HC Deb 15 July 1919 vol 118 cc201-2
69. Sir H. COWAN

asked the Pensions Minister whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. James Mair, of Longside, Aberdeenshire, who, having lost his left arm and leg as a result of wounds received in action, is incapacitated from following his former employment and has been obliged to accept work of a much less remunerative character, and whose application for an alternative pension at the same rate as that granted to men who have lost both legs or both arms has been re- fused; and whether, in view of the fact that earning capacity is more seriously affected by the loss of an arm and a leg than by the loss of two legs, he will take steps to redress this inequality, in view of his recent statement that men who have lost one arm and one leg are regarded as having been disabled in the highest degree?


According to the information supplied to the Department by Mr. Mair, his present earnings together with his disablement pension exceed the highest rate of alternative pension which can be granted under Article 3 of the Royal Warrant. Mr. Mair's disablement— the loss of an arm and a leg—is one of fourteen classes of disablement which are scheduled as total in the Royal Warrant, but it does not entitle him to the special advantage of having his actual earning capacity ignored for the purpose of alternative pension, which is reserved for those who have lost both arms or both legs or are blind. As the hon. Member will have gathered from my right hon. Friend's statement, it is not proposed to amend the Warrant in this respect.


Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the loss of one leg and one arm is a more serious disablement from the point of view of earning capacity than the loss of two legs?


My right hon. Friend has answered a question specifically on the case. I think it really passes the wit of any man to draw an arbitrary line that does not create an anomaly somewhere.