HC Deb 07 May 1929 vol 227 cc2029-30

asked the Minister of Pensions if his attention has been drawn to the case of James Coupland, 10, Blake Street, Barrow-in-Furness, an ex-service man, who, consequent upon wounds received on the Somme in the late War, has had one eye removed and the other eye so badly affected as to only have sight therein to a vision of 6/60, as certified by a competent ophthalmic surgeon, and who is only in receipt of 50 per cent. pension; whether he proposes to treat James Coupland as blind within the meaning of the Act and to grant him a 100 per cent. pension; whether he is aware that although Coupland, a married man with two children, is in this state, continued appeals extending over months from the man himself have received only the most formal acknowledgments from his Department; and whether he proposes to give this case early consideration?

The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)

The hon. Member has been misinformed as to the facts. It is not the case that there have been continued appeals extending over months in this matter. Mr. Coupland's first application received on 18th March, 1929, in respect of visual trouble in the right eye stated that this trouble began on 8th March last—nearly 13 years after the gunshot wound which caused the loss of the left eye—and this application is now under consideration. The precise cause of the sudden and recent deterioration of the right eye has not been fully determined, but I can assure the hon. Member that there will be no avoidable delay in deciding the case.


Does not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman agree that there has been delay, when five letters have produced merely formal acknowledgments between 18th March last and the last day or two?


The delay is not as stated in the question. I am going into the matter personally, and will endeavour to write as soon as possible to the hon. Member.


Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman undertake to do with this case what he did with a previous case about which I spoke to him, and put it into a propaganda pamphlet of the Tory party?

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