Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces (Disability Pensions)

– in the House of Commons on 6th April 1944.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

asked the Secretary of State for War the basis on which sums as gratuities, as distinct from disability pensions, are paid to officers who leave the Armed Forces on grounds of medical unfitness.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

In general, no gratuities are paid to officers who leave the Armed Forces on grounds of medical unfitness. The extension to such officers of any gratuity payable to officers on demobilisation is one of the many questions connected with the financial provision to be made at the time of demobilisation, but, as the Prime Minister said on Tuesday last, the present is not considered a timely occasion to discuss such plans.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Is it not a fact that during the last war an officer leaving the Services on grounds of medical unfitness was given a gratuity which bore a reasonable comparison with the time of his service? In view of the difference that now exists, and that no gratuity is being paid, is not this a great hardship to those concerned.

Photo of Mr Arthur Henderson Mr Arthur Henderson , Kingswinford

It is quite true that under the 1914 Pay Warrant provision was made for the payment of gratuities in the circumstances referred to in the Question but the position to-day is governed by the 1940 Pay Warrant, which contains no provision for the payment of gratuities in these circumstances.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Would the Financial Secretary consider asking the Army Council to alter this position.