§ 2. Captain Ryder
asked the Minister of Pensions if he will review the position whereby the assessment of limbless men cannot be increased to meet the effects of old age.
I refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Simmons) on 1st April. The expert Committee which I mentioned in that reply came to the conclusion that it was not possible to establish that the functional effect of amputations depends so directly on the person's age as to render it practicable or desirable to fix different assessments for different age-groups. I will, however, gladly look into any individual case in which it is felt that a limbless pensioner is suffering a greater degree of war disablement than that reflected by the pension assessment.
§ Captain Ryder
Can we assume that in these individual cases, where the general disability of a man has got worse, he will receive consideration? If that is so, can it be made more widely known?
Yes, in the present circumstances, if the amputation, either because of a bad stump or for some other reason, is adversely affecting the general health of a person, that factor is taken into consideration in fixing his assessment. I can give my hon. and gallant Friend an assurance that this will continue to be the case.
§ Mr. Isaacs
May I ask the Minister if the best course to pursue in these cases is for the pensioner to approach the welfare officers, established under that excellent service of the Ministry, whose duty it is to look after the pensioner rather than the pension fund?
§ Mr. L. M. Lever
Is the Minister in a position to make a statement in relation to the representations made to him by the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association when they approached him recently, when I believe he was impressed by the arguments in regard to this age group?
I have no statement to make at the present time on that matter, but I have very much in mind the representations made to me on that occasion.