HC Deb 26 June 1941 vol 372 cc1098-9
33. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that Mr. F. F. Davies, of 148, Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham, who has been discharged from the Army owing to arthritis of the right and left knee and whose doctor has certified that he never suffered from arthritis or any form of rheumatism prior to enlistment, has been refused a pension because it is alleged that the arthritic condition is in no way due to his military service; and whether he will give the names and qualifications of the medical officers he consulted about this man and arrange for him to be granted a pension?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

The advice which I have received does not support the claim advanced on behalf of Mr. Davies. I am, however, arranging for him to be examined by a Ministry medical board and for the case to be further investigated. I am not prepared to disclose the names of the officials who have advised on the case.

Mr. Lipson

While thanking my right hon. Friend for being willing to reconsider the case, may I ask whether he thinks it right that a decision should be arrived at without knowing on whose authority it was made, particularly in view of the man's claim that, since he left the Army, he has received no medical examination whatever?

Sir W. Womersley

I know who examined the man, and I am satisfied with the decision.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

Is it not a fact that many men who never before sought public assistance are forced to do so, as a result of such treatment?

Sir W. Womersley

I do not know.

Mr. MacMillan

The Minister should know of some cases, because I sent particulars of them to him.

34. Captain Profumo

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will grant to ex-Service men the statutory right of appeal in respect of decisions regarding pensions awards made by him?

36. Captain Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will consider setting up independent appeals tribunals to hear war pensions claims?

Sir W. Womersley

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friends to the answer given to a similar Question put by the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. E. Smith) on 23rd April, a copy of which I am sending to each of them.

Sir I. Fraser

Does my right hon. Friend realise that many citizens who have a claim on the Government arising out of this war—including for example the conscientious objector who wishes to establish his right not to enter the Armed Forces—are allowed an appeal, while this is denied to the men who have served, even though so important a matter as a life pension is at stake?

Sir W. Womersley

As my hon. and gallant Friend has given me notice of his intention to raise the matter on the Adjournment, we had better leave the argument until then.

Mr. De la Bère

What my hon. Friend said was quite true.

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