HC Deb 21 June 1944 vol 401 cc194-5
61. Mr. Lipson

asked the Secretary of State for War what provision is made for the maintenance of a soldier and his dependants when he has been discharged on grounds of ill-health not attributed to his military service and when he is too unwell to follow any employment.

Mr. A. Henderson

Soldiers on discharge are credited with full contributions for the purposes of the National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions Acts and the Unemployment Insurance Acts in respect of the period of their Army service, and if, after discharge, they are unfit for work owing to ill-health, they are eligible for benefit subject to the statutory provisions of those Acts.

Mr. Lipson

May I ask my hon. and learned Friend to consider, with his right hon. Friend, whether, in the circumstances mentioned in the Question, pay and allowances can be made for a period of 13 weeks, as happens when a soldier has been killed, to enable his dependants to tide over a difficult period?

Mr. Henderson

That is another question, but I will certainly examine it.

Mr. Bellenger

Might I ask my hon. and learned Friend whether he intends his answer to convey that soldiers discharged as medically unfit come into full insurance benefit when they leave the Service?

Mr. Henderson

What I said was that they were entitled to benefit, subject to the provisions of the Act, and that of course depends upon the circumstances.

Mr. Belltenger

Is it not the case then that soldiers do not come into full benefit, but only receive partial benefit when they leave the Service as medically unfit?

Mr. Henderson

I was under the impression that soldiers, in view of the fact that their contributions are kept up throughout their Service, were entitled to full benefits under the Act.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Does it not mean, reduced to£ s. d., that a soldier under existinc, arrangements can receive only roughly£1 a week for himself, nothing for his wife or children, and that he must fall back on public assistance for other essential needs? Is that not the financial position?

Mr. Henderson

The financial position is that he is in exactly the same position as any industrial worker who is in the same position as he is.