HC Deb 27 May 1943 vol 389 cc1724-5
29 Captain W. T. Shaw

asked the Minister of Health whether it is competent for the Assistance Board to take into account the rise in the cost of tobacco when considering applications for supplementary pensions?

Mr. E. Brown

The scales in accordance with which supplementary pensions are determined. have been approved by Parliament, and the Assistance Board have no power to vary them, except to meet some special circumstances of an individual case.

Captain Shaw

Is not the rise in the cost of tobacco a especial circumstance?

Mr. Brown

I think it is of general application, and not a special circumstance.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman take note, when drawing up the forthcoming Regulations, of the point raised by my hon. Friend? Will the Minister answer?

Mr. Brown

I will discuss that with my colleagues concerned.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we to understand that the reluctance of the right hon. Gentleman indicates that there is no intention on the part of the Government to provide any increase in the scale?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member had better await the Regulations.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Does not this Question show that it is just tinkering with the matter? Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence with the Board to get them to give adequate consideration to the question?