King's Shropshire Light Infantry (T. Goodchild).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

97.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that ex-Private T. Goodchild, No. 17,868, 3rd King's Shropshire Light Infantry, after being discharged in February, 1918, as suffering from valvular disease of the heart and fainting fits, was granted a pension, which continued until February, 1921, when he was finally passed at Birmingham by the Ministry of Pensions as having fully recovered; whether he is aware that this man joined the borough police force and was afterwards asked to resign on the doctor's report that he was suffering from a strained heart, and as a result has been unemployed for a considerable time; and whether, in view of the contradictory decisions between the police medical officers and those of the Pensions Ministry, he is prepared to reopen this man's case?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

This man was discharged in February, 1916, after 273 days' home service, on account of valvular disease of the heart, which, in view of his previous medical history, could not be admitted to have been caused by his service. Compensation was, however, granted on the basis of his disability having been aggravated by service until March, 1921, when aggravation was found to have passed away. I have no information regarding the police medical officer's report, but I can see no reason for assuming that there is any conflict between that report and the report of the Ministry medical board, which did not certify that the man had no disablement, but that the aggravation of his pre-War disability by service had passed away. Before the War, this man had a long and severe illness of a kind which frequently affects the heart; it left him before enlistment subject to the same symptoms that he complained of after discharge. This is the case that the hon. Member used in his attack in this House upon the independent Appeal Tribunals, as an instance of the actual experience of those who go before them. He was no doubt unaware that Mr. Goodchild had never been before an independent Appeal Tribunal.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Is it not a fact that this man was taken into the Army as an A1 man, and that he received a pension as a result of the trouble of his heart; and is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the fact that he has now been turned down by the police force, in conflict with the decision of the Appeal Tribunal.

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

This man served for about 200 days, all of them on home service. During a considerable part of that time he was employed as orderly for telephone work in this country. He suffered before the War from giddiness, and also after the War. It is obvious that, after having been enlisted, he was found not fit for the work, and he was discharged. Under those circumstances, it would have been clearly wrong to enlist him in the police or give him a pension.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Is it a fact that he was an A1 man when he enlisted?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

We grant pensions for disablement due to the War. This man was not disabled through the War. He is no worse now than before the War, and is not entitled to a pension.

Mr. J. JONES:

Why did you take him as an A1 man?