HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1151-2W
Sir G. Schuster

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the wording of Question Number 8 of the questions to be put on enrolment of Local Defence Volunteers is intended to imply that no compensation will be payable in the event of temporary disability attributable to service as a Local Defence Volunteer; whether he is aware that the apprehension that the right to compensation is so limited is causing considerable anxiety, and that cases have already occurred of individuals receiving injuries temporarily incapacitating them from continuing their paid employment, and thereby involving them in substantial financial loss; and whether he will make such further regulations and provisions as may be necessary to ensure a Local Defence Volunteer against financial loss due to temporary injury as a result of his service?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir. Compensation will be payable in the event of temporary disability attributable to service as a Local Defence Volunteer, as well as in the case of permanent disablement or death. Regulations stating the exact conditions under which such compensation will be payable and at what rates will be promulgated shortly; these regulations will provide broadly for compensation on the following lines:

  1. (1) A Local Defence Volunteer who is in capacitated by an injury or disease attributable to his volunteer duties will be eligible during the initial period of total disablement for a disablement allowance, which will normally be at the rate of 35s. a week, with additions in respect of the eligible members of his family of 5s. a week for his wife, 5s. a week for his first child and 3s. 4d. a week for each other child under the age of 16. In the case of Government employés, the allowance will not be payable in addition to equivalent sick pay.
  2. (2) Free medical attendance or hospital treatment will be provided for any disability in respect of which a disablement award is admissible. When free treatment is provided, a deduction of 10s. 6d. a week will be made while he is in hospital.
  3. (3) Whilst partially disabled, or after discharge from the Volunteers, a disabled Volunteer will be eligible for a disability award under the conditions of, and at the rates laid down for a private soldier in, the Ministry of Pensions' code for members of the Forces. This code provides, for total disablement, a pension of 32s. 6d. a week, plus additions as above for eligible members of the family: for partial disablement, this pension or the additions are proportionately less. In the event of death attributable to volunteer service, the widow or parents or other dependants of a Volunteer will similarly be eligible for pension awards as for the family of a private soldier. The widow's pension rate is normally 22s. 6d. a week (15s. 6d. a week for a childless widow under 40) with additions of 5s. a week for each child under age 16.

Instructions have been issued that any cases in which Volunteers have already been incapacitated as a result of their duties are to be reported, with a view to the immediate grant of compensation on the above lines.