CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - ARMY PENSION CLAIM (LONGFORD).

SEAN O LAIDHIN

asked the Minister for Defence whether he has received a claim for a pension or gratuity from Mr. Joseph Devlin, 40 St. Michael's Road, Longford, who served in the Engineer Corps, National Army (Number 20803), as painter, and who is suffering from cellulitis of the forearm, due to lead poison contracted whilst serving in the Army, and whether the Minister has, as promised, made further inquiries into this case and with what result; and whether reconsideration under the Army Pensions (No. 2) Bill, 1926, will be given to this claim.

A claim under the Army Pensions Act 1923, was received from Mr. Devlin. As stated in the letter addressed to the Deputy on the 20th January, 1926, I had further inquiries made as a result of which it was found impracticable to depart from the decision to disallow the claim. I have arranged for the case to be reviewed under legislation amending the Army Pensions Act, 1923.

Will the Minister allow this man to make an appeal under the amending Act?

I have arranged for the case to be reviewed under the amending Act.

Is the Minister aware that this man lost his arm owing to blood poisoning contracted while serving in the National Army?

I am not.

May I ask the Minister whether he is aware that this man is deprived of providing himself and his family with the means of livelihood owing to the loss of an arm primarily caused by disease contracted while serving in the National Army? He earned £4 a week as a painter prior to joining the Army and surely the least he can expect to receive is some compensation?

On the 20th January, 1926, Deputy Lyons received the following letter from my Department:—

"The applicant was examined by a Military Medical Board on 11th September, 1923, when he was found to be fit for service. He was again examined on 11th January, 1924, when he was found to be below the medical standard required of men desirous of re-attestation. In consequence he was demobilised on the expiration of his engagement. At neither examination was he found to be suffering any disability due to a specific wound or injury received in the course of duty whilst on Active Service. His claim cannot therefore be regarded as coming within the provisions of the Act."

Is the Minister aware that this particular man has forwarded several doctors' certificates to prove that he is suffering from disablement due to blood poisoning contracted while serving in the National Army? A certificate was sent in by Dr. Robinson who served with this man in Longford to that effect and surely on that certificate something should be done for this man and his family. Is this man to have no redress if the Minister turns down his claim?

Next question.

As I am not satisfied with the treatment given to men who contracted disease in the Army, I give notice that I will raise the question not only in the case of this man but of others on the Adjournment.