HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 cc756-7
18. Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the widowed mother of a soldier serving in the Middle East recently had her rent reduced by 1d. per week, the result of which was that his Department reduced her dependant's allowance by 3s. 6d. per week; and whether, as this sum is of the utmost moment to this home, he will reconsider that case and the regulations, governing such cases?

Sir J. Grigg

When Service dependants' allowance was introduced it was deliberately decided to issue it at a limited number of fixed rates, although it was recognised that some minor disparities of treatment would result in cases near the change points. The present case is an extreme and rare, if not unique, example of this disparity. I do not think that it provides a sufficient reason for altering the whole system, with the consequent necessity for varying the rates of dependants' allowance in issue in practically all cases. I will, however, refer the case to which my hon. Friend refers to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions, in the hope that he may be able to correct the admitted anomaly by issuing an increased War Service Grant.

Mr. Hall

Will the right hon. Gentleman issue instructions that if other cases occur—as is likely, though not in such an extreme form as this—the old allowance is not to be dropped until the Minister of Pensions has dealt with the matter?

Sir J. Grigg

I will certainly consider that.