§ 1. Mr. DALTON
asked the Minister of Pensions how many pensioners who were permanently disabled in the South African war are still under treatment by the Ministry for their war disabilities; and whether, on grounds of equity, he will favourably consider the grant of treatment allowances in respect of their wives and children?
§ The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the question is not available. The suggestion made in the second part of the question was fully considered in 1919 and 1920 when the rates of disability pension generally were under consideration. The Government then decided that, while the rates of pension available to men disabled in former wars should be raised to the level of those of the Great War, they would not be justified in extending pre-war Warrants by the inclusion of family and other allowances which were not within the scheme of those Warrants. I should not be prepared to recommend that that decision should be reconsidered. I would remind the hon. Member, at the same time, that the pension may be raised to the maximum, subject to the prescribed conditions, when a, disabled former-war pensioner is obliged to undergo a course of treatment for his war disability.
§ Mr. DALTON
Was any estimate made, of the cost in giving allowances to wives and children? Would it not be small in view of the fact that many of these men are now advanced in years?
§ Major TRYON
The question raised refers to a very small number of pensioners, but I could not say what figures were before the Government of that time, as the matter refers to 1919.