§ Mr. Lewis
asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that former employees of the West Ham, the Waltham-stow and other tramway corporations, do not receive the benefit of increase of pensions under the recent Pensions (Increase) Act; and, in view of the implied promise as to stability of pensions contained in the London Passenger Transport Act, 1933, if he will make regulations under Section 98 of the Transport Act, 1947, to increase these pensions to the corresponding level of those granted under the Pensions (Increase) Act.216W
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I am aware that the Pensions (Increase) Acts do not apply to any former employees of the undertakings referred to in the Question who were transferred to the service of the London Passenger Transport Board under the London Passenger Transport Act, 1933.
The London Passenger Transport Act, 1933, does not contain any provision under which such employees were entitled to receive pensions other than those which were payable under the rules, regulations and customary practice of the various employing authorities which obtained at the date of the transfer of those undertakings under the Act of 1933.
The London Transport Executive have received requests from time to time that they should ask the Treasury to make regulations under Section 5 of the Pensions (Increase) Act, 1947, to apply the Acts to such employees. These requests have been refused on the ground that the present financial position of the undertakings of the British Transport Commission precludes the possibility of increasing pensions in the manner prescribed by those Acts. I regret that in these circumstances I should not feel justified in making regulations under Section 98 of the Transport Act, 1947, for this purpose.
§ Major Markham
asked the Minister of Transport if he will now make a statement on the possibility of improved pensions for railway superannuitants.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Mr. Edward Davies) on 17th November.