Oral Answers to Questions — Windows' Pensions.

– in the House of Commons on 22nd January 1942.

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Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield

asked the Minister of Health whether he has given further consideration to the requests for additional allowance to widow pensioners; and what does he propose doing to alleviate distress, especially in the case of widows with young children dependent on them?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have considered this matter. On the question of the basic rate of pensions, I cannot add anything to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Garro Jones) on 28th November last. Supplementary assistance can be given in case of need, and the extent to which such assistance is given by way of a supplementary pension was settled by Parliament so recently as 1940. I do not think I should be justified in suggesting the introduction of further legislation at the present time.

Photo of Mr John Leslie Mr John Leslie , Sedgefield

Are there any means whereby these distressing cases can be helped except through the local rates?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

My answer covers that point. An arrangement was, of course, made as recently as last year.

Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Minister of Pensions about the unit scheme of his which gives children 8s., whereas you give them 3s.? Have a talk to him.