§ 1. Sir CHARLES CAYZER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in the case of men called up at the outbreak of war, and who, having completed four years' continuous war service, were granted pensions on leaving the Army, especially men who were passed A 1 on mobilisation and left the Army B 3, and who have had their pensions upheld by three successive medical boards, he will grant these men life pensions, it being quite clear that in the case of men passed A 1 on mobilisation and B 3 on discharge the causes of their disabilities are entirely due to war service; and whether, in the case of men who have successfully appealed against a final allowance, he will empower the appeals tribunal board to assess the damages immediately instead of putting the men forward for a further medical board, seeing that the policy suggested would save the country annually a very large sum of money in administrative expenses?
The case of every officer or man who has been on the pension list for four years or more has to be considered for a final award under the provisions of Section 4 of the War Pensions Act, 1921. Wherever the case is found to be suitable for a final award, such an award is made. I am glad to say that in about 250,000 cases final awards of life pension have already been granted. With regard to the last part of the question, I may point out that wherever the Appeal Tribunal are able to assess compensation finally they do so, and their finding is acted upon by my Department. It is only in cases where they are uncertain as to the prognosis of the case that they set aside the award made by the Ministry. The suggestion made by the hon. Member would not be practicable without legislation, and would very frequently not be in accordance with the best interests of the man concerned.
§ 3. Mr. HANNON (on behalf of Captain BOWYER)
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has now had an opportunity of thoroughly considering the question of final awards made in respect of the less seriously disabled 1524 men; whether he has road the pamphlet published by the British Legion in this connection in January this year; and what steps he proposes to take to give the disabled men concerned a fair opportunity of receiving pension should their disability reassert itself in the future?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the last part of the question, I do not think I can usefully add anything to the answers which I gave on the same subject to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. E. Brown) on the 8th and again on the 12th instant. I am sending the hon. and gallant Member copies of both answers.