§ MR. ELLIS DAVIES (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that certain newspapers are publishing lists of persons whose claims to pensions have been admitted under the Old-Age Pensions Act and whether he will communicate with the pension officers with a view to stopping the practice.
§ THE TREASURER OF THE HOUSEHOLD (Sir EDWARD STRACHEY,; for Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE) Somersetshire, S.
I may refer my hon. friend to the reply which my right hon. friend gave to a Question on this subject by the hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division on the 19th ultimo. My right hon. friend has no reason to suppose that information in these cases has been given by pension officers, who have instructions to treat the names both of 1255 claimants and of pensioners as confidential. In cases in which the names of pensioners have been communicated to the Press, he believes the communication has been made through the local pension committee, who are free under the Act and Regulations to exercise their own discretion in the matter. He has already expressed the view that this practice is for many reasons undesirable, and hopes that pension committees will as a rule treat all applications as confidential.