Oral Answers to Questions — Retired Officers (Pensions)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Marlowe Mr Anthony Marlowe , Hove 12:00 am, 31st July 1952

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the interest which he has shown in the fair treatment of members of the Armed Forces, he will personally receive a deputation representing those officers who retired before 1st September, 1950, and are thereby deprived of the increased pension granted to those who retired after that date.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

The matter is already under consideration as the result of the representations made by the Parliamentary deputation which was received by my noble Friend the Minister of Defence on 21st July.

Photo of Mr Anthony Marlowe Mr Anthony Marlowe , Hove

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I brought this question to his notice because the matter has been constantly urged upon the Minister of Defence ever since this Parliament has been in existence and that nothing has been done about it? There is a great deal too much delay in meeting this very unfair discrimination against the officers who retired earlier, and urgent action is required. Will my right hon. Friend see that it is taken?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

I certainly think that the statement which my hon. and learned Friend has made now is one which will attract the attention of the Minister of Defence and, indeed, command a wide measure of public attention.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Where a pension is increased simply on the grounds that the purchasing power of money has depreciated, is it not grossly unjust to exclude one class whose money has equally depreciated with that of the other classes?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

The horrible.fall in the purchasing power of the£ sterling, which was the characteristic, if not the consequence, of the occupancy of office by the party opposite, is one of our greatest problems, and there is no reproach which we feel more poignantly than that we in nine months have not been able to put right what they did in six years.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling Sir Edward Keeling , Twickenham

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this appeal is based on the elementary principle that it costs an officer who retired before a certain date just as much to live as it costs an officer who retired after that date?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford

I do not think that any party interchanges ought to prejudice in any way the fullest consideration being given to a fairly obvious case.

Several Hon. Members:

rose

Photo of Mr William Morrison Mr William Morrison , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Order. It is now half past three.