HC Deb 26 March 1925 vol 182 cc599-600

asked the Prime Minister if he will set up a Select Committee to inquire into the whole question of war pensions and the machinery of administration of the Ministry of Pensions?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

The Government are not aware of any grounds on which the appointment of a Select Committee with the object suggested in the question would be justified. I would remind the hon. Member that the whole scheme of the War Pensions Warrants was considered by a Select Committee in 1919–1921, and was settled in accordance with their recommendations. The machinery of administration was considered by a Departmental Committee in 1921, on which Members of all parties in this House and ex-service men were amply represented, and the recommendations of that Committee, along with certain other matters, were put in operation by the War Pensions Act, 1921, which became law with the approval of all parties in the House


Is it the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman that no changes in the Royal Warrant are necessary?


Is the Prime. Minister not aware that a great deal of hardship is entailed by the system which at present obtains for hearing appeals, and also for making final awards; and, seeing that on the right hon. Gentleman's own admission no inquiry has taken place since the Act was put into operation, surely there is a case for inquiry after three years' experience?

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Wales alone there are 4,000 cases calling for re-investigation, and under Circular No. 30, subsequent to the Regulations made under the Act of 1921, 400 cases have been re-investigated, and only one has come through, the remainder having been refused and deprived in consequence of the time limit imposed by the Royal Warrant of 1921.


It is perfectly impossible for me to enter into such details by way of questions and answer, nor can I accept any of the statements which have been made in the questions without investigation. I am quite clear that it would not be a good thing that such a complicated matter as a Royal Warrant should have special investigation at such frequent intervals, and it would lead to much greater confusion.