Clause 4. — (Grants in case of death or incapacity.)

Orders of the Day — POLICE AND FIREMEN (WAR SERVICE) BILL [Lords]. – in the House of Commons on 7th September 1939.

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Amendment made: In page 4, line 30, insert:

"(1) If a person to whom Section one of this Act applies (being a person who, in order to serve in His Majesty's Forces, ceased to serve as a constable) dies either—

  1. (a)while serving in His Majesty's Forces during the period of the present emergency; or
  2. (b)in consequence of wounds or disease received or contracted while so serving which prevented him from resuming his service as a constable or fireman;
the appropriate pension enactment shall apply in relation to him as if he—
  1. (i) had been serving at the time of his death in the police force or fire brigade to which he belonged immediately before he ceased to serve as a constable or fireman; and
  2. (ii) had died otherwise than from the effects of an injury received in the execution of his duty:

Provided that where by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Sub-section a pension or allowance is payable to any person, the appropriate authority may increase the amount thereof up to such amount as they think fit, not exceeding the maximum amount hereafter provided.

(2) If a person to whom Section one of this Act applies (being a person who, in order to serve in His Majesty's forces, ceased to serve as a fireman) dies either—

  1. (a) while serving in His Majesty's forces during the period of the present emergency; or
  2. (b) in consequence of wounds or disease received or contracted while so serving which prevented him from resuming his service as a constable or fireman;
the appropriate authority may if they think fit pay—
  1. (i) a pension to his widow;
  2. (ii) allowances to his children under sixteen years of age until they severally reach the age of sixteen years;
  3. (iii) a gratuity to any relative of his who has been wholly or mainly dependent upon him;
of an amount not exceeding the maximum amount hereafter provided, and subject to the provisions of this Section the provisions of the appropriate pensions enactment shall apply to any pension, allowance or gratuity granted under this Sub-section as they apply to any pension, allowance or gratuity granted under that enactment.

(3) If a person to whom Section one. of this Act applies, after ceasing to serve in His Majesty's forces, is prevented, in consequence of wounds or disease received or contracted while so serving, from resuming his service as a constable or fireman, the appropriate pension enactment shall apply in relation to him as if he—

  1. (a) had become, while serving as a constable or fireman in the police force or fire brigade to which he belonged immediately before he ceased to serve as a constable or fireman, incapacitated for the performance of his duty by infirmity of mind or body otherwise than in consequence of an injury received in the execution of his duty; and
  2. (b) had retired on a medical certificate, at the time when he ceased to serve in His Majesty's forces, from that police force or fire brigade:

Provided that—

  1. (i) where by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this Sub-section a gratuity is payable to any such person, the appropriate authority may, if they think fit, in lieu of paying him a gratuity, pay to him, under and subject to the provisions of the appropriate pension enactment, a pension of an amount not less than one-twelfth of his annual pay and not greater than the maximum amount hereafter provided; and
  2. (ii) where by virtue of the said provisions of this Sub-section a pension is payable to any such person, the appropriate authority may, if they think fit, increase the amount of the pension up to such amount as they think fit, not exceeding the maximum amount hereafter provided.

(4) The amount of any pension or allowance payable to any person for any period at the discretion of the appropriate authority by virtue of this Section shall not, when agree gated with the amount of any grant which is also payable for that period to that person out of any naval, military or air force fund in pursuance of any royal warrant or other instrument, exceed—

  1. (a) in a case to which Sub-section (1) or (2) of this Section applies, the amount which would have been payable to that person for that period under the appropriate pension enactment if the deceased had died from the effects of a non-accidental injury received in the execution of his duty as a constable or fireman without his own default; and
  2. (b) in a case to which Sub-section (3) of this Section applies, the amount which would have been payable to that person for that period if he had been incapacitated for the performance of his duty as a constable or fireman by infirmity of mind or body occasioned by an injury received in the execution of his duty without his own default.

(5) Where the grant, the amount whereof for any period is to be aggregated for the purpose of the last foregoing Sub-section with the amount of a pension or allowance payable to any person for that period, is a gratuity, the amount of the grant for that period shall be taken to be the amount which would be payable for that period under Part I of the Government Annuities Act, 1929, if the gratuity had been laid out at the date when it became payable in the purchase of an immediate annuity dependent on the life of that person."— [Mr. Peake.]

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

4.45 p.m.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson Lieut-Colonel Sir Arnold Wilson , Hitchin

The Under-Secretary has not dealt with the question of the Ministry of Pensions responsibility for those who are wounded and those who are partially or wholly incapacitated, who, in my submission, should be looked after by the Ministry of Pensions. Can my hon. Friend make any statement on the subject?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

That really falls rather outside the scope of the Bill, but in Subsection (4) it is anticipated that there will be a war pension which will fall to be aggregated, and the provision out of the Police and Fire Pensions Funds will be in supplementation of the war pension. Therefore, I think my hon. Friends may assume that the man will be primarily dealt with, as far as disabilities are concerned, by the Ministry of Pensions.

4.46 p.m.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

I should like to ask the hon. Gentleman to give further consideration to the Clause, because earlier I drew attention to the fact that if the pension given by the Ministry of Pensions is as much as or more than the pension that he would have received as a fireman, there would be no question of a supplementary grant, but if the pension is less than he would have received as a fireman, there may be a supplementary grant to raise it to that amount. We shall still have the situation that, if the pension is less, one authority may give a supplementary grant to raise it and another may not. I should like the hon. Gentleman to look into it further and see whether something cannot be done to ensure that there will be no irregularity of that kind.

4.47 p.m.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

I will bear the point in mind. The Home Secretary has a certain amount of control over local police authorities, and, no doubt, steps could be taken to secure fair and uniform treatment.

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

Is there any reason why this supplementation should not be made compulsory?

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake Mr Osbert Peake , Leeds North

In Sub-section (1) it is made compulsory, and it is also made compulsory in all cases of incapacity under Sub-section (3). It is only in the case of a fireman who dies on active service that supplementation is not made obligatory, and that is on account of the existing statutory difference between the position of a fireman and a police constable.

Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.