§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ VISCOUNT SANDHURST
My Lords, this is a Bill to provide pensions for the widows of police-constables. As the law stands, widows are granted pensions only if the constable dies, having received injury in the execution of his duty. It is now proposed that, if a constable, or a pensioner, or an ex-pensioner, is not qualified for pension owing to disease or injury which caused retirement, their widows shall have a pension at an increased rate of £26 for a constable, £32 for an inspector, and £40 for a superintendent. The Bill includes those who were serving on September 1, 1918, also re-engaged pensioners who were serving at that date, and those members of the Police who were serving in His Majesty's Forces on that day. In the case of a man receiving a pension from the Forces, that amount will be taken into account in fixing his pension; and, where a man has been given a gratuity on retirement from the Police Force, this is met by giving the Police authorities power to fix the date when the pension shall be given.
It is provided by the existing Pension Act that where a man is receiving a pension under that Act and is entitled to remuneraton from money granted by Parliament, he shall not while holding that office receive as pension and pay together more than one and a half times the amount of the pay he was receiving on which the pension is based. This has already been removed by Statute in some instances, and it is proposed to remove it in respect of any office 195 remunerated from the public funds. The Bill also deals with the case of a constable who joined the Forces without the leave of his Chief of Police. He would not under the old system be entitled to count war service towards his pension. It is now proposed that, if the Chief Officer gives his consent subsequently, the constable shall enjoy the same advantage as if the permission had been given at the proper time.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Viscount Sandhurst.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a.
§ Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) House in Committee and Bill reported without amendment: Bill read 3a, and passed.