§ MR. LENG
I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that the Chelsea Hospital Commissioners are issuing to Crimean and Indian Mutiny soldiers who are applicants for special pensions a schedule containing 22 elaborate questions requiring much time to answer, while the signature must be attested by a Magistrate, and that again certified as being known to a clergyman or military or naval officer, who must further declare his belief that the soldier's statement is true and complete; and that appended to all these formalities is a certificate, to be signed by a clergyman, inspector or superintendent of police, that the applicant is "without means of support and in destitute circumstances;" and whether it has been foreseen that the effect of such a condition will be to relieve the poor rates by securing pensions for men now depending on parish support, and to exclude applicants who have endeavoured to maintain their independence and self-respect and are not wholly without means of support or absolutely destitute?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY, WAR DEPARTMENT (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
The paper of questions issued to applicants for these special pensions contains only such inquiries as are necessary to preclude imposture and to enable the Commissioners to select the cases in which pensions are most required. These pensions are compassionate, and men in necessitous circumstances must necessarily be preferred; but of the 100 cases dealt with this year very few were in receipt of parish relief.