§ Mr. CAIRNS
asked the Minister of Pensions whether inquiries are proceeding with a view to revising the pensions of aged poor dependants of men who died on war service; and, if so, whether he will direct that all such cases in which any reduction in current rates is recommended by Ministry officers shall be referred to war pensions committees for their observations before a final decision to reduce is reached?
§ Captain CRAIG
A limited review has had to be undertaken of pensions granted to parents of deceased men on the score of pre-War dependence. Pensions of this class (which were given without regard to age or financial circumstances) were commonly granted on the basis of statements made for the purpose of separation allowance and in some instances these statements, which were not always fully verified, have been found to be seriously incorrect. It is an express instruction to officers that existing assessments are not to be disturbed unless the award is proved to have been clearly wrong on the facts of the case, and arrangements have been made to enable any dependant, whose pension is reduced on review, and who is in need and infirm or aged, to claim at once a pecuniary need pension if more to his or her advantage. It would not be practicable to adopt the suggestion in the last part of the question, but any pensioner may appeal to the war pensions committee, whose representations, after consideration of the case, will receive immediate consideration.