HC Deb 12 July 1923 vol 166 cc1539-40
2. Mr. A. J. BENNETT

asked the Minister of Pensions what is the exact present position of the 700 ex-service mental cases for which the Ministry will accept no responsibility, on the grounds that their malady was not attributable to or aggravated by War service; whether any promise was made at any time that these cases would be differently considered, and that they would be taken out of the pauper class and treated on a non-pauper basis; and, if so, what effect has been given to any such project?

The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)

The position of these men is the same in all respects as that of civilian patients. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


asked the Minister of Pensions under what authority his Department intervenes to threaten with loss of allowance the wife of an ex-service man in a mental institution who wishes, as petitioner, to have her husband out, seeing that the right of discharge was secured by Parliament in 1915 to the next-of-kin of an ex-service private patient in cases where the patient cannot be proved to be dangerous and unfit to be at large?


In cases where the responsible relative insists on the removal of a certified patient from an institution against medical advice, it is the practice to warn the relative that in the event of the man's re-admission family treatment allowances may be withheld. This is a reasonabe procedure, which is exercised under Article 6 of the Royal Warrant with the greatest discretion, and solely in the interests of the patient's treatment and prospects of recovery.


Surely the right hon. Gentleman will not say in the case of a patient being permitted out in charge of a relative, in this case the wife, and subsequently has to be re-admitted as a patient, the allowance is stopped in case of the re-admittance?


Not necessarily so. It is obvious that the treatment allowance can only be granted if the patients agree to undergo the treatment which we think necessary for them.