§ 84. Miss LAWRENCE
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he has received a resolution from the East Ham Town Council protesting against the apathy displayed by the Government towards disabled ex-Service men and stating that, although they realise that pensions are only granted for disability due to war service, an honourable effort should be made to insure the disabled ex-Service man living free from the stigma of relief from the guardians after his unemployment benefit has been exhausted; that, owing to the economic stats of the country to-day, it is totally impossible for a disabled ex-Service man to find employment, and that it should recognise this fact; that the two main reasons for unemployment among disabled ex-Service men are their disability and the failure of the King's Roll to operate effectively, and asking that steps should be immediately taken by the Government to bring their pensions up to a living standard, to be fixed by the Board of Trade; and if he will say what action he proposes to take in the matter?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Lieut.-Colonel Stanley)
I have received a copy of the resolution referred to, which; however, is based on assumptions that are incorrect. The essential principle of disability pension as compensation to be determined in accordance solely with the degree of physical or mental disablement brought about by service, has been consistently upheld by successive Governments and approved by Parliament. It would be a serious breach of this principle, and not in the best interests of pensioners, that the grant or refusal of pension should, as is suggested in the resolution, be determined by economic or other factors. I could not advisedly, therefore, recommend that the course proposed should be adopted.