Committee on Finance. - Connaught Rangers (Pensions) Bill, 1936—Committee

Amendments Nos. 1, 3, 4, 8, 13 and 14 are out of order. Amendment No. 8 involves an increase in the gratuity. The other amendments propose to enlarge the category of pensionable persons. As all these amendments would entail a charge on the Exchequer, they are out of order when moved by a private Deputy. All the Ministerial amendments except amendment No. 12 appear to me to hang together.

Then amendments Nos. 1, 3, 4, 8, 13 and 14 are out of order?

Yes.

SECTION 1

In this Act .... the expression "short service" means army service which does not exceed 12 years;....

I move amendment No. 2:—

To delete lines 31 and 32, and substitute the following:—

"The expression ‘pre-1918 short service' means army service which does not exceed 12 years and which commenced before the 18th day of April, 1918;

the expression ‘post-1918 short service' means army service which does not exceed 12 years and which commenced on or after the 18th day of April, 1918;"

The amendment substitutes the expressions "pre-1918 short service" and "post-1918 short service" for the expression "short service," to distinguish between those enlisting in the British army before the 18th April, 1918, and those enlisting in the British army after the 18th April, 1918.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 2 stand part of the Bill."

The Parliamentary Secretary when speaking a few moments ago on the Money Resolution, said that this Bill provided for all men engaged in the mutiny. That is my recollection of what he said. The Bill does not do anything of the kind. We are unable to move an amendment which would be accepted by you, Sir, to this particular section, an amendment which would be for the benefit of certain people. We would have moved an amendment to paragraph (c):—"he was in consequence of so joining, sentenced by the General Court-martial to death, penal servitude or imprisonment for any term of not less than 12 months." If the Parliamentary Secretary looks up the matter he will find that there was a number of these men who were not imprisoned for 12 months. Under the terms of this Bill they get no benefit. It was to include these that we attempted to move amendments which would not be accepted. I would urge on the Parliamentary Secretary to look into this matter himself and try to devise some method which would give benefit to the men who, though they were in the mutiny, did not get 12 months' imprisonment. There is really no principle in refusing benefits to one man because he was sentenced to a few months' imprisonment less than the man who got 12 months' imprisonment. I do not think there is in this House any precedent for such legislation. When we venture to give monetary compensation to any people we should not put in a differentiation section of this kind, particularly in regard to men connected with the Connaught Rangers, as they are not on the whole a very numerous body and I think we ought not to insert this provision in Section 2.

What Deputy Bennett urges would appear to me of no particular purpose, because no participant was sentenced to a lesser term than 12 months' imprisonment. We do know that there were many members of the Connaught Rangers who were rounded up and put into internment who were not necessarily people who would have any sympathy at all with the mutiny. We take it here that the fact that a man was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of not less than 12 months is a sign that he was a participant in the mutiny and we are not going outside of that. We could not possibly do it. We are not accepting the Deputy's suggestion.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary sure that there were not men in the regiment who, though not charged before the courtmartial, yet suffered even though they did not get any imprisonment? Is not that so?

There were large numbers naturally who were rounded up. I suppose they rounded up the whole battalion of the Connaught Rangers and very large numbers of these men would have no interest in, or sympathy whatever with, the mutiny.

And did not suffer through it?

I should not like to say that they did not suffer, because any man who was supposed to be interned will suffer something. I cannot say that they did not suffer but they do not come within the scope regarded by me in the Bill as participants. It was a question of rounding up large numbers of persons who might have been in some way linked with individuals who were participants in the mutiny. But that does not mean that they should be regarded themselves as participants. That is what we are trying to do in the Bill.

Is the Minister satisfied that all the men who actually participated in the mutiny are included in the Bill? If my recollection is correct there are numbers of men— I do not say the number is great—who suffered because of their participation in the mutiny and these would not be included in the category of having been imprisoned for 12 months. If the Minister looks up the matter he will find that there are men who actually participated but who, because they were not leaders, are not coming within the scope of the Bill. I refer to the under-dogs who suffered in this case. These men will get no compensation under this Bill. I think if the Parliamentary Secretary looks this matter up he will find that there are some who suffered severely through participating in the mutiny but yet were not arraigned before the courtmartial. These men certainly were penalised.

Section 2 put and agreed to.
SECTION 3.
(1) There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose army service is long service, a pension (in this Act referred to as a service pension) payable during his life.
(2) A service pension payble to any person shall be as follows, that is to say:—
The following amendments were agreed to:—
5. In page 3, sub-section (1), line 12, to delete the words "in this Act referred to as a service pension" and substitute the words "in this section referred to as a long service pension"; and in sub-section (2), line 14, to insert before the word "service" the word "long".—(Aire Cosanta.)
6. To insert at the end of the section the following two new subsections:—
(4) There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose Army service is pre-1918 short service a pension (in this section referred to as a short service pension) payable during his life at the rate of ten shillings and sixpence per week.
(5) The expression "a service pension" where it occurs in the subsequent provisions of this Act shall be construed as equivalent to the words "a long service pension or a short service pension".—(Aire Cosanta.)
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 4.
There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose army service is short service a gratuity (in this Act referred to as a service gratuity) of such amount (not exceeding one hundred and fifty pounds) as the Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
7. In line 30, to delete the words "short service" and substitute the words and figures "post-1918 short service."—(Aire Cosanta.)

Amendment 8 is out of order.

Amendment 9 not moved.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 5.
(1) Where a qualified person is suffering from a disablement caused by a wound certified by the Minister to be attributable to the mutiny or to circumstances directly arising out of the mutiny, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(a) if the degree of such disablement at the date of his examination by the Army Pensions Board is not less than twenty per cent. there may, in addition to a service pension or a service gratuity, be granted to such person a pension (in this Act referred to as a wound pension) payable during his life at, in case his army service is long service, the rate mentioned in the third column of the First Schedule to this Act opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the second column of that Schedule or, in case his army service is short service, the rate mentioned in the fourth column of the First Schedule to this Act, opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said second column;
The following amendment was agreed to:—
10. In sub-section (1) (a), line 50, to delete the words "short service" and substitute the words and figures "pre-1918 short service", and in line 51 to delete the words "First Schedule to this Act" and substitute the words "that Schedule", and at the end of the paragraph, line 53, to insert the words "or, in case his Army service is post-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the fifth column of that Schedule, opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said second column;"—(Aire Cosanta.)
Section 5, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 6.
Where a qualified person is suffering from a disablement caused by disease certified by the Minister to be attributable to the mutiny or to circumstances directly arising out of the mutiny and the degree of such disablement is at the date of his examination by the Army Pensions Board not less than 80 per cent. there may, in addition to a service pension or a service gratuity, be granted to such person a pension (in this Act referred to as a disability pension) payable during his life at, in case his army service is long service, the rate mentioned in the second column of the Second Schedule to this Act opposite the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the first column of that Schedule or, in case his army service is short service, the rate mentioned in the third column of that Schedule opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said first column.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
11. In line 23, to delete the words "short service" and substitute the words and figures "pre-1918 short service," and at the end of the section to insert the words "or, in case his Army service is post-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the fourth column of that Schedule, opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said first column.—(Aire Cosanta.)
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
Section 7 agreed to.
SECTION 8.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
12. Before sub-section (2) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
(2) There may, on account of the death of any person to whom, by virtue of sub-section (4) of this section, this section applies, be granted to the father of such person an allowance (in this Act referred to as a dependent's allowance) payable during his life at the rate of 10/- per week.—(Aire Cosanta.)

Amendments Nos. 13 and 14 are out of order.

Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 9 to 18, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 19.
Every question arising under this Act in relation to any of the following matters, that is to say:—
(a) the period of army service of a qualified person,
(b) the substantive non-commissioned rank (if any) held, at the date of the mutiny, by a qualified person,
(c) in the case of a qualified person who held a particular substantive non-commissioned rank at the date of the mutiny, the period or periods during which he held such non-commissioned rank or any substantive lower or higher non-commissioned rank before the date of the mutiny,
(d) the period of notional service of a qualified person whose army service was long service,
shall be determined by the Minister and the determination of the Minister shall be final and conclusive and binding on all persons and tribunals whatsoever.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
15. In paragraph (a), line 48, to insert after the word "person" the words "and the date of commencement of such service."— Aire Cosanta.
Section 19, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 20, 21 and 22 agreed to.
FIRST SCHEDULE.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
16. To delete the Schedule and substitute the following Schedule:—
SCALE OF WOUND PENSIONS FOR QUALIFIED PERSONS.

Specific Injury

Degree of Disablement

SCALE OF PENSION

Persons whose Army Service is Long Service

Persons whose Army Service is pre-1918 Short Service

Persons whose Army Service is post-1918 Short Service

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

per cent.

per week

per week

per week

Loss of two or more limbs

100

10s.

15s.

20s.

Loss of both hands or of all fingers and thumbs

,,

,,

,,

,,

Total loss of sight

,,

,,

,,

,,

Wounds, injuries, or results of them, resulting in a disabled man being totally bedridden

,,

,,

,,

,,

Wounds of, or injuries to internal, thoracic or abdominal organs involving total permanent disablement

,,

,,

,,

,,

Total organic paralysis resulting from wounds or injuries to brain or spinal cord

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of an arm and one eye

90

9s.

13s. 6d.

18s.

Loss of a leg and one eye

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of a hand and a foot

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of one arm through shoulder

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of both feet

80

8s.

12s.

16s.

Amputation of leg at hip or below hip, with stump not exceeding five inches in length, measured from tip of great trochanter; of right arm below shoulder, with stump not exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion; or of left arm through shoulder

80

8s.

12s.

16s.

Amputation of leg below hip, with stump exceeding five inches in length, measured from tip of great trochanter, but not below middle thigh; of left arm below shoulder, with stump not exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion; or of right arm below shoulder, with stump, exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion, through elbow, or below elbow, with stump, not exceeding five inches, measured from tip of olecranon

70

7s.

10s. 6d.

14s.

Amputation of leg below hip, with stump exceeding five inches in length, measured from tip of great trochanter, but not below middle thigh; of left arm below shoulder, with stump not exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion; or of right arm below shoulder, with stump, exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion, through elbow, or below elbow, with stump, not exceeding five inches, measured from tip of olecranon

70

7s.

10s. 6d.

14s.

Amputation of leg below middle thigh, through knee, or below knee, with stump not exceeding four inches; of left arm below shoulder, with stump exceeding six inches, measured from tip of acromion, through elbow, or below elbow, with stump not exceeding five inches, measured from tip of olecranon; or of right arm below elbow, with stump exceeding five inches, measured from tip of olecranon

60

6s.

9s.

12s.

Amputation of leg below knee, with stump exceeding four inches, or of left arm below elbow, with stump exceeding five inches, measured from tip of olecranon

50

5s.

7s. 6d.

10s.

Loss of one eye, the result of G.S.W. or injury

40

4s.

6s.

8s.

Loss of thumb or of four fingers of right hand

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of thumb or of four fingers of left hand, or three fingers of right hand

30

3s.

4s. 6d.

6s.

Lisfranc operation, one foot

,,

,,

,,

,,

Loss of all toes, both feet

30

3s.

4s. 6d.

6s.

Loss of two fingers, either hand

20

2s.

3s.

4s.

Loss of all toes of one foot

20

,,

,,

,,

NOTE.—In the case of left-handed men, certinee to be such, the compensation in respect of the left arm, etc., will be same as for a right arm, hand, etc., andvice versa.

First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

—Aire Cosanta.

SECOND SCHEDULE.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
17. To delete the Schedule and substitute the following Schedule:—
SCALE OF DISABILITY PENSIONS FOR QUALIFIED PERSONS.

Degree of Disablement

SCALE OF PENSION

Persons whose Army Service is Long Service

Persons whose Army Service is pre-1918 Short Service

Persons whose Army Service is post-1918 Short Service

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

per cent.

per week

per week

per week

100

10s.

15s.

20s.

90

9s.

13s. 6d.

18s.

80

8s.

12s.

16s.

—Aire Cosanta.
Second Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Third Schedule and Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Report Stage to be taken on Tuesday, 28th July.

Between this and this day week the Parliamentary Secretary might look into the question of whether he has a list of all the persons likely to apply. If he has not that list will he consider extending the date? There is less than six months to run from this to the 31st December, and the disposition to bring in amending Bills ought to be avoided as far as possible. Can the Parliamentary Secretary say if he thinks he has the names of all possible claimants?

After very careful searching we believe that we have got the name of every possible participant. We have secured these by various means, such as getting into contact with the people concerned, and, as far as we are aware, they are satisfied that we have the names of all the actual participants. I should like to correct a statement I made to the Deputy a few moments ago in regard to the annual amount. In the first year the amount will be £4,064, and I believe that will be reducible subsequently to £1,194.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say in what year we will arrive at £1,794?

The annual charge will be that.

Is the £4,000 reducible?