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Clause 4—(Children's Pensions: Beneficiaries)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 31 May 1949

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I beg to move, in page 4, line 13, to leave out "reason of her marriage," and to insert "virtue of this subsection."

This does for the child of the family what we have done for the widow in the previous Clause.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 4, leave out line 14, and insert:

"(b) the Treasury are satisfied at a subsequent date that the marriage or cohabitation has come to an end or that there are compassionate grounds for permitting the pension to enure for her benefit notwithstanding the marriage."

Leave out line 17, and insert "that date."—[ Mr. Glenvil Hall.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

As I understand it, the Amendments just moved make an important and generous improvement in the Bill, which we should welcome, because it means that the children's rights are protected if marriage or cohabitation ceases and their rights can be restored. That brings us to the real question which comes up under Clause 17 again, and that is whether under that Clause my right hon. Friend should not, between now and the consideration of the Bill in another place, consider adding that where cohabitation ceases the matter will be reconsidered in the same way as where the marriage ceases.

I think I should make the matter clear. My hon. Friend was not on the Committee and perhaps I should have remembered that, but here we are dealing with a female child over 16 who may be still at school and for that reason the pension is still paid to her. She may well be a girl of seventeen or eighteen, and the Treasury may, in its wisdom, have to exercise its discretion to re-issue the pension to her. In this part of the Bill we get the problem of the incapacitated child, who, in certain circumstances, can go on for life on pension. It was felt that it would be grossly unfair to cut off her pension indefinitely if some rogue got hold of her temporarily and lived on her pension. That comes under this Clause, and that is the reason why we are doing this.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.