HC Deb 13 February 1941 vol 368 cc1495-7
27. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Pensions what organisation he consulted when considering the scales of compensation to be paid to civilians under the war injuries compensation scheme?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

Besides the various Government Departments concerned the Trades Union Congress, the Employers' Confederation and the Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women's Organisations were consulted in regard to this scheme. I have also received a deputation of lady Members of this House, and representatives of a very large number of women's organisations in order that I might consider their views before laying a revised scheme.

Miss Ward

A very pretty answer. May I ask my right hon. Friend whether the Standing Joint Committee of Industrial Women's Organisations agreed to the terms that were put before the House by the Chancellor of the Exchequer before the deputation met the Minister? I am glad to know that the deputations had such a success.

Sir W. Womersley

A pretty answer, if I may say so, to a very pretty lady. These consultations were to get opinions and not to ask Members to make decisions. I have to make the decisions.

28. Mrs. Tate

asked the Minister of Pensions under what authority he is enforcing differentiations of payment for war injury between men and women?

Sir W. Womersley

Payments for war injury are made under the authority of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, 1940, which was drawn up with the approval of the Treasury in pursuance of the provisions of the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939. The various rates of payment are as laid down in that scheme.

Mrs. Tate

Does the right hon. Gentleman think it right that there should have been this totally unjustifiable difference in the rates paid to men and women without the House having previously been consulted?

Sir W. Womersley

That is exactly what the deputation of lady Members of the House and of persons representing certain women's organisations put to me, and I am considering it.

Miss Ward

Is it not a good thing to look before you leap?

30. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is prepared to take steps to remove the present discrimination in the treatment of the dependants of persons killed in air raids before and after 24th December by making the funeral grant and temporary allowance retrospective to the beginning of the war?

Sir W. Womersley

This among other matters arising on the scheme of civilian compensation is still under active consideration.

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