HC Deb 08 December 1908 vol 198 cc237-8
MR. SMEATON (Stirlingshire)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that under the Departmental Instructions the report of the pension officer is subject to the approval of the supervisor, the pension committee are debarred from accepting and acting upon the pension officer's report in the absence of such approval; whether the supervisor is required or authorised, should he deem it necessary, to check the pension officer's proceedings and conclusions by independent inquiry; and whether, in the event of a difference of opinion between the pension officer and his supervisor, the committee are bound to adopt the opinion of the supervisor, or, if not, what course they are to pursue.


The Departmental Instructions referred to in the Question are not binding on committees. A committee is therefore free to entertain a report from any officer who has been duty appointed by the Treasury to be a pension officer to act in the committee's district. It is for the pension officers themselves to arrange that the correct official procedure is followed. The answer to the second Question is in the affirmative. The third Question would not arise, since any difference of opinion between the junior and senior officers would be resolved in the ordinary official course before the report is presented. The committee is not of course "bound to adopt" the opinion of any pension officer, but must in all cases exercise an independent judgment.