§ Sir R. ASKE
asked the Minister of Pensions whether there is any and what right of appeal by an ex-soldier against a decision that he has been guilty of misconduct under paragraph 4 of the Royal Warrant of 6th December, 1919; whether, before any reduction in pension is made under this paragraph, it is requisite that the ex-soldier should be summoned to appear and state his objections to his pension being reduced; whether the fact, that an ex-soldier was on one occasion the worse for liquor is, in the view of the Ministry a sufficient ground for the reduction of pension by one-third: and whether, if no right of appeal exists in these cases, the Government will take immediate steps to promulgate Regulations conferring such right?
Article 4 of the Royal Warrant provides for the reduction of pension by one-half when treatment is unreasonably refused. This power, which is very necessary in the interests of the man and his prospects of recovery, is very rarely used in practice, and then only after the man has been given full opportunity of stating his case and all1032W the circumstances have been carefully considered by senior officials of the Ministry. Isolated breaches of discipline during a course of treatment are met by small fines.