned under this Article shall receive increase of pension in accordance with the Pension (Increase) Act, 1920, and the Pensions (Increase) Bill, 1924?
I presume that my hon. Friend has in mind the cases in which a pension under this Article has been granted since the beginning of the War. The Article 1163 award is a reserved right, and men now drawing a pension at the rates of that Article are, in fact, receiving compensation which is as good as, if not better than, that available for men fulfilling the same qualifying conditions, and dealt with exclusively either by the Ministry's Warrants or post-War Warrants. The awards made in these cases were, therefore, held to be outside the scope of the out the intention of Parliament in the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1920. The 2430 suggestion made by my hon. Friend, which would affect the Service Departments as well as the Ministry, will he considered when the amending Warrants necessary to give effect to the Bill now before the House are drafted.