§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
asked the Minister of Health the total number of blind persons in the West Riding of Yorkshire and, if possible, those who reside in the constituency of Penistone?957W
According to the returns made to my Department on 31st March, 1927, there were then 1,377 registered blind persons in the West Riding of Yorkshire. No separate figures are available for the Parliamentary Division of Penistone.
§ Mr. TASKER
asked the Minister of Health how many claims to pensions under the Blind Persons Act, 1920, were received at the Ministry of Health during the year ended 30th September, 1928; how many appeals were received thereat during that year against the disallowance of such claims by the local pensions committees on the ground that the claimants did not fulfil, or did not appear to fulfil, the statutory condition of blindness; in how many of such appeal cases the committees were, before they disallowed the claims, advised by eye specialists: in how many such cases he has decided in favour of the claimants and what was the actual, or estimated, cost incurred by the Ministry in obtaining professional advice on the question of the claimants' eyesight; in how many such cases he has not yet given his decisions and what is the estimated cost which will be incurred by the Ministry in obtaining such advice in these cases; how many claims to such pensions will be likely to be received at the Ministry during the quarter beginning on 1st April 1929: and what would be the lowest estimated cost in respect of the year 1929–30 of providing the committees with such professional advice, in the case of all claimants, except those without eyes, who are reported by the pension officers to be, apart from the question of eyesight, qualified for the pension, as would, in the event of appeals, ordinarily be accepted by him, such provision utilising, so far as possible, with the object of minimising expense, the medical staffs of the local authorities and /or the Ministry?
174 appeals of the kind specified in the second part of the question were received at the Ministry of Health and 111 thereof were decided in favour of the claimants. All these appeals have been decided. It is regretted that materials are not available to enable replies to be given to the remaining parts of the question.