HC Deb 24 June 1926 vol 197 cc515-6

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that ex-Stoker William Ewart Gladstone Day, No. K. 21,477, late Royal Navy, was granted a final award of only 1.5 per cent. for 35 weeks in April, 1922, while still suffering from neurasthenia and deafness due to an explosiou on His Majesty's Ship "Bulwark" in November, 1914, when he was one of only 16 survivors; and that this pension was increased to 20s. 7d. per week on 31st December, 1925, after prolonged correspondence with his Department, when this man's neurasthenia was assessed at 20 per cent.; if he will state why the pension was reduced to 16s. on 2nd March, 1926, when his neurasthenia was still assessed at 20 per cent and his ear condition remained unchanged; and why this pension has not been made retrospective to 2nd June, 1923, more than a year after his final award of 1.5 per cent., when he was admitted to hospital and operated on for acute mastoid disease?

The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tyron)

The hon. Member has been mis- informed. The award made in 1922 to which he refers was in respect of deafness only. As regards the award for neurasthenia, this was originally at the rate of 30 per cent. and was reduced to 20 per cent. by the medical board of 22nd January, 1926. Mr. Day did not make a claim on the Ministry in proper form in respect of neurasthenia until February, 1925; but the award in respect of that disability was made from the date of a letter on his behalf which has been accepted as constituting an earlier claim. The award in respect of deafness in replacement of the award made in 1922 runs from the date of the medical examination by a Ministry doctor, which definitely proved the need for the amendment of the 1922 award. I can find no ground for making either award from an earlier date.


May I ask if this man has appealed, and if the appeal has been heard?


I do not think the matter has gone to appeal, but the Minister has accepted liability for both disabilities.


Is the Minister aware that the man has appealed for a hearing before the final Appeal Tribunal, and that it has been refused?


I will certainly consider that statement by the hon. Member, but the fact is that the man is getting pension on account of both his disabilities?