HC Deb 08 November 1949 vol 469 cc1044-5
26. Colonel Dower

asked the Minister of Pensions if he can now state the steps he proposes to take to assist war pensioners living in dollar and hard currency countries in view of devaluation.

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Marquand)

The Government have decided in principle to help individual war pensioners resident in dollar and other hard currency countries who are experiencing severe hardship as the result of the recent fall in the value of sterling. Details of the necessary arrangements are being worked out.

Colonel Dower

While I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask if we can be told when this help for people who are in a very precarious position is likely to arrive?

Mr. Marquand

The payment of help has already been authorised but as we have to work in these countries through the very valued help of their own local administrations it is a little too early for yet to say what type of cases come to hand.

Mr. William Teeling

Could not the Minister get into touch with the Foreign Office, who have already worked out a scheme for their staff abroad, to see whether the same methods could not be used in this matter?

Mr. Marquand

That is a rather different matter; it is a question of the Civil Service staffs involved in those countries. In the present case, we have to find details of individuals and ascertain what kind of hardship they are suffering. We are collecting the information very rapidly.