HC Deb 07 March 1933 vol 275 cc1003-4W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether his Department will adopt the principle, in cases of difference of medical opinion over attributability of a disease to the Great War, of appointing an independent medical arbitrator to be agreed on by both sides in order to allay much existing bitterness?

Major TRYON:

I could not, I fear, adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion with due regard to my responsibility to Parliament. I would, however, remind my hon. Friend of the present arrangements under which medical specialists of eminence, nominated by the presidents of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, are invited by me to give their independent advice upon the merits of cases of late claim for disablement which present serious doubt or difficulty on the evidence.


asked the Minister of Pensions what is the present total annual expenditure on assistance to those who served in the late War and to their dependants; what amount this represents per head of those who were killed and wounded; and how such amounts compare with similar expenditure in the United States of America?

Major TRYON:

It is not possible to obtain comparable figures for the United Kingdom and the United States of America as to the expenditure on ex-service men of the late War. In the United 'States of America all public expenditure on monetary benefits and on medical and other services for all classes of ex-service men and their dependants, whether disabled by War service or otherwise, is administered through a single Department of State—the War Veterans' Bureau. In this country, on the other hand, in addition to the benefits administered by the Ministry of Pensions and the Service Departments, ex-service men draw benefit, frequently on specially favourable terms, under the Health and Unemployment Insurance schemes, the Contributory and other Old Age Pensions Acts, and through other agencies, but the portion of the expenditure under these heads which is attributable to ex-service men and their dependants cannot be distinguished.


asked the Minister of Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that where it can be shown that War service has been a contributory factor in causing a man's death, his dependants shall not be refused an appropriate pension?

Major TRYON:

All cases in which a causal connection can be established between a pensioner's death and his condition so far as caused by War service are already provided for in Articles 17A and B of the Royal Warrant.