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Limbless Ex-Service Men (Increasing Disablement)

Volume 523: debated on Monday 1 February 1954

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asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress is being made by the investigations into the problem of increasing disablement suffered by limbless ex-Service men as they get older; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance
(Brigadier J. G. Smyth)

The vast majority of the medical examinations requested by the Rock Carling Committee have been concluded and it is hoped to clear the small remainder in the next fortnight or so.

The clinical findings relating to over 5,000 concluded cases are now being collated and the results will be sent to the Committee for consideration as soon as possible. My right hon. Friend would prefer not to prophesy when the investigations, which are of international importance, will be completed. When the final report of the Committee is available, he proposes to study it in consultation with his principal medical advisers and subsequently with his Central Advisory Committee.

With regard to the problem of the ageing pensioner, my right hon. Friend proposes to await the final report of the Committee before reaching a conclusion.

:Is the Minister aware that the disadvantages of the loss of a limb become progressively very much greater as the years go by, and that there will be widespread support for any exceptional treatment which is accorded to these men who have suffered so much in the common cause?

:On existing information, my right hon. Friend has no reason for discriminating between the ageing war amputee and any other type of ageing pensioner. I suggest, however, that we should await the Committee's report.