HC Deb 27 April 1944 vol 399 cc907-9
9. Mr. Hubbard

asked the Minister of Pensions if he has considered the resolution sent to him by the public assistance or social welfare authorities of Scotland concerning disablement pensions to members of His Majesty's Forces and dependants' allowances, asking that those pensions and allowances should be in creased to a sum that would exclude the recipients of Public Assistance; and if he proposes taking any action regarding this matter.

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

The whole field of war pensions was reviewed last summer, and various improvements were announced in a White Paper (Cmd. 6459). Other improvements are also being made in connection with the recent review of Service pay and allowances, and I do not consider that any further changes are called for.

10. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Minister of Pensions what, for the purpose of assessing a War Service Grant, is the contribution an officer is expected to make to his family from his pay.

Sir W. Womersley

The contribution expected is, normally, two-sevenths of his pay.

Mr. Bellenger

As it is purely optional, and not obligatory upon the officer to make this allotment from his pay, what happens if the officer does not make the allotment? Does that alter the basis of assessment for war service grant?

Sir W. Womersley

I cannot imagine any officer not making an allocation to his wife —[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"] —unless, of course, there is some difference of opinion between them. We must expect him to take some obligation, as a married man. We think that is very reasonable.

Miss Ward

In view of the White Paper, will my right hon. Friend recommit this point to the War Service Grants Committee for its advice?

Sir W. Womersley

I will consider that.

Mr. Bellenger

As my right hon. Friend seems to be unaware that some officers do not contribute to their wives —though if he would consult the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association, he would find out that that is the case—may I ask what is the effect on the war service grant in such cases?

Sir W. Womersley

It varies. We take a common-sense view, and try to work out these domestic tangles as best we can, on general principles. We expect the officer to take this obligation on himself, and if there is any domestic trouble it is not my affair.

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