Royal Seamen's Pension Fund.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 7th June 1934.

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Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

24.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will recommend to the governing body of the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund an alteration in the conditions under which pensions are paid, so that the men who serve on the railway boats sailing between Holyhead and Dublin can qualify for pensions providing that their homes are in this country?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

For the reasons given in reply to a similar question raised by the hon. Member on 5th December last, my right hon. Friend does not feel justified in asking the governing body of the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund to grant pensions by virtue of service on ships in respect of which no contributions are made to the fund.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

Considering that contributions were made to this fund until 1922 by men who were serving on these boats, cannot something be done in the case of men who were employed under this company and who are resident in this country; and is it not the case that a large subsidy is paid by the Government to the railway company which operates these boats?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

The purpose which the hon. Gentleman has in mind would be achieved if these ships were registered in ports of the United Kingdom. That is a matter beyond our control.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

Is it not the case that the port of registration was altered because of a statute laid down by the Irish Free State; and will the hon. Gentleman tell the House why British citizens who were paying into this fund prior to that Act being passed, should now be the sufferers, although they are still working and living under the same conditions.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

That is not quite the case. These contributions were made by employers in respect of ships registered in United Kingdom ports. Since these ships are no longer registered in United Kingdom ports, no contributions have been payable in respect of them, and therefore no benefits have accrued.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

40.

asked the Postmaster-General the sum that is paid yearly to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company for the conveying of mails between Holyhead and the Irish Free State?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bennett Mr Ernest Bennett , Cardiff Central

The figure for which the hon. Member asks is £74,850.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

Are there any conditions attached to the subsidy, and is one of the conditions that the company concerned shall see that the members of the crews operating the vessels are insured in the Royal Seamen's Pension Fund?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bennett Mr Ernest Bennett , Cardiff Central

I am afraid I cannot answer that offhand, but I will get the information and let the hon. Member know.