HC Deb 11 July 1922 vol 156 cc1051-2
61. Captain BOWYER

asked the Minister of Pensions whether in the précis prepared for appellants before pension appeal tribunals extracts from original documents are often very inaccurately and carelessly copied, and that often important details are omitted, which not only prejudice the appellants, but confuse the court; and will he inquire into the matter?


My right hon. Friend has gone into this matter very fully, and deprecates most strongly the suggestion of general failure in the preparation of accurate précis for which he is convinced no foundation exists. On the contrary, my right hon. Friend is satisfied that this work is carried out with care and accuracy. The President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal has expressed the same opinion as the result of his wide experience. I may also point out that it is always open to the appellant to challenge any statement in the précis which is sent to him before the hearing, and that the original documents from which the précis is prepared are always in court, and available to the tribunal for reference. The hon. and gallant Member has given me no evidence justifying the charge he makes.

Lieut.-Colonel NALL

Why does the Ministry continue to refuse to give these men the assistance of a soldier's friend before the tribunal?


As I have often said, it is the duty of our committees to render every possible assistance to these men. Our orders to all our committees are that they are themselves to help in every way any applicant, and to see that the whole of his case is properly brought before the tribunal.