§ 39. Mr. BAKER
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that Quartermaster-Sergeant Thomas Curtis, late of the Dorset Regiment, who is nearly 70 years of age and who has lost both his legs, was entitled to a pension of 2s. 1½d. per diem after 21 years' service; that Quartermaster-Sergeant Curtis extended his service by an additional 10 years 103 days, thereby becoming entitled to an additional 9d. per diem, and that, because Quartermaster-Sergeant Curtis extended his service beyond seven years, he is being penalised to the extent of £2 16s. per annum; and whether, having regard to the unsatisfactory position so created, he will see what can be done to meet this case of hardship?
§ Mr. LAWSON
I have been asked to reply. Quartermaster-Sergeant Curtis is not, as the question suggests, receiving less than if his service had been shorter. On the contrary, he is receiving rather more, and I regret I am not in a position to reopen the ease. As, however, the explanation is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate the full answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the answer:
§ Quartermaster-Sergeant Curtis is not, as the question suggests, receiving £2 16s. less than what he would have received if his service had been shorter. On the contrary, he is receiving rather more. It is, however, true that if he had been discharged after, say, 28 years' service, instead of after 31 years, us was the case, his pension would have been only 7s. 7d. 561 a year less than what it is now, namely, £74 3s. 9d., as compared with £74 11s. 4d. But this is because the Pensions Increase Act of 1920 prescribed a lower percentage of increase for the higher pensions. His original pension for the service which he had actually performed was over £50 a year in value, and was open to be-increased by 40 per cent. only, or to an amount not exceeding £75 per annum; whereas, if he had done 28 years' service only, his original pension would have been under £50 in value and could have been increased by 50 per cent. Sergeant Curtis has, therefore, received the appropriate award in respect of his service, and I regret that I am not in a position to reopen the case.