The widow of a police constable or of a special constable killed by enemy action while off duty is pensionable under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, and, in addition, the widow of a police constable may receive any pension for which she may be eligible under the Police Pensions Act, in respect of her husband's service in the Police Force. The widow of a police constable or of a special constable killed by enemy action on duty, is pensionable under the Police Pensions Act, 1921, or the Special Constables Order, 1923. I have power, however, to award a supplementary pension under the civilians' scheme in any case where it is necessary to secure that the widow does not receive, in the aggregate, less than she would have received had her husband been killed by enemy action while off duty. The Police War Reserve is a Civil Defence organisation, and the widow of any member killed by enemy action is pensionable under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme on the same basis as for other Civil Defence personnel. The rates of pension under the scheme are 25s. a week if the widow has children or is over 40 or is incapable of self-support, and 17s. 6d. in any other case.
No, Sir, I cannot add to my detailed statement in the House on 23rd July, when I explained that it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to set up pensions appeal tribunals as soon as practicable, and that they will follow closely the lines of the statutory tribunals set up after the last war.
I cannot say whether it will be deferred until after the war. The question of providing the necessary experienced medical personnel is, indeed, the major question; and I am pursuing inquiries to see whether it is possible to obtain that personnel. When it is possible, the tribunals will be set up.
I explained in my statement on 23rd July the general position in regard to tribunals, and it will be appreciated that I cannot make special arrangements for particular cases. As I have informed my hon. Friend, I referred this case to an independent medical expert, nominated by the President of the Royal College of Surgeons, who advised that Captain Copeman's condition had not been aggravated in any degree by war service.
Yes, Sir I am also aware that those other experts have not the complete evidence that this expert had before him. I have exercised my right, conferred upon me by this House, to refer this matter to an independent medical expert of the highest rank, not nominated by myself, not selected by myself, absolutely independent; and I must abide by his decision.
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will give reference for his statement making it clear that claims for pension made in respect of material aggravation of condition would only date from 3rd July, 1941, when he announced the arrangement, although the condition had existed previously and compensation had been applied for?
I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks in the course of my speech in the Debate on the Estimates of my Department, on 31st July, 1941 [col. 1580 of the OFFICIAL REFORT]. I then made it clear that payments under this, as well as under other changes, would only be made from the date of authorisation, which in this instance was 3rd July, 1941, when I made the announcement.
I do not agree that the reference is obscure at all. If my hon. Friend will look at the OFFICIAL REPORT for the date I have mentioned, he will, I think, agree that it is quite clear, on the statement I made and the facts I brought before the House. I do not agree that any injustice has been done to anyone.