HC Deb 13 February 1961 vol 634 cc915-6
19. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance why Mr. Fogarty, of Blackburn, who was discharged from the Irish Defence Force in 1942 as medically unfit with a duodenal ulcer, and was admitted into the British Army seven months later and who served for seven years during which he was treated for functional dyspepsia, has been refused a war pension although he is now seriously disabled as a result of a series of stomach operations.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (Mr. Richard Sharpies)

I regret that my right hon. Friend cannot award a war pension to Mr. Fogarty because the independent pensions appeal tribunal decided in 1958 that his disability was not attributable to and had not been aggravated by his service in the British Army.

Mrs. Castle

Is not there something very wrong with the Army medical examination if a man who has been discharged from one defence force with a duodenal ulcer can be accepted as A.l in the British Army a few months later? Is it not obvious that a man in that condition who served for seven years in the British Army, and whose service included action in Normandy in 1944, is likely to have had his condition aggravated by that service? In view of the fact that in 1958 the tribunal did not have all the facts before it, will not the Minister review this case again and give the man the benefit of a reasonable doubt?

Mr. Sharpies

I must remind the hon. Lady that the pensions appeal tribunals are completely independent of the Ministry and my right hon. Friend can exercise no control over their deliberations. If her constituent feels that the decision of the tribunal was wrong in law, he can write to the secretary of the tribunal for leave to appeal to the High Court.

Mrs. Castle

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.