§ 50. Mr. WATERSON
asked the Prime Minister whether he has received a resolution from the Kettering Board of Guardians relative to disability pension of ex-service men still unfit for work, and the complaint that, owing to the attitude of the Government on this matter, local authorities are compelled to meet liabilities that should be regarded as a national charge; whether he has considered this question in the light of the great burdens local authorities are now suffering under, with a view of relieving them of those liabilities that are essentially national as a result of the War; and will he state the intention of the Government in this matter?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)
I have been asked to reply to this question. I am aware of the resolution referred to, which appears to be based on a misapprehension of the objects and conditions of the award of disability pension. Under the terms of the Royal Pension Warrants, pension is awarded in accordance with the medical judgment of the extent of disablement sustained by 455 the man in his war service, regardless of whether or not the pensioner or claimant is at work and earning. Such factors as earning capacity or the state of the labour market were expressly excluded, with the approval of Parliament, from consideration for pension purposes. All disabled men in receipt of pension are examined periodically, and their pensions are increased or reduced according to the condition of their several disablements. Where a pension is reduced or discontinued, the man has, in all cases, a right of appeal, if he is dissatisfied with the decision, to either another medical board or to one or other of the independent statutory Tribunals of Appeal which have been set up by Parliament. Moreover, medical treatment for those war disabilities which are still amenable to treatment is still being given freely by my Department at a cost of over £10,000,000 a year.