§ 13. Mr. Chataway
asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he will take steps to ensure that all pensioners of the former Government of India services, now resident in this country, receive pension increases, irrespective of their parents' race or original domicile.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
The limitation in respect of pensions increases to which my hon. Friend refers is not based on the parents race or domicile but on the pensioner's own domicile at the date of his first appointment to Government of India service.
The rule is in accordance with the Second Schedule to the Pensions (India, Pakistan and Burma) Act, 1955, as amended by the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1956, Section 8 (2), and any change such as suggested would require new legislation, which I regret my right hon. Friend would not feel able to propose.
§ Mr. Chataway
Does not my hon. Friend agree that a real injustice is being done here to a number of people? As my hon. Friend knows, my constituent, Captain Watkins, does not receive the same pension as those with whom he served, simply because he cannot prove that his father was a British subject domiciled in Britain. Will my hon. Friend look at this matter again?
§ Mr. Thompson
I have looked at this matter very carefully. The point is that unless some distinction of this kind were made, the United Kingdom taxpayer would become liable for paying pension increases to many pensioners of purely Indian origin, and it is not considered fair to impose this burden on the United Kingdom Revenue.