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Germany

Volume 497: debated on Monday 10 March 1952

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Missing Raf Men

51.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any reply has yet been received to the request addressed to the higher Soviet authorities for an answer to the original inquiry whether the missing Royal Air Force men are in the Soviet zone of Germany.

Yes, Sir. A reply has now been received from the Soviet military authorities at Potsdam stating that measures have been taken to search for the three British personnel mentioned and that they will inform us of the results of the investigations. The British authorities have been asked to provide full information about the men, and a full description has been sent to the Soviet authorities.

High Commission Employees (Maternity Grants)

55.

asked the Minister of National Insurance, in view of the hardship of the refusal to pay maternity grants in respect of British subjects temporarily employed by the United Kingdom High Commission in Germany, whether he will take steps to remove this grievance and thus entitle contributors to secure the benefits for which they have contributed.

I am looking into this matter, in the light of the recommendations made by the National Insurance Advisory Committee in their recent report on maternity benefit, and hope to be able to make an announcement very shortly.

Are we to understand that the announcement will be in respect of this particular anomaly?

May I ask my right hon. Friend to bear in mind that, since we pay health benefits to foreigners, it is wrong that these people, our own nationals, should be in this position?

I fully appreciate that. There are a number of defects in the Regulations which we have inherited from our predecessors, and I hope that in due course we shall put them all right.