HC Deb 24 February 1921 vol 138 cc1103-4
7. Captain COOTE

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the appeal of Sergeant J. P. Wicks, No. 288,874, Labour Corps, Colne Villa, Colchester, in respect of loss of eyesight, was heard by the appeal tribunal, Sloane Square, on the 11th November, 1920; that the tribunal agreed with Mr. Wicks to abide by the decision of an independent specialist; that there is every reason to believe that the decision of this specialist was favourable to Mr. Wicks; that nevertheless the tribunal rejected his appeal; that the soldier lost his eyesight while in the Army, has a wife and six children, and is practically destitute; and whether he can recommend any source whence assistance may be rendered to the soldier and say what remedy the latter has against the proceedings of the appeal tribunal?


The Pension Appeal Tribunal is independent of the Ministry of Pensions, and I have no control over its proceedings. I am informed by the tribunal that, in the case mentioned in this question, a specialist's report was obtained and considered in conjunction with other relevant evidence, this procedure being in accordance with their statutory regulations. In reply to the last part of the question, I may inform my hon. and gallant Friend that the decisions of the tribunal are declared by the War Pensions (Administrative Provisions) Act, 1919, to be final.

Captain COOTE

Are we to understand that in a case where the appeal tribunal deliberately breaks a bargain come to with the appellant, the appellant has no redress whatever against such procedure? Is there not a court of reference to the Lord Chancellor?


No. I have no control over the appeal tribunal, I am sorry to say.


Upon what grounds has the case been referred to the appeal tribunal? Is it because the Ministry have no power in the case?


Not at all. I think that the tribunal does very good work in this way, that if there is any element of doubt the case is sent to it that the doubt may be removed.


Is there a decrease or an increase in the number of cases referred to this tribunal?


I think that there has been no increase.

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