§ 5. Sir MONTAGUE BARLOW
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware of the great delay there is in the settlement of claims for pension in the Z cases; whether he is aware that, even if advances on account of pension are made by the local war pensions committee in such cases, the Z men are ineligible for training or for grants from the King's Fund and that the 20 per cent. bonus is not payable; and whether he can do something to remedy this state of affairs?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)
I am aware of the delay in settlement of claims for pensions in Z cases. Every possible step is being taken to overtake arrears. Delay begins in some of the record offices, and 1352 the War Office are, I believe, doing everything possible to expedite the forwarding of the men's claims and documents to the Ministry of Pensions. At the Ministry of Pensions a special branch has been opened with an emergency staff of 871 persons, to which additions are being made rapidly. Z cases dealt with at the Ministry for the last five weeks show a continuous increase. The figures for each successive week are 5,551, 8,126, 8,800, 13,421, 21,675. I hope next week to reach 26,000 cases, which is about the present intake.
§ Sir M. BARLOW
Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything about grants?
§ Sir L. WORTHINGTON-EVANS
My hon. Friend knows that there is great difficulty in making any grants until the claim is admitted for pension. The real way is to overtake the arrears with regard to pensions.