§ 10. Mr. Simmons
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he has considered the opinion expressed in the Report of the Rock Carling Committee that some limbless and other seriously wonded men of the 1914–18 War find their disabilities more burdensome in advancing years, and have now reached a stage deserving of reconsideration; and what action he proposes to take in this matter.
§ Mr. Simmons
Can the Minister say whether any definite announcement will be made about the 1914–18 limbless who may have the right to apply as a result of the findings of the Rock Carling Committee that their disabilities are more burdensome in advancing years? Will the Minister, apart from being guided by medical opinion, use his common sense and realise that if a man has been swinging a bit of wood at the end of his leg for 35 or 40 years and wearing a harness he is at a disadvantage compared with ordinary pensioners?
§ 11. Mr. Simmons
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of disability pensions in payment for amputations arising from service in the 1914–18 War at the 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 per cent. rates; and how many of the pensions are at a rate higher than is laid down in the tables of assessment for specific injuries, based on length of amputated stump.
§ Mr. Simmons
Is the Minister not aware that the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association has always been told that these men are not bound by the highest rate of assessment laid down by the last committee on disabilities? Cannot the Minister bring some evidence to prove that some limbless ex-Service men are getting higher pensions than the rate laid down for the length of stump?
§ 12. Mr. Simmons
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of limbless and other wounded men of the 1914–18 War who have had their pension assessments increased since the merger on the grounds that their disabilities have worsened.
§ Mr. Simmons
Is the Minister aware that not having received an answer to my last Question makes comparison difficult? The right hon. Gentleman gave a figure of 356, but he does not say how many pensioners in this class are involved.
§ Mr. Peake
I shall be pleased to inform the hon. Gentleman. There are 23,000 limbless and 356 increases of assessment have been given. There are 144,000 other 927 wounded from the First World War and 1,000 have been given increases. The hon. Gentleman will observe, therefore, that the proportion of limbless men who have received increased assessments is higher than the average.
§ Mr. Fenner Brockway
In view of the evidence given to the Rock Carting Committee of the very large number of limbless ex-Service victims of the First World War whose condition has been worsened by their advancing years, would not it be much easier to make a general increase rather than to have the expense and the loss of time involved in considering each case separately?