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Lancashire Fusiliers (J Sixsmith)

Volume 161: debated on Friday 16 March 1923

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asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that Mr. James Sixsmith, formerly Private, No. 64677, Lancashire Fusiliers, now residing at 89, Grimshaw Lane, Upholland, near Wigan, is a disabled ex-service trainee trained to take up poultry farming under the scheme of the Ministry by the Lancashire County Council; that he applied for a grant to the Military Service (Civil Liabilities) Department while he was undergoing training in 1920; that the county council has offered him a suitable small holding with cottage which he is unable to accept because he has no money with which to stock it; that the only material ground against making Mr. Sixsmith a grant which is put forward by the Department is that he did not take active steps to prosecute his claim; and that Mr. Sixsmith, having put forward his claim and received a receipt, did not know that any further action on his part was necessary, and has been patiently waiting to hear from the Department; and if he will now reconsider this case and so enable this man to take up the occupation for which ho has been trained at the public expense?

I have been asked to reply. Mr. Sixsmith wrote to the Military Service (Civil Liabilities Department) in July, 1920, inquiring as to the conditions of a grant. He was referred to the local war pensions committee for Abram to whom he should have applied in the first place. Mr. Sixsmith did not apply to the committee, and nothing further was heard from him by them or by the Department until January, 1923, when he made a fresh application for a grant. The last date for accepting applications (with certain exceptions which do not affect Mr. Sixsmith) was 30th September, 1921. His application was therefore long out of date, and the Department cannot now treat the inquiry made in July, 1920, as a valid application. In any case grants can be given only if there is serious financial hardship due to war service. There are no features of exceptional hardship, since Mr. Sixsmith has been for a considerable period and is now in employment.