§ 91. Mr. A. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been called to the case of James Blake, No. 25,577, Royal Inniskillings, who, at the hearing before the appeal tribunal, produced a certificate from the medical man who attended his family for 15 years stating that there was no sign of tuberculosis either in him or in any of his family prior to his enlistment; is he aware that Blake also had a certificate from his employer stating that he had never lost any work during the last 10 years through ill-health, and that the medical authorities of the Army nevertheless gave it as their opinion that he was suffering from tuberculosis before he enlisted; and whether he will reconsider this case and a very 898 large number of similar cases in which men are discharged in a helpless condition from the Army and are denied a pension on the ground that their disability is not attributable to their military service, although they were quite well before entering the Army?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
As my right hon. Friend informed the hon. Member in a letter dated 9th June decisions of the Pensions Appeal Tribunals are final, and my right hon. Friend regrets, therefore, that he has no power to adopt the course suggested in this question.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that these decisions rest upon the evidence given and that the Government gives evidence which is in direct conflict with that of those who have known the man for many years?
§ Major TRYON
The evidence is given by the witnesses. These courts were set up by the action of the House of Commons independent of the Ministry and when the court decides in the same sense that the Ministry decide, the presumption is that the Ministry is right.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Is it not a fact that the witnesses sent are the medical men employed by the Ministry who give evidence directly contrary to those who have known the man for many years?