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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 24 April 1951

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asked the Minister of Pensions if he will now expedite a decision in the case of Mr. J. L. Tuke, Gables Filling Station, Rayleigh, Essex, who appealed against a reduction of his disability pension in November, 1949.

I must regret that, owing to a number of factors, delay occurred in sending the appeal to the Pensions Appeal Tribunal. The special reasons which since October have prevented it going forward have been explained in correspondence with the hon. Member. The appeal has now been sent to the Tribunal for hearing.

Is not the Minister aware that, but for this man's appeal to me, his Member of Parliament, the delay would have continued? Why should this unfortunate man, who is living in very difficult circumstances, who is in poor health and at the moment unemployed, have to wait so long for what is, after all, his statutory right?

I make no excuse for the mistake in this case. There was delay in the beginning, due to a fault on our side. Later, the man's doctor did not give us information for which we asked. I am sorry that there has been delay, and I am glad that the hon. Gentleman wrote to us so that we could put the matter in hand. This has given me an opportunity to check up on the routine work. I hope to prevent similar cases in future.