In 1,407 cases there was worsening of the war disablement and in 320 consequential disabilities were accepted. In addition there were seven cases of amputation in which on re-measurement the original measurement of the stump was found to be wrong, and it was possible therefore to increase the assessment.
If the Ministry has enough evidence to make these increases and also to accept new claims in respect of the 1914–18 War at this late stage—it has accepted 115 such claims within the last two years—is it not clear that appeal tribunals would also have access to such evidence to enable them to judge the rights of the claimants? Will he not, therefore, take steps to extend to ex-Service men of the 1914–18 War the same right of appeal to tribunals as is enjoyed by ex-Service men of the last war?
No, Sir. I think that the hon. Lady is quite wrong. There is, as she appreciates, obvious difficulty in obtaining evidence in respect of disabilities suffered forty years ago, but it is much easier to deal with them sympathetically in the way we do than to prove them to the satisfaction of a tribunal.
The hon. Lady will be aware that, together with my predecessors of all parties, I have taken the view that it would be no kindness—indeed, it would be the reverse—to raise hopes which would inevitably cause a very large number of nugatory appeals.