§ 27. Sir B. FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that the men of the Royal Navy pay the contribution to the Widows',, Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Fund under the Act of 1925, and that their widows receive practically no benefit therefrom if the rating loses his life in the service of the Crown, while the widow of a civilian in similar circumstances receives the full benefit of the Act and a further cash payment up to £600 as compensation; and if he will have this arrangement altered and place the ratings' widows in a similar position to civilians' widows?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I have been asked to reply. I may point out that the £600 alluded to in the question is not a sum payable by the Crown but by private employers. It, therefore, does not raise the question of the payment of two pensions in respect of the same incident out of funds provided by or contributed to by the State. This matter was fully discussed when the Pensions Bill was in Committee of the Whole House, and the existing provisions were decided upon by Parliament with all the relevant facts before it.
§ Sir B. FALLE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I have no quarrel with the Contributory Pensions Act, but what we want altered is the Order in Council of November,]924, which can be altered to the advantage of the ratings?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not a fact that any widow whose husband has been killed while following his ordinary employment does not receive compensation at the same time that she is receiving a widow's pension under the 1925 Act?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I should not like to assent to that statement without further examination or perhaps qualification. As regards the other supplementary question any question relating to the procedure of the Admiralty should be put to the First Lord of the Admiralty.
§ Sir K. WOOD
That may, well be so; all I say is that I do not accept the statement made at this moment by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams). Obviously if hon. Members wish an exact statement on the matter I shall require notice.