HC Deb 22 November 1920 vol 135 cc61-2W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether the Reginal Director of the Ministry of Pensions, London Region, at Burton, Court, S.W., received on or about the 12th November instant a registered letter from the Ealing Local War Pensions Committee referring to statements made to the officers of that Committee by the Medical Referee for Ealing to the following effect: That the Ministry had shown him, the Medical Referee, the whole of the correspondence between the Ministry and the Committee; that the Ministry had informed him that they were not in a position to compel the Committee to send a greater number of cases to him; that the Ministry could make things very uncomfortable for the Committee; that the Ministry would make the Committee suffer for his, the Referee's, treatment in another way; that he, the Referee, need not worry about his ultimate appointment as Chief Medical Referee for Ealing; that he must be patient, as the Ministry had made up their minds to wipe out the Ealing Committee; whether, if such letter has been received, why no answer has been sent to it; whether, as the allegations have not been denied, the Ministry are prepared to stand by them; in that case, whether such a challenge by permanent officials towards a local committee, against whom no charge can be brought, has his sanction; and, if not, what action he proposes to take to make his chief and subordinate officials responsible, after due inquiry, in order to protect local committees engaged upon the voluntary administration of War pensions throughout the country secure against such bureaucratic intolerance and insult?


A letter dated the 11th November was received at the headquarters of the London Region, addressed to the Regional Director by the Secretary of the Ealing Local War Pensions Committee, and containing statements in the terms mentioned in the question alleged to have been made by a Medical Referee to the Secretary of the Committee. The Medical Referee was interviewed by an officer of the region and denied having made the statements attributed to him. A letter to that effect was sent by the Regional Director to the Chairman of the Commitee on the 20th November.