§ 3. Mr. SMEDLEY CROOKE
asked the Minister of Pensions if he will consider the advisability of revising the regulations to make it necessary, in cases of applicants far disability pensions, for the Ministry to prove that the disability was not caused or aggravated by war service, rather than the applicant should he made to prove that the disability was caused or aggravated by war service?
§ Major TRYON
My hon. Friend is, I think, under a misapprehension. The admission of a claim under the Royal Warrants is not dependent on the production of proof by the claimant. On the contrary, the claim in every case is considered on its merits as a question of fact and it is the practice of the Ministry to seek all such evidence as may be obtainable in regard to the validity of the claim. I could not recommend that the fundamental principle of pensions administration should be altered in the manner suggested by my hon. Friend for the reasons which I gave to the hon. Member for Nottingham on the 19th April, 1923, in a reply of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.
§ Mr. CROOKE
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider this matter again in view of the fact that last year nearly 70 per cent, of these appeals were turned down?
§ Major TRYON
The proposal would mean that, in the absence of any evidence, we should have to pension any man who had served for even one single day in England during the Great War which legally ended in September, 1921, whenever he fell ill of almost any complaint at any time in his subsequent life.