HC Deb 05 May 1892 vol 4 cc181-2
MR. MILDMAY (Devon, Totnes)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the fact that David Freeman, of Kingston, South Devon, invalided from the Raleigh at the beginning of last year after seven years' service, in consequence of a complete breakdown of his health, was granted a pension of 6d. a day for twelve months, during which time he was constantly ill; whether, on his presenting himself, last February, at the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse, for a renewal of his pension, he was told that such fellows as he ought to work, and was further informed that his small pension would be reduced; whether he is aware that Freeman died a fortnight ago, within two months of this deprivation of pension; and whether he will make inquiry into the circumstances of the case so as to prevent the possibility of the recurrence of such treatment?


The hon. Member seems to have been misinformed in regard to the circumstances. I have made particular inquiry into the case, and the facts are as follows: David Freeman, A.B., after having served in the Royal Navy for only five and a half years, showed last year symptoms of rapid consumption, and was accordingly invalided from the Service. His disease being in no way attributable to extraordinary exposure or exertion on service, he was granted a temporary pension from naval funds of 6½d. a day for 15 months, the maximum allowed by the Regulations. On the expiration of this period, his health not having improved, Freeman was granted an allowance of 6d. a day from Greenwich Hospital Funds, and he was in receipt of this special pension at the time of his death. It is very improbable that the medical officer made any such remark as that alleged, as it was on this officer's certificate, stating that Freeman was in indifferent health and almost unable to contribute to his own support, that assistance was given to him from the charitable funds of Greenwich Hospital.