HC Deb 23 July 1918 vol 108 cc1658-9W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that dissatisfaction has been caused in mining districts by the fact that the dependants of those who have only just been called up are pecuniarily much better off than the dependants of those who volunteered for service in 1914, in view of the increases in the miners' wages and the fact that the allowances are based on the three months' earnings prior to enlistment; and what action he proposes to take to remedy this grievance?


This matter is included in the reference to the Cabinet Committee which is considering separation allowances generally. A Report is expected very shortly.


asked the Pensions Minister if he will have further consideration given to the case of C. E. Smith, late No. 20265, East Lancashire Regiment, who was discharged from the Army on account of the condition of his eyes, it being first maintained by the Pensions Ministry that this condition had neither been caused nor aggravated by his military service but who, in consequence of the man's service abroad, awarded him a pension of 4s. 8d. a week for eighteen weeks, but, on re-representations being made to the Department, admitted aggravation by military service and increased the pension to 8s. 3d. a week and allowances for children, which pension has now been stopped on the ground that the aggravation due to service has passed away and the case cannot become further aggravated without further service; and, as this decision is not in accordance with the facts of the man's condition, will he consider again the case or give the man the opportunity to put his case before the Pensions Appeal Tribunal?


The facts are as stated, but I am unable to agree that the decision of the medical advisers to the Ministry is not in accordance with the man's condition. In deference to the hon. Member, the case has been resubmitted since his question was put down, and the opinion that the man's condition is now no worse than if he had not served is confirmed. The Appeal Tribunal has been set up to deal with cases in which men are refused pension on the ground that their disability is neither caused nor aggravated by service. In Smith's case aggravation has been admitted, and the question whether the aggravation has or has not passed away is not one with which the tribunal can properly deal.