HC Deb 07 May 1925 vol 183 cc1108-10
7. Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will issue to Members, or lay upon the Table of the House Ministry of Pensions Instruction No. 55, 10th July, 1924, Medical Services Instruction No. 566, 30th May, 1924, and Ministry of Pensions Circular No. 30?


I shall be glad to supply a copy of Circular No. 30 to any Member who desires it. This Circular contains the substance of the Instructions mentioned, so far as they are of general interest, but they necessarily include also certain detailed instructions to the staff of the Ministry, and I am not prepared to depart from the normal practice of all Government Departments by adopting the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion with regard to them.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

Have we not been informed in this House over and over again that no secret circulars are issued; and if we are told now that these circulars are in existence does the Minister not consider it right that not only Members of this House should be in possession of them but all those who are fighting for justice for these men?


It is quite true the hon. and gallant Member has brought a charge against an awarding officer, but at the end of two months he has produced no evidence whatever in support of it, and his attack has been shown by the awarding officer concerned and by all the medical officers concerned to be absolutely inaccurate.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

The Minister has made a personal accusation against me, without telling the House why I did not give him assistance. The reason why I did not give him assistance was because I took it that what I said was confirmed by a medical officer in the Ministry of Pensions. I asked for a letter—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"].


The hon. and gallant Member, clearly, must raise a point of this kind on the Estimates.


Is an hon. Member not entitled by the courtesy of the House to make a personal explanation?


Not during Questions.


Is it customary for a Minister, in reply to a supplementary question, to make an attack on an hon. Member, when that hon. Member for the time being has no right to reply, because it is Question time?

Lieut.-Colonel ASTBURY

I beg to give notice that on an early date I shall raise this matter again.