HC Deb 13 November 1928 vol 222 cc669-70

asked the Secretary of State for War upon what grounds the Army Council has decided that the qualifying age for special campaign pensions must be calculated from the age given upon attestation and not upon the true age; and whether, seeing that this decision involves hardship and delay in many cases, owing to the age upon attestation having been entered as on the last birthday and without reckoning exact months, this matter can be reconsidered?


The age given by a recruit on his first attestation is accepted as his correct age throughout his career for various purposes, including the assessment of pension, and my right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot agree to any change in the general practice to meet the special cases referred to by the hon. Member. As regards the last part of the question, the hon. Member is under a misapprehension; provision has always been made in attestation papers for the recruit's age to be recorded to the nearest month, and for some years past to the actual day.


Is the Financial Secretary aware that during the period referred to there was no space on the forms for the months to be entered and no space on the discharge forms which carry that on; consequently, if the age is recorded only in years, men who are, in point of fact, 21 years and 10 months are going to lose 10 months of their pension.


I should like to have the facts of any instance in which that has occurred. As I have already stated, at the present time an opportunity is given for the month and the actual age to be recorded. If the hon. Member knows of any case in which an injustice is being inflicted owing to this old method, I shall be glad to have the details.


Will the hon. Gentleman give the same attention to a case which I am sending to him to-day?