§ Mr. Leach
asked the Minister of National Insurance what is the total widow population of the country; how many are receiving war pensions; how many are receiving other pensions to which the State contributes; and what is the estimated number who would be qualified to receive pensions if the White Paper proposals are implemented.
§ Sir W. Jowitt
The number of widows in Great Britain at the end of 1944 is estimated at about 2,450,000. The number of war pensions in payment to widows at the end of February, 1945 (including those arising out of the last war) was about 212,000; figures are not available covering the whole of the remaining classes of widows who are receiving pensions to which the State contributes, but the number of pensions in payment under the Contributory Pensions Acts to widows under the age of 7o was 896,000 at the end of 1944. With regard to the fourth part of the Question, if my hon. Friend has in mind the number of widows who would be receiving widow's pensions, retirement pensions or guardian's benefit if the National Insurance scheme outlined in the White Paper were now in full operation, the number is estimated to be in the region of 1,175,000, excluding those over age 7o, that is to say approximately 275,000 more than the number of widows up to age 70 pensioned under the existing Contributory Pensions Acts at the present time.