§ Mr. F. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Pensions what general principles govern the selection of matters for submission to the Central Advisory Committee of the Ministry established under the War Pensions Act, 1921; whether proposals regarding important changes in the system of administering local payments to pensioners are excluded therefrom; and, if not, will he inform the House why the recent Order of the Ministry prohibiting local pensions officers from advancing money to pensioners to meet pressing needs owing to draft books being delayed by the issue office, was not submitted to this statutory body for their advice as to its probable effect?
§ Major TRYON
It is my practice to lay before the Central Advisory Committee any general question of importance upon which I desire their advice, whether it concerns the policy or the administration of my Department. The instruction to which my hon. Friend refers merely changed the method of meeting casual interruptions in the payment of pension2588W (which, I may say, are often due to neglect on the part of the pensioner to send in his life certificate in time) and was not, in my opinion, of sufficient general importance to warrant reference to the Committee.
§ Mr. ROBERTS
also asked the Minister of Pensions whether a record is being kept in local pensions offices showing the number of cases in which men apply for advances in lieu of pension owing to their draft books not having arrived at the post offices; and, if not, how it is proposed to ascertain the amount of hardship and inconvenience caused to pensioners in consequence of the withdrawal of the authority previously conferred on these offices to make advances to men in need?
§ Major TRYON
Under the new system it is no longer necessary for men to visit the local pensions office in the circumstances mentioned in the first part of the question. A complete record is, however, being kept in Pension Issue Office of all cases in which application is made at Post Offices for payment of pension and no allowance form book is on hand.