§ 6. Colonel DAY
asked the Minister of Pensions the total cost per head, including establishment, medical attendance, and food, of the patients in the institution for neurasthenics at Saltash, Cornwall; and whether, if the cost be higher than would be the case if the men were given 100 per cent. pensions, he will, seeing that most of the men have been under treatment and away from their homes the greater part of the time that has elapsed since their discharge from the Forces of the Crown, consider the desirability of awarding life pensions and permit the men to be restored to their families?
§ Viscount CURZON
The total cost of the treatment given in the institution referred to is 34s. a week per head, exclusive of the personal allowances payable to the men and their families. If such allowances are included in the cost, the amount would, on an average, be in excess, and necessarily so, of the average amount that would be drawn by a pensioner on a pension for total disablement. The patients in this institution are admitted for the purpose of undergoing a specific course of treatment, and it would, therefore, not be in the interests of many of the cases to adopt the course suggested by the hon. and gallant Member, even if it were otherwise practicable. It is not, however, the intention of the Ministry that cases should remain indefinitely or unnecessarily in this or any other institution, and where they can suitably be dealt with by discharge to their homes with an appropriate rate of pension, this course is adopted.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is the Noble Lord aware that cases in this institution are chronic cases, in which there is no hope of recovery, and will he, in those circumstances, consider the advisability of getting the men returned to their homes?
§ Viscount CURZON
I am not in a, position to answer that question, but I will draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to what the hon. Member states.