HC Deb 30 June 1959 vol 608 cc246-7
50. Mr. Simmons

asked the Prime Minister if he will now reconsider the position of holders of the Victoria Cross who find themselves in needy circumstances by entirely disregarding war disability pensions in the determination of means.

The Prime Minister

This is a matter which, as the House knows, has often been raised in the past; but I am quite prepared to look into it again.

Mr. Simmons

Does the Prime Minister realise that the war disability pension is disregarded for Public Assistance and things of that kind? Will he see that Victoria Cross holders are not put in a worse position than the recipients of National Assistance? Will he look at the general position of holders of the Victoria Cross who are in impecunious circumstances?

The Prime Minister

I have not had time to go into all the details, but I have seen some first statement of them. They are rather complicated, but I will do my best to look into the matter and to see if a solution can be found. I do not think the hon. Member would wish to press me on this matter at the moment.

Mr. Turton

Does not my right hon. Friend consider that there is a great objection to these conditions and is he aware that considerable feeling in the country that it is distasteful to subject holders of the Victoria Cross annuity to a scrutiny as to means? Will he consider whether opportunity should not be taken for a more complete revision of this Pay Warrant?

The Prime Minister

It is a little more complicated than that. Perhaps if the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Simmons) or my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton) have a particular case in mind they will write to the National Assistance Board, or to me, and I shall do my best to look into the matter.

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