§ 30. Major COHEN
asked the Minister of Pensions whether instructions have yet been issued to local war pensions committees regarding the manner and the object of the investigations to be applied by such committees in regard to cases submitted to them by dissatisfied applicants in connection with claims outside the seven years' time limit?
They will have power to deal with this matter by way of Sub-Committee in accordance with regulations, which will give them that power.
§ 31. Major COHEN
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will give the date from which pension will be payable in those cases of claims submitted outside the seven years' time limit and dealt with under the scheme recently announced by the Minister; and will the pension be payable from the date on which the claim is first submitted or from the date on which the Ministry obtains special sanction for payment from the Treasury?
Payment will normally, as hitherto, be made as from the date of the application which is successfully established.
§ 32. Major COHEN
asked the Minister of Pensions whether, having regard to the fact that a large number of ex-service men have emigrated since the War, he will say what steps it is proposed to take to give publicity in the Dominions to the scheme announced last month regarding applications outside the seven years' time limit; what steps it is proposed to 953 take to enable claimants resident overseas to have their claims and complaints considered by a voluntary committee, similar to the war pensions committees in this country; and whether, in view of the fact that there are no Ministry of Pensions committees in the Dominions, he will consider the possibility of inviting the recognised ex-service organisations overseas to assist the Ministry in this connection?
The necessary instructions are in preparation for circulation overseas. In regard to the last part of the question ex-service organisations already advise and assist ex-service men in regard to their applications. Apart from this, applicants will have the same opportunity as in this country of submitting evidence direct to the Ministry, through the local offices and agents of the Ministry.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, while he is prepared to issue these instructions that he is anxious to reconsider sympathetically any case, he will make it perfectly plain that the seven years' limit has not been abolished?
I think that that is perfectly plain in so far as the repeal of the Statute goes, but in so far as the seven years' limit goes all cases can now be reconsidered.
§ Mr. EVERARD
Is there any difference between the attitude the right hon. Gentleman has taken up and that of the late Minister of Pensions?
I should be very glad to give an explanation to any hon. Member who cares to come to me. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give it now —"] An explanation in regard to general procedure cannot properly be given by way of question and answer.
Does not the hon. Gentleman think that it is really lamentable for him to try to make this a party question?