HC Deb 14 May 1956 vol 552 cc1787-8

Lords Amendment: In page 2, line 14, leave out from "is" to end of line 16.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Charles MacAndrew)

All these Amendments are privileged, and I direct that Special Entries be made in the Journals.

10.8 p.m.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Henry Brooke)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This and the next Amendment, in line 36, to leave out from "if" to "the" in line 37, which is consequential on it, deal with a small point which I hope will be received as an improvement to the Bill. It concerns the definition of a dependent child, which is important in connection with pension rights of widows under 40 and women pensioners in their own right under 60. Under the Bill as it left this House, a dependent child, if over 16, had to be receiving full-time education or instruction for a trade, and, in addition, these conditions had to have been satisfied at all times since the child reached the age of 16.

There might be a case where a boy left school at 16, let us say, and worked from 16 to 18 and then had a period of three years' training from the age of 18 to 21. In the form in which the Bill left this House, the mother would not be able to establish a claim to a pension increase during that period when her son was between 18 and 21. It would seem to be very bad luck if that were to happen, and that is why I suggest that this Lords Amendment is an improvement in the Bill.

The Amendment removes the condition that the full-time education or training must have subsisted at all times since the child became 16. The cost of accepting this Amendment will be negligible. There will be very few cases, but I think it will remove a tiny imperfection in the Bill if the Amendment is agreed to.

Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)

I need add very little to what the right hon. Gentleman the Financial Secretary has said. He was good enough to give me advance notice of these particular Amendments and their effects. I must say that I and my hon. Friends have looked at these Amendments and we heartily agree with the changes which have been made in another place. We accept them without question.