HC Deb 08 March 1923 vol 161 cc732-4W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether disabled men are offered the opportunity of appearing before their local pensions committees to show cause why deductions from War pension should not be made before any stoppages are effected by the Ministry officials?

Major TRYON:

Provision has been made in the War Pensions Act. 1921, and in the Regulations issued thereunder whereby pensioners are given the opportunity of having their complaints heard and considered by War Pensions Committees, who may make representations to me.


further asked the Minister of Pensions whether he can state the nature of the deductions other than those relating to alleged overpayment of pension or allowances made by his Department from disabled men's pensions; whether stoppages are made in respect of clothing and other articles; and whether a man is given an opportunity to agree to the price charged against him before the deduction takes effect?

Major TRYON:

Recovery of overpay-meads is limited to cases in which the liability has been incurred by the man in his capacity as a soldier or a pensioner as distinct from that of a civilian. Certain articles of clothing are issued on loan to men receiving in-patient treatment on the distinct understanding that they will be held accountable for wilful damage or for any loss for which a reasonable explanation cannot be given. In every case particulars of the claim are sent to the man and full consideration is given to any representations which he may make.


also asked the Minister of Pensions whether deductions from war pensions are made by his officials for moneys alleged to be owing to other Departments of State; if so, whether he will inform the- House of the circumstances in which such stoppages are made; and whether, if the Ministry of Pensions is to become the debt-collecting agency of other Departments, he will obtain the opinion of the Law Officers as to the legality of enforcing deductions from war pensions instead of proceeding through the ordinary channels?

Major TRYON:

In the few cases in which the liability has been incurred by the man in his capacity as a soldier or a pensioner as distinct from that of a civilian, recovery is effected by my Department under the authority of Articles 8 and 22 of the Royal Warrant of 1914.


asked the Minister of Pensions if he will have inquiries made into the ease of J. McMahon, 42, Clayton Street, Wigan, who was temporarily assessed at 40 per cent. disability by the medical referee in 1919, this being reduced by a medical board to 20 per cent. in 1920, when the amount between the two awards was placed as a debt against him, for which he has had 1s. 6d. per week deducted from his pension ever since, and now it is proposed to increase the deduction to 5s. per week from his weekly pension; and whether he can have the balance of the supposed debt cancelled?

Major TRYON:

The recovery being made is in respect of advances made in anticipation of pension on the distinct understanding that they would be recovered from any subsequent award of pension. Recovery is at present suspended, as the man is undergoing a course of treatment and is receiving allowances in lieu of pension.