HC Deb 19 July 1923 vol 166 cc2463-4

asked the Minister of Pensions whether a consumptive ex-service man in Birmingham has had his pension of 80 per cent. wiped out at one cut; and, if so, what were the reasons for the withdrawal of the pension in this case?


My attention has been called to a statement of this nature which appeared in the "Birmingham Gazette." I communicated with the editor of the paper, who informs me that the ex-service man referred to is not willing that his name should be communicated to the Ministry. My efforts to identify and investigate this case have, therefore, been frustrated by the man himself.


Is it not possible for the Ministry to find out this case?


No, Sir, I am afraid, in a matter of this kind, it is obviously impossible. It is most unfair to the Ministry. I am sure hon. Members appreciate the difficulty in the case. Here we see that it is the critics of the Ministry who object to the facts of the case coming out.

Captain HAY

Surely it is possible for the case to be identified, seeing you have the 80 per cent. to go upon?

Captain Viscount CURZON

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that ex-service men as a whole very much deprecate these attacks on the Ministry, which are by no means justified?


I am sure that ex-service men are anxious that criticism should be put forward in an honourable way.


asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that William George Fox, of 23, Baker Street, Doncaster, after 3½ years' service with the Army, was discharged after having undergone an operation as suffering from the effects of pneumonia and empyema; that Fox received a pension from July, 1919, until June, 1921, which was then stopped owing to the medical board reporting his general condition as good; is he aware that, in spite of the decision of the medical board, local doctors have frequently decided that Fox has never recovered sufficiently from the effects of his illness to allow him to resume work, and that owing to his pension being stopped this man has had to rely absolutely on his parents for his support; that Fox's condition is at the moment so bad that the possibility of his being able to earn anything towards his own livelihood is exceedingly remote; and will he make further inquiries into this case with a view to rendering some assistance?


I am again going into the facts of this case, and will communicate with the hon. Member.

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