HC Deb 25 July 1935 vol 304 cc2004-5
44. Mr. LAWSON (for Mr. RHYS DAVIES)

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that Aircraftman John Charles Ratcliffe, a native of Horwich, Lancashire, was killed in the Quetta earthquake, and that his parents have been refused any compensation of any kind in respect of his death; and whether, in view of the special circumstances connected with the case, he will consider granting a gratuity to this man's parents?


I regret that the regulations preclude any grant of pension or gratuity in this case. The hon. Member has already been in communication with me, and I have explained to him that awards in such cases are dependent on the pecuniary and other circumstances of the parents.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the facts as set out in the question as to the circumstances under which the man died are not rather an exception to the circumstances which are provided for by the ordinary regulations?


The circumstances are only exceptional in that this case occurred in India in the unfortunate earthquake disaster, but they are not different in kind from those in the case of any man who died anywhere as a result of an accident when on duty, and the rules are the same in all the Services as regards pensions and other allowances.