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Pensions Appeal Tribunals

Volume 411: debated on Wednesday 13 June 1945

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asked the Attorney-General why Dr. Frederic Percival Selwyn Thomas, a former neurologist on the Ministry of Pensions staff, now retired, was appointed a medical member of a Pensions Appeal Tribunal at the Law Courts, in view of the fact that the confidence of appellants in the tribunals is diminished by the appointment on them of retired officials of the Ministry of Pensions to review that Department's decisions.

As a matter of principle my Noble Friend the Lord Chan- cellor entirely accepts the view that it is undesirable that retired officials of the Ministry of Pensions should be appointed to be Medical Members of Pensions Appeal Tribunals, and this principle is, in fact, generally applied. Inquiries have been made as to the circumstances in which Dr. Thomas came to be selected, and it appears that he had never been an official of the Ministry of Pensions in the period when claims for pensions arising out of the present war were dealt with; he was a part-time official at an earlier date. His present qualifications and his impartiality I believe to be undoubted, and in the special circumstances my Noble Friend does not feel that on the grounds of public interest the appointment is open to challenge.