§ 19. Sir ROBERT GOWER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, having regard to the circumstance that Army and Air Force pensioners are permitted to draw their pensions weekly, he will consider the desirability of extending the same privilege to naval pensioners?
§ Mr. G. HALL
The reply is in the negative. The Admiralty have no evidence that any change would be welcomed by the main body of pensioners who are content with the present system, which it should be understood allows quarterly payments in advance. In any 1026 particular case, however, where adequate reasons are forthcoming, special arrangements would be made for payment to be made monthly.
21. Dr. DAVIES
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many of the 159 men invalided from the Service in 1927 for pulmonary tuberculosis were granted disability pensions; in how many cases was the disease held to be attributable to the conditions of service; and how do these numbers compare with those of the previous three years, expressed as a percentage of the number pensioned to the total number of cases?
The number of men invalided in 1927 for tuberculosis was 180 and pensions on the attributable scale were granted in 18 cases, or 10 per cent. of the total. This compares with 3 per cent. in 1926, 1 per cent. in 1925, and 3 per cent. in 1924. In a considerable number of cases pensions on the non-attributable scale were granted where the men had sufficient service to qualify.
Will the right hon. Gentleman observe that the percentage of pensions granted has increased rapidly this year, possibly due to the too great restrictions in previous years, and would he be prepared to look over some of the back cases to see if the present conditions on which pensions are granted are applicable to cases which have been previously refused?
I shall be glad to consider any representations of a specific character made to me. It is obviously difficult to go back on decisions which have been made under regulations which existed at that time, but I will consider it.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
While the figures show an improvement under the revised rules, is not the necessity for an appeal tribunal still apparent?
As far as I have been able to look into the matter, there is a considerable improvement in the method in which these cases are dealt with, but I have had no strong case put to me yet for an appeal tribunal, and, in fact, I am not at all sure that in the regular service cases an appeal tribunal would always be to the advantage of the men. I hope the hon. Member will consider that.