§ Mr. BAKER
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that on the 23rd July, when the case of Private C. A. Day was heard before the appeal tribunal, the officials of the Ministry endeavoured to persuade the appeal tribunal not to hear it; that a medical certificate was sent to the Ministry in May last stating that the man concerned was unfit to make an appeal at an earlier date, and that his officials failed to produce this certificate; that a copy was put in by the appellant, with the result that the case was heard and the appeal allowed; and whether, having regard to the number of complaints which are being 2267W made, he will investigate the practice of his Department in the matter of out-of-time appeals?
I have not yet received full information as to the facts in this case. I will communicate later with my hon. Friend as soon as I am in a position to do so. I am issuing instructions to my staff which will enable them to make the position clear to would be appellants.
§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Minister of Pensions the names and dates of the issue of the newspapers in which statements were published informing ex-service men the final dates upon which they could appeal against certain awards of pension; and whether he is satisfied that sufficient local prominence was given to such notices, inasmuch as local newspapers were not used in connection with the publicity and full use was not made of local official publicity boards attached to town halls, churches, etc.?
Very full steps were taken to give publicity to the matter referred to by my hon. Friend. In the first instance, formal and explicit notices were issued (as required by the Regulations) in three successive issues of the monthly journal of the British Legion, and in six successive issues of eleven principal daily newspapers circulating in London and the Provinces The names and dates of the several issues will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT. In the second place, the effect of the notice in paragraphic form was issued broadcast to the Press, and wide publicity was given to it. My Department has records of 26 London, provincial and local newspapers which contained the notice. Further, posters were issued for display in all the local offices of the Ministry, and, in addition, 30,000 copies of a short explanatory leaflet were distributed to local offices of the Ministry, to War Pension Committees, to local offices of the British Legion and other service organisations, and to Members of this House. I am satisfied that in the circumstances, the fullest publicity possible was given to the notification.
Following are the particulars:
Newspapers and Dates on which Notice Appeared.
- "Daily Telegraph": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Western Morning News": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Scotman": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Glasgow Herald": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Northern Echo," Darlington: 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th February, 1923.
- "Daily Dispatch," Manchester: 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Birmingham Gazette": 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th February, 1923.
- "Liverpool Post": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "South Wales Daily News": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Freeman's Journal": 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th February, 1923.
- "Northern Whig": 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 26th and 27th February, 1923.
§ Mr. M. WILSON
asked the Minister of Pensions what number of cases have been sent to the pensions appeal tribunal in which the Ministry objected to their being heard on account of their being out of time, and the number of those cases in which the Ministry have sustained their objection?
Up to the present time 407 cases of the kind referred to have been transmitted to the tribunal by the Ministry at the express instance of the claimant. In 291 of these cases the tribunal have ruled that the appeal was out of time. In 116 cases the tribunal have ruled that they were empowered to decide the appeal on merits. The latter figure covers cases in which it is shown that a man was prevented by ill-health or other unavoidable cause from making his appeal within the time allowed, and which were dealt with on the lines indicated in the reply given to the hon. Member for East Bristol (Mr. Baker) on the 17th instant, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy.