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Royal Field Artillery (J Walker)

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that Corporal Shoeing-Smith John Walker, No. 7426, Royal Field Artillery, has had his claim to pension disallowed although the symptoms of his disability were found by the medical board to be consistent with the after-effects of an attack of sunstroke; whether an endeavour was made to secure the whole of the available evidence bearing on this case; if he is satisfied that the written evidence of J. Spencer, which appears to have influenced the decision of the Ministry, was a genuine production, in view of the fact that Spencer is illiterate; and whether in such cases he will recommend to medical boards that the whole onus of proof as to the origin of disability and responsibility for the production and preservation of medical records shall not lie with claimants to pension?

As the decision of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal is by law final, my right hon. Friend regrets that the case cannot be reviewed.

Is it the case that the terms of the Royal Warrant do place the onus on the man of proving the origin of his disability?

It is obvious that no payment can be made from public funds unless the claimant has satisfied us as to his right to receive money from the taxpayer; but it is our duty to assist the man in every way in presenting his case.