HC Deb 27 March 1941 vol 370 cc682-3
32. Mr. Arthur Jenkins

asked the Minister of Pensions whether the application of Mrs. N. G. Johnson, of Cwmbran, Monmouthshire, for a pension in respect of her late husband, who was fatally injured while returning from air-raid precautions duty, has now been agreed to?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

Mr. Johnson died as a result of injuries accidentally caused by colliding with an electric standard whilst driving a motor car. As he was not on duty at the time I regret that it is not possible to grant his widow a pension under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme. I am informed, however, that a pension of 15s. a week has been awarded to her under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Acts.

Mr. Jenkins

Will the Minister give consideration to the problems arising under this legislation?

Sir W. Womersley

Yes, Sir. There have been many cases brought to my notice in connection with this question of on and off duty, and I am having a thorough investigation made into the position. I hope to be able to report to the House at an early date.

Mr. A. Bevan

In any investigation will the Minister consider the retrospective aspect of the matter?

Sir W. Womersley

As regards pensions, certainly.

34. Mr. Ross Taylor

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, having regard to the interpretation placed by his Department on Section 16 of the Personal Injuries (Defence) Scheme, in consequence of which Mr. H. W. Stannard, of Grundis-burgh, Suffolk, a member of the Observer Corps since its inception, has been denied compensation in respect of an accident sustained by him when returning from duty on the night of 21st January, 1940, which disabled him totally for several months and resulted in permanent lameness, he will cause the wording of the Order to be so altered as to make it plain that injuries sustained by a volunteer while proceeding to, or returning from, duty are not regarded by his Department as injuries which have arisen out of and in the course of the performance of his duties?

Sir W. Womersley

In the absence of the papers relating to this case, which it has not been possible in the time available to obtain, I am unable to reply on the merits, but I will look into it and will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Mr. Taylor

Will the review which the Minister is going to make of cases of this kind cover the kind of case referred to in the Question?

Sir W. Womersley

I want to see the papers before I can give any answer on that point.