9. Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS
asked the Pensions Minister if he will state how many final pensions have now been granted in cases of partial disability other than the loss of a limb; and whether, in 1984 view of the inconvenience caused to men by frequent medical examinations, he will arrange that pensions may be granted without further delay where repeated examinations show no change in conditions of disability?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Colonel Sir James Craig)
Approximately 25,000 permanent pensions have been granted for partial disability. I cannot say how many of the pensions so granted are for disabilities other than loss of limb but the number is probably very email. Pension is made permanent as soon as the medical advisers certify that the disability has reached a final and stationary condition.
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that there are very general complaints amongst those affected that they are put to great inconvenience and an unnecessary amount of hanging about by repeated examinations that show no change; and, in view of the fact that these people in many cases have been disabled for nearly five years, is it not borne out by the answer that very few of these pensions have yet been granted?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
I may say that cuts both ways. Sometimes it is very desirable indeed that the pensioners should have further examinations in their own interests. Of course, it is entirely a medical matter, where we are very much guided by our medical advisers. The Director-General of Medical Service of the Ministry—a man of great ability—must be relied upon.
10. Lieut.-Colonel W. GUINNESS
asked the Pensions Minister whether the present temporary 20 per cent. increase on all disablement pensions will be made permanent?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
The bonus of 20 per cent. was temporary. I am, however, able to announce that the period of its currency has been extended to the end of the present year, before the expiration of which my right hon. Friend will make a further statement.