§ Mr. WILLEY
asked the Minister of Pensions the number of ex-service men who have been helped in each of the last two years and also in the first three months of the present year by the Civil Liabilities Department; whether he is aware that the need for such assistance is now increasing, in view of the large number of men whose pensions have been stopped owing to their recovery though many are not physically fit to justify resumption of their former occupation where this was of an arduous nature; the amount of money in each of the periods above-mentioned at the disposal of, and used by, the Committee; whether it was sufficient for all claims which merited consideration; whether any intended allocations have had to be reduced through restricted funds; and whether ho is satisfied that the maximum of help which is desirable and useful in the work of this Committee is available?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
I have been asked to reply. The approximate number and 2299W amount of civil liabilities grants paid are as follows:
The sums voted for civil liabilities grants in the financial years ending March, 1922, and March, 1923, were £560,000 and £230,600 respectively. In each year the Rinds available have been sufficient to meet the claims which, in my hon. Friend's words, "merited consideration," and no intended grants have had to be reduced through lack of funds. I think that the regulations governing the scheme provide ample opportunity to disabled men (whether under continuous treatment or on coming out of hospital or trainees) who wish and are eligible to benefit by it. I cannot hold out any hope of its extension to men who are not disabled.
No. of grants paid. Total amount. £ In calendar year 1921 11,500 653,000 In calendar year 1922 4,900 253,000 1st January to 31st March, 1923 1,000 54,000
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Minister of Labour if he possesses any statistics to show the number of ex-service men who might be assisted by increased grants from the Civil Liabilities Department to carry on small businesses and thus avoid becoming a charge on the unemployment donation; whether he is of the opinion that such assistance could be increased; and whether any specific instances to this effect have been brought under his notice?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
Up to the end of March, 1923, grants had actually been made to the 112,510 ex-service men and continue to be made to disabled men at the rate of 80 a week. As I can only deal with specific applications, I have no means of ascertaining how many more applications might be made. I am afraid I cannot undertake to widen the scope of the existing Regulations.