HC Deb 01 December 1942 vol 385 cc983-4
18. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that in many cases of men discharged because of sickness they have to apply for public assistance; and whether he will consider continuing full Army pay in such cases until they are declared medically fit to resume employment?

Sir J. Grigg

A soldier suffering from a disability is discharged from the Army when he is found to be permanently unfit for further service, 28 days' furlough with full pay being given before discharge. Thereafter he will receive a disability award from the Ministry of Pensions if he is entitled to it. If he is not, he has the same rights for benefit under the National Health Insurance Acts as an insured civilian. I regret I am unable to accept the hon. Member's suggestion to continue full Army pay beyond the 28 days' furlough.

Mr. Smith

In cases where soldiers have to seek public assistance, does not the right hon. Gentleman say that that is regrettable, and, if so, what steps are being taken to avoid that?

Sir J. Grigg

I agree that it is regrettable; it is regrettable that anyone should have to seek public assistance.