§ 80. Mr. N. MACLEAN
asked the Pensions Minister whether he is aware that ex-Private George Armstrong, No. 46G1, 18th Highland Light Infantry, has been discharged from the Army and refused a pension, although he has lost one of his legs through an accident with his rifle in the trenches; whether he is aware that this soldier has served four years and five days during the War, was wounded at the Somme, 17th July. 1916, and gassed at Guillemont Farm, 9th July, 1917, and has 175 been given the silver badge; whether he is aware that this man is now compelled, in order to earn a living for his wife and three children, to play an organ in the streets of Glasgow; and what steps he is prepared to take to secure to this man the pension to which his service and disability entitle him?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Colonel Sir James Craig)
Pension could not be awarded to Private Armstrong under the Royal Warrant, because the accident was caused by his own serious negligence while he was cleaning his rifle. In the circumstances of this case, however, the Treasury were approached with a view to the Grant of a modified pension under the Dispensing Warrant, and authority has now been obtained to award Private Armstrong a pension of 22s. a week for thirteen weeks and then 11s. a week permanently, with proportionate children's allowances. Immediate steps are being taken for the issue of this pension
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Does not the granting of the silver badge acquit this soldier of any fault with regard to negligence and will the hon. and gallant Gentleman take into consideration the possibility of granting to this soldier the full pension and thus removing from the streets of Glasgow a sight which is causing a good deal of unrest amongst the people.
§ Sir J. CRAIG
When the pension warrant was drawn up it had no relation whatever to the silver badge. In the meantime I think we have done all that is possible to modify the form of pension for this man.
§ Mr. CLYNES
In a case like this could not the hon. and gallant Gentleman cause steps to be taken which would continue the support to be given to the women and children referred to in the question, even though the man might be in fault.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman know the circumstances, because this man is playing a barrel organ in the streets—[AN HON. MEMBER: "Speak up, you are just having a conversation."]