HC Deb 04 April 1940 vol 359 cc311-3
43. Sir Adam Maitland

asked the Minister of Health what steps have been taken to make widely known, in simple language, the provisions of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act, 1940, in order to ensure that all those women entitled to pensions at the age of 60 years, and old age pensioners in need of further assistance are advised how, when and where to make their claims?

Mr. Elliot

Steps have been taken through the medium of the Press and the B.B.C. to bring to the notice of women who will be between the ages of 60 and 65 on 1st July, 1940, and who may then become entitled to old age pensions under the provisions of the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act, 1940, the importance of making early application for pensions on a form which may be obtained at any Post Office. These forms are accompanied by leaflets which explain the conditions for the award of a pension. I should welcome the co-operation of all hon. Members in making the provisions of the Act known as widely as possible. Claims are being received in large numbers—80,000 had been received by mid-day yesterday. As regards supplementary pensions which do not first become payable by the Assistance Board until the first week of August next, explanatory leaflets such as my hon. Friend suggests will be available in adequate time at all Post Offices.

Sir A. Maitland

The Minister gave the figure of about 80,000. May I ask how many were anticipated?

Mr. Elliot

The figure of 80,000 was the number received by mid-day yesterday. It has only just begun and there are 300,000 to come in.

60. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health what procedure will be adopted in making the additional appointments to his staff to administer the Old Age Pensions Act; and whether he will have regard to the desirability of appointing persons with knowledge of the Welsh language to such posts in Wales?

Mr. Elliot

The additional temporary clerical staff required for work in connection with the Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act, 1940, are being recruited through the Ministry of Labour. As far as appointments in Wales are concerned due regard will be had to the qualification referred to in the latter part of the Question.

62. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Minister of Health the procedure to be followed by applicants for supplementary old age pensions; and when the forms of application will be available?

Mr. Elliot

Application for a supplementary pension will be made on a form which will be obtainable at any post office. The Assistance Board are taking steps to ensure that application forms are available in ample time before August, when supplementary pensions are first payable, and the public will be informed as soon as the forms are available.

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