HC Deb 05 March 1923 vol 161 cc55-6W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been called to the case of Mr. R. H. White, of 123, Charlotte Street, Sheffield; whether he is aware that, after having volunteered several times and been rejected as unfit for service, Mr. White was called up and passed as fit for general service in June, 1917; that at the time of his enlistment Mr. White was suffering from right scrotal hernia; that despite this disability Mr. White served in France for seven months; that he was discharged at totally unfit on 24th June, 1921, and granted a pension of 17s. 3d. per week; that after six months Mr. White was examined by a pensions board which found that 15 per cent of the disability, and consequently the aggravation due to War service, had passed away, as a result of which Mr. White's pension was discontinued; that this decision was confirmed by the medical appeal board; that the Pensions Appeal Tribunal on appeal found that the aggravation of disability due to War service had not passed away, and allowed the appeal; and that. Mr. White subsequently received a notification from the Ministry of Pensions that he had been made a final grant. of 9s. 6d. per week for one year but not on account of his medical condition; that. Mr. White was compelled to close his business on being called up for service and has been unable, owing to his state of health, to obtain employment since his discharge; that, his pension having now ceased, Mr. White is destitute and has had to apply for relief to the Sheffield Board of Guardians; and that Mr. White has been advised by the specialist whom he has consulted that the aggravation of his permanent disability due to War service cannot pass away unless an operation is performed; and whether, under these circumstances and particularly the fact that he ought not to have been ever passed fit for general service, Mr. White's pension can be renewed?

Major TRYON:

As stated in the question, this man suffered from hernia before he was called up in 1917 and passed for service with the Royal Corps of Signals. After seven months' service in France he was posted to duty at home in 1918 as a switchboard operator. On discharge from the Army in June, 1921, disablement was assessed at 30 per cent. Aggravation by service was admitted, and compensation has been granted in accordance with the degree of disablement assessed from time to time by medical boards. The last award, which resulted from the finding of the tribunal in his favour on the question of entitlement, has been declared a final award under the provisions of the War Pensions Act, 1921; and if the man is dissatisfied with it he has a right of appeal to the Assessment Tribunal, which he may exercise through the local area office. I understand that operative treatment for the hernia has been offered to the man, but refused.