1. Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, having regard to the dissatisfaction expressed by many pensions advisory councils with the administration of the Pensions Ministry as regards such questions as time limits, final awards, and the case of war orphans, he will appoint a Committee of Inquiry to investigate all these matters?
§ 2. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Pensions if, in view of numerous complaints he has received from the British Legion in connection with disabled men, widows, and dependants on account of the way the pensions regulations of the administrative part of his Department are carried out, he is prepared to recommend the setting up of a Select Committee to make inquiries into the whole question?
§ 4. Mr. DALTON
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, in view of the large number of complaints of unjust treatment which are still being made by disabled men, widows, and dependants, and also in view of the resolutions passed by many pensions advisory councils, he will now consent to the appointment of a Select Committee of this House to investigate the present Regulations and their administration by his Department?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
The Government are satisfied that there are no grounds on which the appointment of such a Committee is required or would be justified. The matters referred to have been settled by Statute or Warrant, and, in the view of the Government, experience has shown that the operation of these enactments, coupled with the administrative measures which I have been enabled to take to deal with the comparatively few exceptional cases, adequately meets the situation. With regard to the case of war orphans, I would remind hon. Members that, as I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for the Hartlepools on the 17th December last, the care and welfare of children in receipt of allowances from the Ministry is precisely one of the objects on which I 284 hoped to obtain the advice and assistance of persons with direct practical experience of the subject in the reconstitution of my Central Advisory Committee.
In framing his reply, had the right hon. Gentleman in mind the weighty arguments adduced by the hon. and gallant Member for Fairfield (Major Cohen) yesterday, and, if not, will he reconsider the question in the light of that speech?
§ Major TRYON
We are not prepared to reconsider the decision. I shall be happy to give the very serious objections, from the ex-service men's point of view, to the proposals of the British Legion, if the Government's decision is challenged in the House.
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform us approximately what is the total expenditure upon children?
§ Major TRYON
I am afraid I cannot without Notice give the figures for War orphans. The total expenditure of the Ministry on all children is over £8,000,000 a year.