HC Deb 29 January 1942 vol 377 cc933-4W
Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is now able to state the reasons why a pension has been refused to the wife of ex-Private H. S. Giles, Ref. B.10/M2/5740, who is now in the Whittingham Mental Hospital?

Sir W. Womersley

As I have explained by letter to the hon. Member I am unable to certify that the disability, manic depressive psychosis, from which ex-Private Giles is suffering is either attributable to or aggravated by war service. In these circumstances I am unable to award a pension in his case.

Mr. Wilson

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that in a firm in which some 10,000 employees and the firm are contributing to a benevolent fund and where the weekly grants to the dependants of men serving in the forces average 7s. 2d. per week, pensionable amounts are in consequence of these grants being reduced; that there is keen resentment of the contributors at what they regard as the imposition of a means test, and that if this practice is continued it is likely to have a serious effect upon the continuance of the benevolent fund; and whether, generally throughout the country, such voluntary contributory funds are treated in a similar manner as in this case?

Mr. Paling

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the practice followed in connection with the assessment of war service grants. Claims for such grants are made on the ground of financial difficulty due to undertaking service. The question whether financial difficulty exists is one of fact which can be determined only by comparing the income enjoyed before service with the regular income derived from all sources during service.