§ 42. Mr. HURD
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to a resolution of the national council of the Evangelical Free Churches regarding the incarceration of ex-service men in pauper asylums; whether any ex-service men are so incarcerated; and what steps will be taken to secure their treatment in a way commensurate with their services.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
I have been asked to repy to this question. My right hon. Friend's attention had not been called to the resolution referred to, but I may say that any ex-service man suffering from certifiable insanity who is confined in a county or borough asylum is by special arrangement treated, not as a pauper lunatic, but as a service patient, if his condition is found to be due to his service in the late War. As a service patient he is entitled to all the privileges of a private patient, the entire cost of his maintenance and treatment, and of the special privileges accorded to him being borne by the Ministry of Pensions. I am satisfied that it would not be in the interests of the men themselves, or of their relatives, that they should be treated in special establishments devoted exclusively to ex-service cases, and in this connection I would refer the hon. Member to an answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reply to a question on the 31st March, 1920, of which I am sending him a copy. I am, however, taking steps to assure myself that the present arrangements are in all cases working satisfactorily, and are the best that can be made in the interests of these unfortunate men.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that there is considerable hardship falling on the dependants of these men, because their allowances are being reduced in order to pay for the maintenance of these men in various asylums, and will he consider the hardship involved?