HC Deb 03 November 1955 vol 545 cc1203-4
40. Captain Pilkington

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of present circumstances and of all the representations made to him, he has reconsidered or is reconsidering the position of the limited number of ex-officers whose pensions were fixed before the war.

Mr. H. Brooke

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given on 1st November to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Black).

Captain Pilkington

Cannot my right hon. Friend at least say that the Chancellor will consider the matter again before the next Budget? Does not my right hon. Friend agree that these unfortunate people are in fact in a category by themselves?

Mr. Brooke

It was on this day last week that I announced that the Government were undertaking a review of these matters and would promulgate their decision in due course.

Mr. Paget

Is it not thoroughly dishonest to pay pensions in depreciated currency? Secondly, how do we expect to assist recruitment and to encourage people to take up the Army as a career if we do not treat them honestly?

Mr. Brooke

The second supplementary question is not for me to answer, but in answer to the first, the Pensions Increase Acts and similar action taken for retired officers have been based on principles which have been the same whatever the Government in power. I said just now that a further review is being made.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this dwindling number of ex-officers consider that they are being disgracefully defrauded by the present Government?—[Interruption.]—or by previous Governments? Has not the time now come to do something about the matter, or is the right hon. Gentleman waiting for them to die off so that he need not do anything about it at all?

Mr. Brooke

A general improvement in their position was brought about last year, and the matter is being again reviewed.