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War Pensions (Free Vote)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 8 July 1954

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46.

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a further statement on war pensions and war widows' pensions; and if the Government will allow a free vote of the House following a debate on this subject.

I am sorry to disappoint my hon. Friend. I cannot add to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's statement on this important subject of 12th April.

The answer to the latter part of the Question must be in the negative. It is the duty of the Government to accept responsibility for any action of this character proposed.

Will my right hon. Friend ask the Ministers concerned to read the report of the proceedings of the British Legion conference at Whit-sun? Further, is he aware that all the facts in this matter are known and can he say whether the Government will deal with this much-overdue question as soon and as generously as possible?

I am sure that due attention will be paid to the report of the proceedings in question and that any hopeful suggestions which arise will be given effect to in due course.

Is the unwillingness of the right hon. Gentleman to allow a free vote in this matter due to the fact that he does not again want to be bullied by some of his hon. Friends into ignoring the findings of the House?