To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the financing of the special payments to be made to pre-1973 war widows.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 11 December 1989 at columns 677-78, the special payments to pre-1973 war widows will be paid from the beginning of the financial year 1990–91 by the Department of Social Security on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The necessary provision is being sought in the 1990–91 main estimate for class I vote 3. Pending parliamentary approval of that estimate, urgent expenditure estimated at £55 million will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.