HC Deb 06 February 1951 vol 483 cc1523-5
41. Mr. L. M. Lever

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will make a statement of the progress of the claims made by the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association, B.L.E.S.M.A., submitted for his consideration.

The Minister of Pensions (Mr. Isaacs)

I am not yet in a position to make a statement on this matter.

Mr. Lever

Will my right hon. Friend expedite the statement which ought to be made in relation to the difficulties of disabled ex-Service men? Is he aware that an ex-private, a widower, who lost his leg in the 1914–18 war and was pensioned then at £1 4s. a week, today receives only £1 7s. 0d. Is my right hon. Friend prepared to allow such a situation to continue?

Mr. Isaacs

I must ask my hon. Friend to await the statement because, in addition to the representations made by the organisation mentioned in the Question, representations have been made by other bodies, and they are at present under active consideration.

Brigadier Clarke

Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that these limbless ex-Service men have been waiting too long for an increase in their pensions?

43. Squadron Leader Burden

asked the Minister of Pensions if he will now review the war pensions paid for amputations, with a view to increasing the rates.

Mr. Isaacs

I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that the provisions of the pension code as they affect all classes of pensioners are under constant review, and I am giving the matter my personal attention.

Squadron Leader Burden

Does the Minister mean by "under constant review" that the reviewing will go on so long that no action will be taken in the near future? Does he not realise that this matter is one of urgency, and will he please take action?

Mr. Isaacs

I can only repeat what I said earlier, that the representations of the various bodies on the National Advisory Council have been made to me and to my predecessor. It is only two weeks now since I took office, it is only a few days since those conferences took place, and I am under a pledge to that Advisory Council to report to them as quickly as possible.

Sir I. Fraser

Will the Minister try, with the co-operation of the Chancellor, to report to the House when the debate takes place on 16th February?

Mr. Isaacs

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will appreciate it when I say that I hope to be able to do so.

Mr. Mellish

Is my right hon. Friend aware that even the British Legion admits that the disabled ex-Serviceman is better off today than ever before?