HC Deb 11 April 1940 vol 359 cc707-8
65. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Minister of Health whether he will speed up the long delays now occurring in straightforward cases between the application for a widows' pension and its grant?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that there has been some delay, which I much regret, in the award of widows' pensions under the Contributory Pensions Acts. This has been due not only to an increase in the number of claims but also to the temporary dislocation caused by the evacuation of the staffs concerned and to the depletion of these staffs. Every effort is being made to deal with the claims promptly and the hon. Member may rest assured that there is no avoidable delay.

71. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that Mrs. Atkins, Sarum Road, Lime house, London, E.13, applied for a widows' pension in November last; that she received a reply from Blackpool on 20th February saying the matter was receiving attention, but no decision has yet been notified to her; and will he take steps to get the case dealt with without further delay?

Mr. Elliot

Mrs. Atkins' application for a widow's pension was received in my Department on 13th December, 1939. She was at that date already in receipt of an old age pension under the Contributory Pensions Acts, and she continued to receive this pension until 19th March, 1940. Her pension order book was then recalled, in order that the date up to which pension had already been paid might be verified, and a widow's pension order book commencing on the appropriate date prepared. The new order book was issued on 8th April, 1940, and Mrs. Atkins was advised to this effect.