§ 9. Dr. Moonie
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the level of war widows' pensions since the statement of 11 December.
§ Mr. Tom King
A number of letters have been received, the majority of which warmly welcome the proposals that I announced on 11 December.
§ Dr. Moonie
Does the Secretary of State agree with the statement made by his colleague in another place, the Earl of Arran, that it is impossible to revise pensions for war widows without considering the problem of the war disabled pre-1973? If he does, what will he do about it?
§ Mr. King
The view that was generally held in the House when I made the statement on 11 December and the strong view of the many people who were campaigning was that war widows occupy a unique position in the affections and respect of the people of this country. Against that background, I was able to make the proposals that I did.
§ Mr. John Marshall
Does my right hon. Friend accept that the Government's decision was warmly welcomed throughout the country and that most people regard it as sheer humbug and hypocrisy for the Labour party to raise the issue when it did nothing to deal with it when in Government?
§ Mr. King
I do not think that the economy under the Labour Government was ever in a condition to afford such initiatives. I was proud to have the opportunity to make that announcement, which has brought considerable comfort and relief to people for whom many in this country have particular respect.