HC Deb 27 June 1944 vol 401 cc596-7
30. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Prime Minister whether he will find time for discussion of the Motion on War Pensions standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Lonsdale and 161 other hon. Members.

[That this House, being of the opinion that no widow or child of a member of the forces should be financially penalised on account of the death or disablement on service of a husband or father, considers that pensions payable to or in respect of them should be at least equal to the allowances they received before the death or disablement of the member of the forces, and accordingly it calls upon His Majesty's Government to reconsider the proposals for war pensions contained in Command Paper 6521 with a view to removing the inequalities which they create.]

The Prime Minister

I regret that the state of business will not permit of the allocation of a day for the discussion of this Motion, but if there is a general desire the Ministry of Pensions Vote could be put down for a Supply day. This would give my hon. and gallant Friend an opportunity of speaking on the subject of his Motion.

Mr. Bellenger

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is another Motion on the Order Paper, embodying the substance of the Motion in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser), and that if a Debate should take place the House would probably prefer it to be on a wider issue than that of the Ministry of Pensions?

[That this House, while welcoming the improvements in service pay, allowances and pensions outlined in the White Paper Cmd. 6521, is of the opinion, that a Select Committee of this House should be appointed to consider anomalies and inequalities which the White Paper fails to remedy.]

The Prime Minister

A Supply day is a day very appropriate for discussion of such a matter. The usual practice is to move a reduction in the salary of the Minister in question and the Debate is quite untrammelled. Supply days exist for this very purpose. In all parts of the House we endeavour to collect what is the wish of the House. I have never known a Government which desired to prevent any topic being raised on a Supply day, provided it was concerned with the expenditure of public money.

Sir I. Fraser

In view of the feeling in all quarters in the House that there are matters relating to the Ministry of Pensions which, perhaps, should be discussed before we rise for the Summer Recess, would my right hon. Friend ask the Leader of the House if he could make the necessary arrangement?

The Prime Minister

I have already said that we are quite ready to give a Supply day, when the matter has been arranged through the usual channels.

Mr. Tinker

Will it be in Order to discuss parents' pensions at the same time?

The Prime Minister

I have not consulted the Clerks at the Table, but I imagine that it would be possible to deal with all aspects of the case.