§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the unanimous recommendation of the Australian Royal Commission upon Old Age Pensions, to the effect that a penalty should be imposed for supplying an old age pensioner with intoxicating drink; and whether His Majesty's Ministers have yet considered any plan for dealing with the danger indicated by this recommendation.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. ASQUITH, Fifeshire, E.)
In dealing with the question of old age pensions no relevant consideration will be left out of account.
§ * MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
asked if the right hon. Gentleman would consider the desirability of conferring local veto powers on the people so that zones of safety might be provided for the pensioners described in the Question.
§ [No Answer was returned.]
§ MR. LONSDALE
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made any calculations as to the number of persons of the industrial classes who would benefit under an old age pensions scheme which was started on a nucleus of £2,250,000.
§ MR. HAROLD COX
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the evidence given before the Australian Royal Commission on Old Age Pensions to the effect that in Victoria old age pensions have in no way diminished the expenditure upon the charitable relief of the poor, and that in New South Wales, according to the 270 evidence of the Controller of the Charities Department and other witnesses, there has been an actual increase in the number of applicants for charitable relief through the passing of the Old Age Pensions Act; and whether he will take steps to ascertain what has been the effect of the German system of old age pensions upon the cost of the Poor Law relief in the principal cities of the German Empire.
§ MR. ASQUITH
My attention has been called to the evidence in question; but I also note that in their Report the Commission stated that it was not to be expected that, so soon after the establishment of a system of old age pensions, any marked change in the expenditure on other forms of relief would be apparent. I have no figures relating to the comparative cost of Poor Law relief in Germany, nor do I think that, if obtained, any very useful lesson could be drawn from them, regard being had to the peculiar scope of the German insurance law and the practical exclusion from its operations of the majority of women.
§ MR. R. DUNCAN (Lanarkshire, Govan)
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House as to the position of friendly societies in Germany and how they have been affected by old age pensions?