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Benefits (Minister's Letter)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Pensions what the response has been to the personal letter and leaflet he sent to pensioners informing them of the benefits to which they were entitled.

The response to my letter to pensioners has been gratifying. I estimate that about 80,000 letters or interviews have so far resulted. In a substantial proportion of these cases, I have been able to help the pensioners in one way or another.

Is my right hon. Friend now satisfied that everything is being done to bring to the notice of pensioners many improvements which have taken place in the last few years, and is his Department able to cope with the tremendous increase which has come about through this?

Yes, Sir. I can think of no other way now that remains by which we could make it better known. A letter to every individual plus a good deal of publicity in the newspapers, has, I think, brought it home to every pensioner. As for coping with the work, the consequence, of course, has been a certain delay here and there in answering every letter, but we are over the peak and I think we have done quite well.

Would my right hon. Friend consider making a small stock of the leaflet available to the various voluntary organisations open to ex-Service men, so that should an ex-Service man lose, or fail to receive through the post, his own personal copy, he will have no difficulty in getting one locally.

Yes, Sir. I thank the hon. Member for that suggestion, and I will adopt it with pleasure.