HC Deb 16 June 1893 vol 13 c1189
MR. HANBURY (Preston)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the very frequent practice among Army pensioners of pawning their pension papers and borrowing money on them at very high interest; whether this practice is illegal; and whether he has considered the advisability of further protecting such pensioners by requiring them to send in their ring papers in addition to their life certificates before receiving their pay, thus leaving the pawnbroker without his present security for making such loans?


The attention of the War Office is continually called to this most reprehensible practice. For any person to receive or detain a pensioner's life or identity certificate is illegal; and though it is not illegal for the pensioner to pawn them, his doing so renders him liable to fine or forfeiture of pension. It should be fully understood by both parties to these transactions that it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to prosecute and punish to the full extent allowed by law; but, beyond this, no stops can be taken to protect pensioners from their own folly. A pensioner already has to produce his identity (or "Ring") certificate to the authority who certifies his pension paper.