HC Deb 23 July 1956 vol 557 cc7-9
11. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what steps have been taken to ensure that disabled ex-Service men are fully acquainted with their entitlements under the pensions schemes.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

A leaflet setting out the various entitlements is sent with each notification of a first award of war disablement pension. In 1948 and 1952 special leaflets, with up-to-date information, were sent to all disablement pensioners of both world wars inquiring whether they were sure they were receiving all the allowances to which they were entitled. Following discussion with my Central Advisory Committee earlier this year, I am proposing to send to all pensioners a letter enclosing up-to-date particulars of what is now available under the war pensions provisions.

Mr. Hynd

Do I take it, therefore, that the Minister refutes the accusation by the secretary of the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association that the Ministry has done nothing to bring these entitlements to the notice of ex-Service men? In view of the fact that the general secretary of that organisation explained recently that it had discovered hundreds of cases of ex-Service men who were not receiving their full entitlements, can the Minister tell the House whether the association has drawn those cases to the notice of his Department and that they are being dealt with?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It is our desire that every war pensioner should know what he is entitled to. The steps I outlined in my main Answer indicate how, under successive Ministers, this has been done. I would not say that as a result of that every war pensioner necessarily will know every detail of these somewhat complex provisions. For that reason, ex-Service organisations can play a very useful part in bringing individual cases to light. If they refer with justifiable pride to cases which they have succeeded in bringing to light, I am sure that they are perfectly entitled to do so.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is there not a difficulty with those who have not received a pension? Are steps being taken to acquaint men leaving the Forces with their rights under the Acts governing pensions?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As the documents that go to a man prior to demobilisation are the responsibility of my right hon. Friends of the Service Departments, I would prefer not to answer a question about that off the cuff, although I think that the fact that pensions are paid for war disabilities is fairly widely known in the Forces.

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