HC Deb 18 February 1942 vol 377 cc1802-3
63. Mr. Collindridge

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, as the result of the improved scales of pay and allowances to members of the Forces, of which the House was informed on 10th February, it is proposed to make any corresponding adjustments in the war service grants that are at present in issue?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

A complete review of all war service grants in issue was recently carried out in order to bring them into line with the principles laid down in Command 6318. It is not intended to undertake a further general review at this stage; but as and when a grant comes up for reconsideration for other reasons it will be reassessed on the basis of the facts then existing, including the actual allowances in issue by the Service Department.

Mr. Collindridge

Is not the increase of 1s. on ordinary allowances to be given to recipients of war service grants?

Sir W. Womersley

When settling what should be the war service grant we have to take into account the income from the Service, and if there is an increase it must be taken into account at the time of the review.

Mr. Collindridge

Is the Minister aware of the wide dissatisfaction that his announcement will give?

Sir W. Womersley

It should give satisfaction, because I have stated that we are not going to review all these cases straight away, but we must deal with them under the terms laid down by Parliament as and when we have to review them.

64. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Minister of Pensions whether pensions to officers' widows are now awarded on the basis of the full rank of the husband who was serving in a lower rank when he lost his life; and in how many cases pensions have been awarded, since the outbreak of war, to widows of such deceased officers?

Sir W. Womersley

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave him yesterday in reply to a similar Question addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Does my right hon. Friend realise that this question particularly concerns naval officers serving under the Admiralty, and can he say what is the position of a large number of officers who have lost their lives while serving as commodores of convoys and who were admirals?

Sir W. Womersley

My hon. and gallant Friend had better have a word with me about those particular cases.