HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2544-5

asked the Minister of Pensions how many applications for widows' pensions and how many applications for dependants' pensions have been refused owing to the pensioner's death occurring more than seven years after his first removal from duty?


I regret that the records of my Department do not distinguish between cases in which a pension had to be refused under Article 11 because the death occurred more than seven years after the man's first removal from duty, and other cases of this type. But I may remind the hon. Member of the modified interpretation of the terms of the Article which I announced in my reply to the hon. Member for the Deritend Division of Birmingham (Mr. Smedley Crooke) on the 22nd March. About 30 claims have been made by dependants which were ineligible for pension under the provisions of the Warrant referred to.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether that modification is generally known, so that applications may be made under the altered circumstances?


The modification was published in the Press, as, although we were anxious to give the information to the House, the House was not sitting. Therefore, it was published at once in the Press, and has been several times announced in the House. I will send the hon. Member a copy.

11. Mr. OLIVER

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the claim of Mrs. A. E. Fortesque, of 2, Thorpe Street, Ilkeston, widow of the late Private Arthur Fortesque, No. 14,443, Grenadier Guards, has been disallowed by the tribunal; that Arthur Fortesque, up to the time of his death, was in receipt of a 40 per cent. disablement pension, and as a result of ailments contracted during War service died in hospital; and, in view of the very unsatisfactory decision, will he cause further inquiries to be made?


The late soldier did not die of the disease for which he was in receipt of pension, and the Ministry considered that the cause of death was not connected with his active service during the War. The claim to full pension under Article 11 of the Royal Warrant was accordingly rejected, and this decision, having been confirmed by the Tribunal, is final.


Is the Minister aware that this man had been continuously in receipt of a pension, and was actually sent to hospital on the advice and authority of the military authorities?


The position is that this man was pensioned for deafness, and died of some quite other illness, and the House will realise that that necessarily did not constitute a claim for pension.