asked the Minister of Pensions whether he can explain the regulation by which, if a retired flag officer of the Navy volunteers for service afloat as commodore of merchant ship convoys and is killed or drowned whilst performing this duty, his next of kin is thereby deprived of the pension and compensation rights that would have been due to him had he not volunteered for this war service and accepted the lower rank on which he is assessed for these financial payments; and whether he will reconsider this method of paying, in view of the importance of the war work these officers perform?
The hon. Member is under a misapprehension since there is no question of the widow being deprived of any pension rights that she would have had if the officer had not volunteered for war service. On the contrary I explained in the Debate on 13th May, 1942, that as a minimum the ordinary pension to which my hon. Friend refers is supplemented by the pension which the widow would have received had her husband lost his life as a Civil Defence volunteer, and she may receive more if the pension of a Commodore's widow under the War Warrant exceeds this total. This provision is limited only by the condition that the amount payable does not exceed the attributable pension for the officer's retired rank.