Pensions (Treatment Allowances).

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 4th July 1922.

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Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

34.

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that the Abertillery and district local committee, at a meeting held on the 21st ultimo, passed a resolution stating that they view with considerable alarm the apparent tendency of the medical officers of the Ministry to certify men as fit for work, and as not requiring treatment after the pensioners' panel doctors have already certified them as unable to work and in need of treatment, and asking that immediate steps be taken for the issue of instructions which will ensure the men receiving the treatment which they require; and will he, in the interest of these disabled ex-service men, take the necessary measures to give effect to the resolution passed by the committee?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

My right hon. Friend is aware of the resolutions referred to, which appears to be based on a misapprehension. Medical officers of the Ministry are required only to certify whether or not a man needs a course of special treatment, and whether he will, in consequence of that treatment, be unable to work, and so become eligible for allowances under Article 6 of the Royal Warrant. The question whether in any individual case the man needs special treatment which it is not within the competence of the insurance practitioner to give is, and must be, one entirely for the judgment of the medical officer of the Ministry who examines the man. My right hon. Friend has no reason to doubt that the instructions in force provide for every man duly receiving the treatment necessitated by his case in accordance with the provisions of the Royal Warrant.

Photo of Mr George Barker Mr George Barker , Abertillery

In view of the general dissatisfaction expressed by this committee, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman have inquiries made with reference to these cases?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

I have already informed my hon. Friend that the dissatisfaction is due to a misapprehension, from want of knowledge on the part of those who drew up the resolution, of the actual facts, which I have just given to the hon. Member.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN:

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that there are 600 cases in Glamorgan alone in which treatment allowances have been refused, and that the men are now becoming convinced that the treatment allowance is being refused on the ground that the pensions and other allowances to follow will then be prevented from being paid to them?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. and gallant Member should put that question down.