§ Mr. GROVES
asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been called to the position of numerous disabled ex-service men who, on applying for treatment and examined by the medical referee of the Ministry, are decided to be unfit in consequence of their pensionable disability, but are advised that their treatment should be from their ordinary panel practitioner instead of from the Ministry; whether he is aware that these ex-service men, although decided co be unfit for work, do not receive any treatment allowances, although they may be out of benefit so far as the National Health Insurance is concerned, and are therefore compelled to apply for parish relief or charitable assistance; and whether, in virtue of the fact that the Royal Warrant expressly states that men certified as being in need of treatment will be so provided at the expense of the Ministry and receive the appropriate allowance, he will cause investigation to be held respecting the present procedure, to ensure that the regulation is being carried out?
§ Major TRYON
The hon. Member appears to be under some misapprehension as to the provisions of the Royal Warrant. Article 6 of that Warrant empowers the Minister to grant special allowances only in those cases where a disabled man is certified to need a specific course of treatment in consequence of which he will be rendered incapable of supporting himself and his family. The conditions governing the grant of allowances under Article 6 of the Warrant are not identical with those which determine certification for the purpose of sickness benefit under the National Health Insurance Acts, and it is not the function of the medical officers of the Ministry to determine generally whether a disabled man is fit for work or not. The information before the Ministry goes to show that the provisions of the Royal Warrant are being carried out in accordance with the intentions of the Warrant.