Appeals.

Oral Answers to Questions — Naval and Military Pensions and Grants. – in the House of Commons at on 26 April 1923.

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Photo of Mr Douglas Pielou Mr Douglas Pielou , Stourbridge

14.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the late Mr. It. Mason, of 81, Glover Street, West Bromwich, was granted a final weekly allowance by the Minister of Pensions on the 7th November, 1921, which was confirmed by an Appeal Board on the 18th April, 1922; that this man appealed to the Lord Chancellor's tribunal but the appeal was not heard until the 7th February, 1923, 10 months after the. Ministry of Pensions' decision; that the appeal was allowed on the 7th February and that the Ministry of Pensions notified an award of 156 weeks at 7s. 6d. a week, plus £40 final gratuity shortly afterwards, but that up to the 24th March this year no pension had been paid; that this unfortunate man committed suicide on that date because he had lost all hope; and whether, in view of the tragic circumstances connected with this case, he will take steps to see that unreasonable delays of this kind do not occur in future?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

It is not the case, as has been publicly stated, that this man was kept waiting for several years for pension. On the contrary, he was continuously in receipt of compensation from my Department from his discharge in December, 1917, until the 13th December, 1922. There was unhappily some delay in the hearing of the appeal which he made in August, but in view of the charges which have been made I should perhaps point out that the case would have been decided in November had he not failed to attend before the tribunal on the 15th of that month, when his appeal was listed for hearing. The break in payment which occurred after the 13th December last would also have been avoided.

Photo of Mr George Warne Mr George Warne , Wansbeck

22.

asked the Minister of Pensions what was the number of appeals against final awards received by the Ministry during the three months ended March, 1923, also the number awaiting decision by the tribunal, and the number remaining in the hands of the Ministry on that date?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

Approximately 15,650 appeals to the Assessment Tribunal were received during the 12 weeks ending on the 24th March last. At that date some 16,650 appeals were outstanding, of which about 9,000 were with the tribunal authorities, the remainder being either with the Ministry or in course of transmission to or from the tribunals.

Mr. T. THOMSON:

In view of the tremendous number of appeals waiting and the delay that takes place, as much as four or five months, will the right hon. Gentleman do something to expedite the hearings?

Photo of Mr George Tryon Mr George Tryon , Brighton

We are watching and keeping in touch with the tribunals in order to represent to the Lord Chancellor if we thought there was delay. I understand some additional tribunals are being set up. The present rate at which appeals are being dealt with by these tribunals is 1,100 per week.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

Are the decisions made retrospective where this delay has occurred?