I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal to the hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. White) on 7th August last. To be entitled to a badge a person must be invalided from the Forces, the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleet for a disability attributable to service in the present war. Issue of a badge accordingly follows the admission of entitlement to the benefits of the Royal Warrants or other instruments administered by my Department.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that a considerable number of men have been discharged from the Services who are not able to establish a claim for a pension but who have, nevertheless, been discharged as medically unfit; and in these circum stances cannot he influence the Service Departments to provide these badges?
As the hon. Member knows, I act only as a distribution agent. I have to take my instructions from other quarters, and I will certainly put that point in the right quarter.
asked the Minister of Pensions what period of time elapses between the discharge of men from the Services on wound or other health grounds and the issue of a badge indicative of their service; and whether he will expedite the issue of badges to men discharged over 18 months ago who have not yet received their badge?
Badges have been issued to just over two-thirds of the persons eligible to receive them. Further distribution is proceeding as supplies from the manufacturers become available.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the delay in these cases places these men in a very unfair position and that I have in mind the case of a man who lost his leg nearly two years ago and is still without a badge?
It has been a source of annoyance to myself that I have not been able to get these badges from the manufacturers in sufficient numbers to issue to everyone, but I am glad to say that, after strenuous efforts, we have been able to get badges now and I hope that everyone will receive a badge before many days are over.