HC Deb 16 February 1927 vol 202 cc916-7

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of sailors discharged from the Navy in 1926 suffering from tuberculosis; and how many of those men were granted disablement pensions?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

The number of men so discharged was 197. Of these, six were found to be attributable to the conditions of service, and pensions on the attributable scale were awarded.


If these seamen all pass the medical test prior to joining the naval forces, how does the hon. and gallant Gentleman explain the fact that only 3 per cent, of them have obtained pensions, and 97 per cent, have been refused?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

Presumably all ratings are examined before joining the Service, but as the hon. Member is no doubt aware, complaints of this kind develop later on, and are therefore somewhat difficult to attribute to service. It is a matter which is exercising the earnest attention of the Board of Admiralty, who naturally are most anxious to see that all the men are satisfied as far as possible. If the hon. Member asks me to explain the particular reasons for a particular circumstance I am afraid I cannot satisfy him.


Is there any appeal against these decisions?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

There is an appeal to the Board of Admiralty.


Have the Admiralty decided how many years a man must be in the Service before a disease is held to be attributable to service?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I think the hon. Member should give me notice of that question.


In view of these facts, will the Admiralty consider once again the necessity for establishing an appeal tribunal, before which the invalided person might appear, personally or through a representative.?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

As at present advised, the Admiralty consider that the Board is by far the best final appeal tribunal.


Has the applicant for a pension the right of personal appearenee at that Court, or appearance through a deputy or solicitor?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I think I should have notice of that question.

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