HC Deb 18 February 1926 vol 191 cc2084-5

asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Lance-Corporal Redford, No. 55455, late Somersetshire Light Infantry, who enlisted in August, 1914, was wounded in the head on the 5th January, 1915, was also gassed, has suffered from acute and increasing neurasthenia since 1924, rendering him quite unfit for work, and whose appeal was rejected by the Ministry on the ground that his disability was not attributable to or aggravated by war service; whether he is aware that the house physician of Guy's Hospital reported in March, 1924, that his wounds and war service and the general strain of war were responsible for his condition; that his post-discharge doctor certified in June, 1924, that he was not fit for his pre-War work; that he has just been discharged from Billericay Infirmary still unfit for work; that the medical officer of health of that infirmary has stated that his condition is due to his wounds and war service and that he is unfit for work; that Redford's condition prevents him earning money for the support of his wife and four children; and whether, in view of the impartial and independent reports above referred to, he will reconsider the case?


Apart from a claim in respect of hernia, for which compensation was awarded in 1919, no application of any kind was made by the man referred to until May, 1924, when a claim was made for the first time in respect of the neurasthenia. After full consideration of all the medical evidence in the case the Ministry were unable to accept this ailment as due to the man's military service which had terminated five years earlier, and on appeal the Independent Appeal Tribunal upheld this decision. The certificate from Guy's Hospital to which my hon.: Friend refers was before the Tribunal when the case was heard, together with a full report of the man's service, and I regret that I am unable to take any further action in the case.


Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the wishes of the country as to the treatment to be given in these cases are being followed and are wholly reflected in the decisions of the tribunals, particularly the medical tribunals?


The hon. Member is aware that by the decision of this House, and at the request of the ex-service men, the final decision rests, not in my hands, but in the hands of the tribunal in the way I have stated.