HC Deb 25 March 1925 vol 182 cc455-6W
Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that Harry Ward, a motor driver, of Blackpool, who fought two years and four and a half months in France was granted a disability pension for deafness attributable to war service; that as a result of that disability he was knocked down and killed by a char-à-bane in Blackpool, and that his widow has been refused any pension on the ground that her husband's death was not due to any war service disability; how many victims of accidents due to war-caused deafness and blindness have been recorded; how many widows in these cases have received pensions and whether he will consider granting claims by widows put forward under these circumstances?


The man referred to, who performed service as a, private in the Royal Army Service Corps during the War, was in receipt of pension of 20 per cent. in respect of deafness, not attributable to but aggravated by war service. At the time of the occurrence his occupation was that of a licensed taxi driver, and after full consideration of all the circumstances attending his death, which was shown to be due to an accident, the Ministry were unable to regard the pensioner's death as connected with his war disability. On appeal, the independent appeal tribunal, after hearing the widow's statement of her claim, confirmed the decision of the Ministry. The records of the Ministry do not enable the information asked for in the latter part of the question to be furnished. Each ease is considered on its merits, and the experience of the Ministry does not show that the terms of the Royal Warrant require modification in the direction suggested by the hon. Member.