HC Deb 10 July 1941 vol 373 cc289-90
11. Captain Profumo

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will consider granting pensions to parents who have lost their sons in the war, without any inquiry as to means, provided the son was making an allotment from his pay to his parents during his service with His Majesty's Forces, particularly in all cases where; the full dependants' allowance was being paid prior to death?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer given to a similar Question put by the hon. and gallant Member for West Bromwich (Captain J. Dugdale) on 26th June, a copy of which I am sending to him.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Cannot the Minister see his way to do this? There is a great deal of feeling about it.

Sir W. Womersley

Perhaps the hon. Member will look up the answer I gave on 26th June.

Captain Profumo

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, might I point out that the original answer deals with a slightly different point from that of my Question?

Sir W. Womersley

I think it is a complete answer. I will read it out, if Mr. Speaker will allow me— The Select Committee of 1921 took the view that to justify the grant of a parent's pension the test of need, broadly interpreted, should be satisfied. This principle was incorporated in the 1940 Warrant, the provisions of which were fully considered by my Statutory Advisory Committee. I regret that I am not prepared to waive this requirement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th June, 1941; col. 1127, Vol. 372.]

12. Mr. Beverley Baxter

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will give further consideration to the rule under which members of the Armed Forces, who are injured or killed by enemy action when not on duty, are dealt with under the civilian scheme instead of receiving the full benefit of the pensions provided for members of the Armed Forces on duty?

Sir W. Womersley

I am very glad to inform the hon. Member that, following consideration of this question with my Central Advisory Committee, I have obtained authority to award pensions at the rates applicable to injury or death attributable to service, in cases in which full-time members of the Armed Forces while not on duty are injured or killed as the result of enemy bombing or the discharge of any weapon by the enemy or by our own Forces in repelling the enemy.

Mr. Baxter

Is the Minister aware that his action will cause great satisfaction in the country, and will add to his reputation? Will this change be retroactive in the case of casualties already dealt with?

Sir W. Womersley

Yes, Sir. All cases which have been dealt with previously, and for which civilian pensions have been awarded, will be transferred to the Forces pension.

Mr. Burke

Will the Minister review all those cases previously turned down, or must the people concerned make application?

Sir W. Womersley

I will go through them myself—they probably will not amount to a great number—but if anybody wishes to apply, he may do so.

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