HC Deb 22 March 1923 vol 161 c2725
19. Mr. LEACH

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will accelerate a decision of the Keighley War Pensions Committee in the case of ex-private Joseph Greenwood Hartley, of the Priestman's Home for the Blind, Frizinghall, Bradford, who enlisted as John Smith, in the 1st battalion Royal Warwickshires, served 14 years in India, was discharged in 1912 with one medal, re-enlisted in December, 1914, at 42 years of age under the same name in the Royal Indian Marine, was sent to Mesopotamia in May, 1918, with the 11th Labour Corps and, after gaining four more medals, was seized with eye troubles, was demobilised in November, 1919, after returning to India, becoming there totally blind in April, 1921, was sent to Keighley Poor Law hospital in October, 1921, claimed a pension at Keighley in December, 1921 (4/MH/12,676), and has not yet apparently had his case considered?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Earl Winterton)

I have been asked to answer this question. Ex-private Hartley was enrolled as a clerk in the 11th Bombay Labour Corps in May, 1918, and was discharged in November, 1919. The Government of India who have been consulted can find no record of any disability contracted by him on service and as he was accepted for the Calcutta Police in 1920 the presumption is that he was suffering from no disabality when discharged from the Labour Corps, But if particulars are furnished in support of the claim that his blindness was due to military service, the Government of India will be asked to examine them. He is not entitled to any service pension.


How is it that this man has had no reply from the tribunal to which he appealed?


That is a matter for the Ministry of Pensions. I promised to inquire into the case, and I have looked carefully into it, and can find no evidence that the man's blindness is due to military service.