§ Mr. COMYNS-CARR
asked the Minister of Pensions whether it is the practice of his Ministry to refuse to put before the pensions appeal tribunals cases in which, in the opinion of the Ministry, the appeal is out of time, instead of leaving it to the tribunal to decide such points for itself, and giving the person who desires to appeal an opportunity of being heard with regard to them; and, if not, whether, and, if so, why, the appeal of Mr. W. H. Dain, of 115, Isledon Road, Finsbury Park, No. 53,338, which he has been trying to bring before the tribunal for nearly 12 months past, has been kept from coming forward by the Ministry?.
The statutory requirement that an appeal on the question of entitlement must be made within a year of decision is absolute. It is the practice of my Department, in all cases where the appeal is out of time, to point out this fact to a would-be appellant, but where he presses that, nevertheless, his case should be transmitted to the appeal tribunal, this is done. I have looked personally into the papers in connection with the particular case referred to. I find that the question of appeal against the decision on entitlement given by the Ministry in 1920 was unfortunately complicated by the suggestion of a fresh disability being claimed in respect of further service, alleged to have been rendered by the man in 1917. I have given directions that the appeal on the prior issue shall proceed at once.
§ Major YERBURGH
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that on occasion pensions are refused by his Department on the ground that the applicant's disability is not attributable to war service, but that on appeal to the appeal tribunal the decision of his Department is at times held to be mistaken; and whether he will see that in such cases pension shall become payable from the date the disability was incurred, as would 2570W have been the case had his Department correctly admitted liability in the first instance and not merely from the date that the applicant lodges his appeal against a decision subsequently held by the appeal tribunal to be erroneous?
I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for North Bristol (Mr. Ayles) on the 27th February, of which I am sending him a copy.