HC Deb 21 October 1920 vol 133 cc1046-7

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that Lieut.-Colonel Cuthbert Morgan Murphy, Royal Air Force, who rendered gallant service during the War as a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service bombing units, was adjudged by the appeal board in March, 1920, to be 80 per cent. disabled due to active service, but has been refused any pension or compensation on account of such disablement; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter?


This officer was placed on the retired list at his own request, and received from the Admiralty a retiring gratuity of £1,600. The amount of the disability retired pay which the officer could have drawn up to the present is very much less than the amount of this gratuity; and there is no regulation under which any addition can be made to the gratuity in such a case in respect of disability. The whole matter is, however, now under consideration, and a decision will be given very shortly, when this officer's case will be dealt with at once. The officer has received the necessary medical treatment under arrangements made by the Ministry of Pensions and at their expense.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this gratuity was given to this officer for 14 years' service as a lieutenant-commander, independently altogether of his 80 per cent. disability, and that the Minister has no more right to take credit for that than if it had been a speculation in oil shares?


May I point out that I have endeavoured to give an answer to the question of my hon. and learned Friend, namely, that this officer himself chose to receive a retired pay gratuity of £1,600.