HC Deb 09 November 1953 vol 520 cc590-1
39. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will reconsider the pension award to Mr. R. Munro, who was totally disabled in 1916 and awarded, in 1923, a pension which has today become inadequate in the light of the modern cost of living.

The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

Mr. Munro is already receiving a special pension which is higher than the standard rate and I regret that I am unable to increase it.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Does my right hon. Friend realise that under this special award the man is receiving only £300 a year, which is totally inadequate for a man who was totally disabled in 1916? Does not this illustrate the unsatisfactory state of affairs of pensions for officers who were pensioned under the 1919 code and is not the continued failure of successive Governments to adjust such pensions to an amount commensurate with modern standards of living a breach of faith with those who gave so much in the service of their country?

Mr. Peake

In the first Question which I have answered on a war pensions matter I should very much have liked to have made a concession, but I am bound by the terms of the Royal Warrant and by the decisions of all my predecessors that where there is a special pension in payment, which is at a higher rate than the standard rate being received by men with comparable injuries, it would be unreasonable to increase it.

Mr. H. Hynd

If the Minister is sympathetic to the point of view that £300 is an adequate pension, as he appears to be, will he have another look at the rates of pension for old age pensioners?

Mr. Peake

That hardly arises out of this Question.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.