§ Mr. F. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the 1435W training bonus under the scheme for training disabled ex-service men due to Herbert Preston, 38, Wright Street, Stafford, late No. 17046, King's Shropshire Light Infantry, has been withheld owing to the Ministry of Pensions asserting that the man concerned has overdrawn his pension; that this ex-service man, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany, was awarded 12s. per week pension, was afterwards taken ill and awarded treatment allowances amounting to £2 per week and extra diet, and ordered to a convalescent home; that afterwards the man was re-boarded and awarded 12s. per week, and that deductions were made from his pension, and while on training, to the amount of 3s. per week, because he received the treatment allowances of £2 per week granted under the regulations; and that he is now in such a position through the treatment he has received that, after undergoing training at Stoke-on-Trent in clerical work, he is unable to buy the necessary clothes to obtain employment similar to the training he has received, and that his pension has been stopped and his training bonus withheld; and whether, in the case of over-payments made by officials of the Ministry, the onus of same is borne by the pensioner, even when in this case the over-payment which is asserted was sanctioned under the head of treatment allowances?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
The overpayment referred to arises in respect of recoverable advances (not treatment allowances) made by the local committee pending examination by a Medical Board; and I understand that the training bonus has been withheld in part recovery. A considerable balance remains outstanding. As regards the last part of the question, the man accepted the advances on the understanding that recovery would be made if the provisional assessment of disablement given by the Medical Referee was not confirmed by the subsequent Board.