HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc607-8
1. Captain LOSEBY

asked the Minister of Pensions if his attention has been called to the case of Private A. C. W. Austin, late of the 5th Kent Regiment and the Labour Corps, who was charged at Aylesbury Assizes with attempted suicide, brought about by his condition of destitution, and who was released on representations being made to the presiding Judge that the matter would be referred to the Pensions Ministry; if he is aware that representations have been made and that nothing has yet been done; if he is aware that this man, almost totally incapacitated by War service, was in receipt of 5s. 6d. a week pension; that his pension has now been taken from him and that the man and his wife are destitute; what steps, if any, has he already taken; and what further steps does he propose to take?

The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Mr. Macpherson)

As soon as my hon. and gallant Friend wrote to me regarding this case, I had inquiries made into the circumstances. The man was examined by a medical board, who assessed disability at less than 20 per cent., and this finding was upheld on appeal being made to the Medical Appeal Board. An award was made in accordance with this assessment. In view, however, of the special representations which have been made, I arranged a further examination by a medical board, the result of which I hope to be able to communicate to my hon. and gallant Friend in a day or two.

Captain LOSEBY

Is there no possibility that cases of this kind should be avoided?


My hon. and gallant Friend knows that I have to abide by the decision of the medical board. I have done everything possible in the matter.