HC Deb 02 July 1925 vol 185 c2769
4. Mr. W. BAKER

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that, in the event of the death of an officer in the Royal Navy, it is the practice of the Admiralty to issue a form to the widow, which she is asked to complete, when any pension for which she is eligible is automatically issued; and whether he will state the reasons which prevent his Ministry from adopting a similar practice in the case of the widows of naval and military pensioners?


The practice of the Admiralty referred to applies to widows of naval officers in the regular Service, who are ordinary entitled to some award of service or other pension. A similar practice would not be appropriate in the case of widows of naval or military pensioners of the great War dying long after the termination of their war service. In such cases the widow is not entitled to pension unless the circumstances of her husband's death make her eligible for it, and the procedure suggested by the hon. Member could only have the effect in many cases of raising false hopes and causing eventual disappointment.


Would not the adoption of this practice be to prevent any serious difficulty that might arise where the widow fails to exercise her rights?


I do not think that the practice would entirely be to the advantage of widows. We do not find any difficulty about the applications coming in. I think the rights are generally recognised.