Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:4.
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is satisfied that in all cases pensioners or their dependants are capable, of adequately presenting their cases before the Appeals Tribunal; and, if not, will he take the necessary steps to authorise local pension committees to pay the railway fare of any one who is prepared to assist an appellant in stating their case?
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that previous Ministers of Pensions have authorised the payment of these expenses to witnesses, and is it not in the power of the Minister to sanction the payment of expenses?
No. As I told the hon. Member on 18th December, the tribunal has the discretion to summon before it expert and other witnesses, and to pay their expenses. That is under the jurisdiction of the tribunal and not of the Ministry of Pensions.
asked the Minister of Pensions whether his attention has been darwn to the dissatisfaction felt at the adverse decision in the case of Councillor Henry Barnes, who is suffering from functional paralysis and is completely incapacitated from doing any kind of work; and, in view of the fact that a Harley Street specialist certified that Barnes' trouble was brought about by his war wounds, will he have further inquiries made and reconsider this case?
This case has received very full and careful consideration, but I regret that it has not been found possible to regard the disability claimed as being connected with the wound or with service. Mr. Barnes has a statutory right of appeal, of which he is taking advantage, and the case will be heard by the appeal tribunal in due course.
During the period referred to, 35,390 appeals were decided by the assessment appeal tribunals, thus giving a proportion (excluding statutory final awards) of approximately one appeal out of every seven cases of final award notified. In 13,560 cases, either the appeal was disallowed or the Ministry's assessment was reduced, or the appeal was not proceeded with by the appellant. In 11,360 cases, the finality of the award was confirmed, though the assessment was raised, and in 10,470 cases the appellant succeeded to the extent that the tribunal decided that the cases were not yet suitable for final award.