HC Deb 14 April 1920 vol 127 cc1676-7
56. Colonel ASHLEY

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will inquire into and take steps to prevent the hardship resulting from the interpretation of the Royal Warrant as set out in the revised Circular 204, winch provides that treatment allowances were not intended to be granted in cases where the disability would ordinarily involve recurrent incapacity for short periods, on the ground that the pension is an assessment of the average disablement over the currency of the award, seeing that this interpretation not only curtails the privileges of disabled men in regard to treatment allowance under Article 6 of the Royal Warrant, but also involves particular hardship in the case of a man pensioned at the scheduled rate for a specific injury, or a man earning wages in excess of the official maximum upon which the partial disablement pension has been assessed?


I am unable to agree that hardship has resulted from the interpretation of the Warrant as set out in Circular 204. Treatment Allowances under Article 6 are confined to cases where the Ministry has certified that a man should undergo a course of treatment, and is, in consequence, rendered unable to support himself. They are not given as compensation for incapacity, whether total or partial, resulting from disablement. The provision of such compensation is the function of the Disablement Pension. If my hon. and gallant Friend is questioning the principle of average assessment, I may, perhaps, remind him that the only alternative is repeated re-boarding at short intervals—a process which would be costly to the State and intolerable to the disabled men.