Oral Answers to Questions — Police Widows' Pensions

– in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir Samuel Storey Sir Samuel Storey , Sunderland

asked the Home Secretary whether, as the failure to implement the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on Police Widows' Pensions is due to the refusal of the Police Federation to agree to increased contributions from the police and as such contributions could not be used to supplement the pensions of existing widows, he will take steps to supplement the pensions of widows existing at the date of publication of the Committee's report?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

It would not be right for me to make any statement on this particular point in advance of a general statement about the main recommendations of the Snell Committee.

Photo of Sir Samuel Storey Sir Samuel Storey , Sunderland

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many existing police widows are suffering considerable hardship, and is it fair to delay dealing with their problem until other matters which are not their concern are settled?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think it would be an impossible position if I made a concession to women who are widows of policemen at a particular date and refused to do anything for the widow of a policeman who became a widow the day after.

Miss Rathbone:

Has not the Minister some responsibility, for the welfare of women who, according to the report of his own Committee, are suffering serious privation, and need they wait more than a year before the Minister does anything about it because he cannot get complete agreement from the Police Federation?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The report was based on the principle that the police must contribute, and that subject is under discussion. There will be a meeting of the Police Council in December, and I hope, although I cannot be sure, to make a statement soon after.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

In the meantime are policemen's widows to live on 10s. a week?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

In the meantime the police must face their responsibility and come to a decision about the principle of the report.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

What about the widows of policemen who are dead and cannot face their responsibility?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I have already answered that point.

Mr. De la Bère:

That seems to be all important.