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War Pensions

Volume 466: debated on Monday 27 June 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in assessing and paying pensions due for war service to ex-members of the German forces.

The only pensions for war service payable to former members of the German armed forces are disability pensions. Since August, 1947, when these were included in the Industrial Accident Insurance Scheme, nearly a million pensions have been reassessed and about 900,000 new claims considered. About 50,000 new claims are being received every month.

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is intense hardship amongst many wounded and limbless members of the German armed forces and that many of them have no pensions at all, and are there no steps which can be taken in order to assist in this very serious situation?

Yes, Sir, I am aware of the hardship caused, but it is a question of what the German economy can bear.

Is the hon. Gentleman correct in referring to these as war pensions? Are they not the same very meagre compensation as is paid in all cases of hardship?

I am distinguishing between war pensions and long service pensions, which aroused some interest in the House recently.

Is not the distribution of the German income a matter for the Germans themselves?

In these Wehrmacht matters, we have occasionally had to issue regulations.