HC Deb 07 March 1946 vol 420 cc493-4
44. Mr. Moyle

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware of the complaints made by disabled ex-Service men and women against the delay experienced on the determination of pensions claim by the appeal tribunals; and will he take steps to expedite the hearing of such appeals by the tribunals concerned.

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Wilfred Paling)

The Lord Chancellor and I have this matter under constant review and the steps already taken have reduced the period elapsing between the lodging and hearing of an appeal. I can assure the hon. Member that everything possible is being done to expedite the hearing of appeals by the Tribunals

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

In view of the number of cases waiting to be heard —and many have been outstanding for as long as 18 months—cannot the right hon. Gentleman give some more encouraging reply as to the length of time that will elapse?

Mr. Paling

We started with a huge number of arrears and we are faced with two difficulties—the insufficiency of tribunals and the lack of skilled staff. I am pleased, however, to say that we have 23 tribunals operating and that we are reducing arrears by over 200 a week.

Mrs. Leah Manning

Would it not be easier to accept the principle, "Fit for service, fit for pension ''?