HC Deb 02 April 1946 vol 421 cc1087-8
30. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider reducing the age at which retired officers become eligible for retired pay up to £300 a year from 6o to 55.

Mr. Lawson

I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the terms of the Pensions Increase Warrant, 1944. This Warrant follows the statutory provisions in the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1944, and it would, therefore, not be possible to make any special provision in favour of Army officers.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Does that answer mean that the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to take any steps to increase the miserable pittance on which these men who have served their country for 35 years are existing at the moment?

Mr. Lawson

It would not be possible without an Amendment of the Act.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Is the Minister not aware that we have been pressing his Government ever since last December to produce an Amendment to the very Act to which he has referred, and will he ask some of his back benchers to propose an Amendment to the Act, rather than plead the unamended Act as a reason for doing nothing when he ought to do something?

Mr. Lawson

I will be as benevolent as I can in this matter. I was not quite sure whether the hon. Gentleman was asking me about the age or about the amount. I will take note of the suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is justice and not benevolence that we require, and does he not agree that the Pensions (Increase) Act is very inadequate in its effect on officers' pensions?