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Naval And Military Pensions And Grants

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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Appeal Cases

68.

asked the Minister of Pensions the number of pension appeal cases heard before the pensions appeal tribunal in Nottingham on Tuesday, 16th March, 1922, together with the decision in each case?

I have been asked to reply. The number of appeals dealt with on Tuesday, 16th March, 1922, before the tribunal sitting at Nottingham was nine. Of these, three were allowed, one was adjourned, and the remainder were disallowed.

69.

asked the Minister of Pensions the total number of appeal cases heard by the pensions appeal tribunals during the year ending December, 1921, together with a summary of the decisions?

I have been asked to reply. The total number of appeal cases heard by the pensions appeal tribunals for England and Wales during the year ending 31st December, 1921, was 36,329. Of these, 9,877 were allowed, 26.141 disallowed, and 311 were withdrawn by the appellants.

67.

asked the Minister of Pensions the number of appeal cases that have been heard from the West of Scotland by the pensions appeal tribunal, during the year 1921 and for the first three months of the present year; and will he state the number that have been allowed?

I have been asked to reply to this question. I would refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Attorney-General to similar questions on 14th and 16th March last. For the reasons given by my right hon. Friend, I regret that I cannot undertake to give the figures desired by the hon. Member.

Norfolk Regiment (Late Private C Calver)

70.

asked the Minister of Pensions if his attention has been drawn to the case of Mr. Charles Calver, Wattlefield, Wymondham, Norfolk, father of the late Private Charles Calver, No. 7037, Norfolk Regiment, who was killed in November, 1914, who has been refused a pension on the grounds that he was not dependent. on his son prior to mobilisation: whether he is aware that the soldier supported his father both in civil and military life, and regularly sent home money and other gifts; and whether he will have further inquiries made into the matter?

The decision in this case was made after careful inquiries had failed to produce any evidence of pre-War dependence. My right hon. Friend will, however, be glad to consider any information to the contrary which my hon. Friend may have.

Is it not a fact that this man's son supported him until a fortnight of his death?

My information is that no allotment was made by the late soldier while he was on service, and no separation allowance was paid. It is not a ease for making an allowance.

If my hon. Friend can give me any information to establish this man's claim, I shall be grateful to him. I hope he will send it.

Asia Minor (Turks And Christian Minorities)

47.

asked the Prime Minister whether any reply has been received from the Government of the Angora National Assembly to the proposal of His Majesty's Government to send Allied officers to investigate alleged atrocities against the Greek population whether His Majesty's Government have considered inviting neutral officers, other than Americans, to make these investigations, in view of the fact that a technical state of war still exists between the Allies and Turkey whether the Government of the French Republic is sending a Commission to the Smyrna region to investigate alleged atrocities committed by the Greeks against the Turkish population; and whether His Majesty's Government will be represented on that Commission?

Pending the receipt of a reply from the American Government to the proposals of His Majesty's Government, no formal request for facilities for the proposed Commission has yet been addressed to the Angora National Assembly. The latter have unofficially informed the Italian Government that they are prepared to accept the proposed Commission, but they appear to have attached certain conditions to this acceptance. The United States Government has never been in a State of war with Turkey and is therefore a neutral Government; the inclusion in the Commission of officers of any other neutral state does not form part of the proposals of His Majesty's Government.

With regard to the dispatch of a Commission to the Smyrna area, I would refer to the replies which I gave to my Noble Friend the Member for Hitchin on the 17th instant. His Majesty's Government have no information regarding the dispatch of any independent Commission to the Smyrna area by the French Government, and the last part of the question does not therefore arise.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the American Commission in Eastern Turkey, right or wrongly, are accused of complicity in risings—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up!"]—and therefore they are not looked upon as neutral in this matter, and will His Majesty's Government consider that position?

I am afraid I did not catch the opening remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but if the American Government is not regarded as neutral in any quarter, I do not know what that quarter is, and I am quite certain that the opinion of the American Government, or of American officers, is the opinion which perhaps, after that of our own British officers, would carry the greatest conviction to the people of this country.

Local Authorities (Treasury Grants Committee)

50.

asked the Chancellor of the. Exchequer whether he is now in a position to give the names of the persons constituting the Committee which is to inquire into the method of making Treasury grants to local authorities?

The Committee will be constituted as follows:

  • The right hon. Lord Meston, K.C.S.I., LL.D., Chairman.
  • The right hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. A. Henderson).
  • The hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Colonel Peel).
  • The hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham).
  • The hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Hinds).
  • The hon. Member for North-East Derbyshire (Mr. Holmes).
  • The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Kidd).
  • Sir Harry Haward.

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us when this Committee is likely to report?

Entertainments Duty (Cricket Clubs)

53.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what revenue was derived last year from the Entertainments Duty on subscriptions to county cricket clubs; and what was the cost of collection?

The Revenue collected from particular classes of entertainment cannot be stated as the Duty may be paid by the purchase of Government stamps or tickets and the use to which such stamps or tickets are put is not known. As regards the latter part of the question, the cost of collecting particular Customs and Excise Duties cannot be given separately, still less that of collecting such duties as far as they affect special interests, as the work is mainly carried out by a common staff.

Is it possible to ascertain the numbers of members of cricket clubs who are liable to the Entertainments Duty, and will not the hon. Gentleman reconsider the whole question of having a more suitable method of raising revenue than by this unjust tax?

As to the first part of the question, I fear the information at the disposal of the Board would not enable them to give that figure. As to the second part, that is a question of policy, on which, no doubt, there will be opportunities for discussion later in the Session.

Imported German Goods (Customs Refund)

59.

asked the. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the complaint of a Manchester firm that in order to obtain delivery of certain German goods in April, 1921, they were compelled to deposit £157 in cash, which the Customs officials improperly demanded, and that, despite communications sent on the 19th July, 3rd August, 19th August, 1st September, 15th September, 7th October, and 17th October, 1921, all of which were duly acknowledged by His Majesty's Board of Customs, they did not succeed in obtaining the refund until the 1st February, 1922; and whether, in view of the hardship involved in withholding this large sum of money for so long a period and in order to avoid further similar occurrences, he is prepared either to increase the staff dealing with such matters or to adopt some simplified system?

If the hon. Member will give me particulars of the case he has in mind, such as the name of the importing firm and the reference number of the correspondence with the Customs, I will have inquiry made. I may point out, however, that, in cases of this nature, the importer had the option of entering into bond instead of making a cash deposit, in order to secure delivery of the goods.

Canadian Cattle Embargo

71.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the statements frequently made that the admission of Canadian store cattle would cheapen the price of meat, he can give any figures to show to what extent, if any, the price of beef depends on the price of store cattle; and whether there was any appreciable increase in the price of beef in the years following the first imposition of the embargo in 1892?

There is no evidence to show that the price of store cattle determines the price of home-killed beef, which is mainly governed by the price of imported beef, just as the price of wheat and certain other agricultural products is mainly governed by the price of the imported article. Last year, for example, store cattle were expensive in the spring months, but the price of fat Battle and meat fell in the autumn. With regard to the latter part of the question, Canadian store cattle were, as stated in the question, first excluded from this country in 1892. Official statistics of meat prices were not collected at that period, but records published in trade papers indicate that the average prices of beef at the London Central Market during the five years after this were about a halfpenny per pound less than in the five years before.

Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that, because store cattle are dear now, we shall have cheaper meat in the autumn?

No, Sir; what I suggested was that the price of store cattle has nothing whatever to do with the price of beef.