HC Deb 01 December 1908 vol 197 cc1257-9
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, in regard to the granting of old-age pensions, if he can state whether a woman whose husband is in receipt of relief Would be rendered ineligible for a pension simply because she benefits by the relief, or whether the husband would be regarded as the sole person in receipt of relief.


If the relief given to the husband was given wholly or partly for or on account of the wife-she would be ineligible for a pension.

MR. BLACK (Bedfordshire, Biggleswade)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if a married woman, who has hitherto maintained herself by her own labour, would be debarred from a pension if her husband had been in receipt of parish relief to the extent of 3s. per week; and whether a woman in these circumstances is held to participate in the poor relief which is granted to her husband.


If the relief was given to the husband solely for his own support it would not disqualify the wife, but if it was given to him wholly or partly for the support of his wife she would be disqualified.

MR. ROGERS (Wiltshire, Devizes)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the officials at Somerset House put a contrary interpretation upon this?


That may be, but I think it safe for me to give the House the opinions supplied by the Law Officers of the Crown after mature consideration.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the extraordinary difficulty in which pension committees are placed when the Commissioners give one interpretation and the Local Government Board another?


said he would consult with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see whether members of the pension committees could not be supplied with a short Memorandum embodying the definitions that had been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and himself.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

Could the relief given to a husband when living with his wife be treated as relief given to the husband alone, or would this decision only apply where the man and woman lived apart?


It depends wholly on the circumstances of each case. My noble friend will excuse me if I decline to go beyond the Answer I have given.

MR. JOYCE (Limerick)

Will the right hon. Gentleman supply the information in the form of a Return to Parliament?


Yes, Sir.