HC Deb 01 February 1940 vol 356 cc1255-6
43. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in view of the increase of 19 points in the cost of living since the outbreak of war, he will confer with the Admiralty, War Office, and Air Ministry, to see whether the widows of the Fighting Services could have their pensions increased by a small percentage as was done in the last war?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

No, Sir; the rise in the cost of living which has so far occurred since

Rank. Name. Qualifications. Date of Appointment to Present Grade.
Director General of Medical Services. Dr. H. Lightstone D.S.O., M.C., M.D., CM. July, 1938.
Deputy Director General of Medical Services. Dr. A. W. Moore O.B.E., M.B., B.Ch. October, 1930.
Director of Medical Services Dr. W. Haward O.B.E., M.B., B.S. July, 1938.
Director of Medical Services Dr. J. E. Prideaux M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. October, 1939.

These officers were first appointed to the Ministry in 1919–21. Their duties are mainly of a medical administrative character.

Cases presenting special difficulty are referred to the following specialists nominated by the presidents of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons:

the outbreak of war does not justify an increase in the rates of pension for widows by comparison with the figure on which Great War rates were based.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the Minister not realise that the increase in cost of living means that these unfortunate people are getting less value for their money than they normally would receive?

Sir W. Womersley

The rates of pensions granted now are greater than those granted during the Great War. The 1919 rates were based on a cost-of-living figure of 215, and to-day that figure is 174.

Mr. Sorensen

Do I understand from the Minister that we have to take the last war as the standard for 1940?