HC Deb 09 February 1956 vol 548 cc1787-8
15. Lieut-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider introducing legislation to revoke or amend the Nelson Estates Act, 1947, which has the effect of confiscating the annuity payable to the heirs of Admiral Lord Nelson.

Mr. H. Brooke

Lord Nelson recently sent my right hon. Friend a memorandum about this which is being studied.

Lieut.-Colonel Bromley - Davenport

While no one expects pensions of this nature to go on for ever, was not this act of confiscation described by our right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) at the time as stealing £5,000 a year from Lord Nelson? Why cannot we remedy this injustice by paying a lump sum, as was done in the case of the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Marlborough, Lord Rodney and other national heroes? Surely, the heirs to Lord Nelson deserve similar fair treatment, however distant they may be.

Mr. Brooke

As I have said, the memorandum is in the hands of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor and, I think, in the hands of other hon. and right hon. Members. I cannot prejudge the outcome of my right hon. Friend's consideration of it.

Mr. Bottomley

Is it suggested that this noble Lord should receive better treatment than the victors in the last war—Lord Montgomery, Lord Tedder and Lord Cunningham?

Mr. Brooke

I can say nothing further on this subject except that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor is examining the memorandum he has received.

Mr. Kershaw

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many who think that if the State or anyone else enters into a solemn contract with someone, they should keep to it or pay proper compensation?

Mr. Ede

Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take into account the fact that the nation failed to meet the request made by Lord Nelson that his lineal descendants should be looked after?