HC Deb 04 July 1938 vol 338 cc17-9
26. Mr. Dobbie

asked the Minister of Pensions the number of fresh applications for disability pensions by ex-service men between 1st January, 1937, and 1st January, 1938, and the number which were established?

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Ramsbotham)

During the year 1937, the number of fresh applications in respect of War disablement was 2,934. Of these, 17 per cent., or 492, were established.

Mr. Holdsworth

Will the Minister consider setting up a committee of inquiry into the whole question?

Mr. Ramsbotham

That question has been answered.

27. Mr. Dobbie

asked the Minister of Pensions the number of ex-service men in receipt of a disability pension on 1st January, 1937, and the number in receipt of the same in January, 1938; the number in receipt of a pension less than 100 per cent. on both dates; the number of limbless men in receipt of a disability pension and the proportion of such receiving less than 100 per cent. pension; and the estimated cost to place all the men disabled through Service and in receipt of a pension on 100 per cent. allowance, and so remove them from competition for work in the industrial field?

Mr. Ramsbotham

As the answer involves a number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Ex-service men in receipt of disability pension numbered, on 1st January, 1937, 444,000, and on 1st January, 1938, 436,000. Of these, the numbers in receipt of a pension less than the maximum were respectively about 415,000 and 409,000. The numbers of "limbless" pensioners, including in the term all classes of amputation from the loss of foot or hand to the loss of entire limbs, were, on the specified dates, respectively, 32,800 and 32,350. Of these about 10 per cent. were in receipt of maximum pension on account of the loss of two limbs, and the bulk of the remaining 90 per cent. of pensioners were drawing pensions of 50 per cent. and upwards. The cost of raising all disablement pensions to the 100 per cent. rate is estimated at an additional £31,000,000 for the first year.

28. Major Milner

asked the Minister of Pensions particulars of any recent alterations which have taken place in the personnel and practice of the Special Grants Committee?

Mr. Ramsbotham

As the hon. and gallant Member may have seen in the Press, I have appointed Mr. Charles Doughty, K.C., to be Chairman of the Special Grants Committee in place of Sir Edward Troup, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., whose health prevented him from accepting reappointment, and I have added to the committee Captain Frank Nicholl, late chairman of the Halifax, Todmorden and District War Pensions Committee. The Committee inform me that, apart from certain changes in procedure to which I referred in my replies to the questions addressed to me on 24th and 31st May, their practice in dealing with the class of case which the hon. and gallant Member no doubt has in mind, has not been affected.

Major Milner

May we take it that Mr. Doughty will occupy the position of chairman of the sub-committee which deals with the deprivation of pensions of widows?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Yes, Sir, that is so.

Mr. Holdsworth

Will there be any change in the procedure of the committee?

Mr. Ramsbotham

That is an entirely different question.

Mr. Kelly

Is it the intention to take evidence rather than to follow the procedure of the past, when no evidence was taken?

Mr. Ramsbotham

That, also, is a different question.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Will it be permissible to submit to the committee cases which have already been turned down?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question down.

Mr. George Griffiths

Will it be the same kind of evidence that the Minister spoke about at Monmouth the other day?

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