HC Deb 18 March 1940 vol 358 cc1617-8
12. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Pensions the reasons for the rejection by the War Grants Committee of the application by Mrs. F. E. Hind, 22, Hudson Avenue, Horden, county Durham, in view of her income of 10s. widows' pension and 7s. and allotment; and whether, in view of her circumstances, he will cause further inquiries to be made?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

I am inquiring further into the facts of this case and will communicate with the hon. Member.

13. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has considered the complaints which have been put to him in regard to the provisions of the Royal Warrant under which pensions can be awarded to parents of unmarried men killed in the present war; and whether he has now been able to make any amendments in those provisions?

Sir W. Womersley

I have discussed these, among other, provisions of the Royal Pensions Warrant, with my advisory committee, and, as a result, I am glad to say that I have been enabled materially to improve them. In future the condition as to the incapacity for self-support of the claimant will cease to be applied. Moreover, full effect has been given to the recommendation of the Select Committee on Pensions of 1920 to the effect that pensions to parents should be awarded on the basis of need, broadly interpreted as the reasonable expectation of what the son would have contributed had he lived. In future, accordingly, recognition in all suitable cases will be given to both the pre-war and the prospective dependence of the parent on the deceased son. Lastly, the minimum pension will in future be 5s. a week, instead of, as at present, 2s., and the present maximum pensions of 10s. for one and 12s. 6d. for two parents may, in exceptional cases, be increased by 5s. to 15s. and 17s. 6d.

Mr. T. Williams

Is a White Paper likely to be published explaining the changes that are taking place?

Sir W. Womersley

I am very anxious that this question dealing with parents should be disposed of at once. I shall put this into operation at once. The full provisions will be contained in the amended Warrant that will come before the House.

14. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Minister of Pensions whether as ex-Servicemen who are in hospital are allowed the weekly amount they would have received from the Unemployment Assistance Board had they not been in hospital, he will consider the advisability of also paying the weekly amount to ex-Service patients in hospital that they were receiving from the public assistance committee before entering the hospital?

Sir W. Womersley

The supplementary allowances made by my Department in the case of the unemployed man referred to in the first part of the Question were designed to make up to these men and their families the amount they would otherwise be drawing from State funds. This does not apply in the case of persons in receipt of public assistance, but I am looking into this matter and will write my hon. Friend as early as possible.

11. Mr. Thurtle

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the elderly parents of Leading Seaman A. E. Roseaman, who lost his life in His Majesty's Ship "Grenville,"in January, have been refused any pension in respect of their son; that the dead seaman, throughout the 17 years of his service, contributed regularly to the support of his parents; and whether he will, therefore, reconsider this decision?

Sir W. Womersley

I am making further inquiries into this case and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

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