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Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Pensions how many widows of ex-Service men who had married after the man's discharge from the Service, are deprived of pension through the rule that entitlement is limited to cases where the man died after 3rd September, 1939; and what would be the approximate cost of removing this condition.

I regret that the records of my Department do not enable me to give the desired information with any degree of reliability.

The hon. Gentleman may recall that an answer was given recently that this matter was being considered, and can he give any indication as to how far the examination of this question has gone? Although the number of cases involved is small, and the expense not great, would it not be possible to relieve these widows of a considerable amount of hardship?

There are many imponderables in this business. There are the questions of how many men pensioned as single were, in fact, married afterwards, and how many widows have remarried or died. The matter is under consideration, but we have no information on which to give any definite figures at the present moment.