asked the Secretary of State for War why an ex-soldier of whose name he has been informed and who has done 45 years service in the Gloucestershire Regiment, has been informed that his pension will be reduced from 1st June by twopence a week.
In the case referred to the pension of £115 1s. 2d. a year is not being reduced, but an adjustment is being made in the amount of the weekly payments in order that they may be the equivalent of the yearly rate. The weekly rate previously paid was incorrectly calculated, so that the payments were slightly more than the yearly rate for which the pensioner was eligible.
Was this reduction really necessary in the national interest? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I hold in my hand a statement from the paymaster at Exeter of October, 1947, to say that the pension was to be 44s. 3d. a week and another from the paymaster at Taunton to say that it was to be reduced from 1st June to 44s. 1d. a week? In spite of the explanation now sent to him, the man says that he is losing 2d. a week, and I agree with him. Will not the right hon. Gentleman issue a new pension book and stop this formality?
I do not know about the statements in the hands of the hon. Gentleman, but we cannot pay a man more than that to which he is actually entitled. I do not propose to ask this man to repay all the twopences which he has already received.