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Armed Forces And Civilians (Pensions And Grants)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 22 April 1943

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14.

asked the Minister of Pensions when, and how frequently, the Central Advisory Committee will meet; and what subjects will be on early agenda for consideration?

My Central Advisory Committee will meet again as soon as possible after the Parliamentary Recess and further meetings will be held as frequently as the business demands. Among the subjects for early consideration are those to which special reference was made in the recent Debates on war pensions.

In view of the statement of the Prime Minister that this Committee would be a flexible and swift instrument, can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that the matters raised in the House will be pressed forward urgently?

Certainly, Sir, and I would like to assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the Committee is very representative of all parties in this House, of the British Legion and of war pensions committees, and they will certainly see that I press on with this mattter.

15.

asked the Minister of Pensions on what grounds he declines to accept pension responsibility in the case of the late Leading Aircraftsman John Holden, 652526, Royal Air Force, whose home address was 67, Hawden Street, Liverpool, he having been accidentally killed while on duty driving a Service tractor at Catterick on 24th October, 1942?

Mr. Holden's death was due to an attempt on his part to drive a tractor without experience. This was no part of his duty, nor was he in any way authorised to use the tractor. He was thus solely to blame for the unfortunate occurrence, and I regret that I am unable to accept responsibility for his death.

Can the Minister say whether it is a fact that the officer commanding his unit and the Air Ministry have notified the relatives concerned that this man was actually on duty at the time?

I am not aware of that, but I do know that he was certainly at the aerodrome and that, quite unauthorised, he drove this tractor, which ran up a bank and overturned, and he was killed.

Will the Minister look further into the question if I send the correspondence sent by the Ministry and by the officer concerned?

16.

asked the Minister of Pensions for what reason he declined to deal with a claim to disability pension made by Mr. William Craig, of 2, Mona Street, Liverpool, who formerly served in the King's Liverpool Regiment from which he was discharged medically unfit and about whom the hon. Member for Everton wrote to him on 14th December, 1942?

Mr. Craig fell ill on 4th August, 1939, and his claim is that he is suffering from a disability due to service before that date. His case was accordingly referred to the War Office as only claims in respect of service during the war fall within the province of my Department.