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Social Insurance Pensions

Volume 463: debated on Monday 21 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the British representative on the Bipartite Board in Germany refused to agree to the rise in social insurance pensions voted in December by the West German Economic Council.

The Bipartite Board of Military Governors was unable to approve the ordinance concerned in its present form because no clear estimate was offered of the increased expenditure involved or of the way in which it was intended to meet such expenditure. At the same time sympathetic consideration was promised to any proposals of a more limited nature designed to remove anomalies and inequities in the present system. It was also made clear that once a proper actuarial investigation has been made the more far-reaching proposals involving increased benefits over a wider field could be submitted for reconsideration.

Will my hon. Friend again bear in mind the danger to the development of democracy in Germany when every matter, even of a comparatively non-political nature, which comes before these democratic organisations is vetoed by the Military Government?

I am sure my hon. Friend will cordially agree that the sooner responsibility can be shifted on to Germans the better. That will happen soon, but while responsibility is ours we must carry it out properly.