§ MR. T. F. RICHARDS (Wolverhampton, W.)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he will bring in a small Bill before the close of this session to enable the pensions committees set up for the administration of the Old-Age Pensions Act, 1908, to grant pensions to those persons who do not receive from the guardians either coin or kind; and whether he can exempt service as medicine is so exempt, or will he take such action as will meet such applicants.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I doubt whether a provision to the effect suggested would accomplish the hon. Member's object, which I understand to be to remove the disqualification in cases where the amount of the relief is recovered from relatives, with the result that the only net charge to the poor rate is the cost of administration. As the Government is pledged to deal with the whole question of disqualification on account of poor relief at the first opportunity, I am not prepared, as at present advised, to introduce legislation dealing separately with this particular aspect of the question.
§ * MR. VERNEY (Buckinghamshire, N.)
Will the Prime Minister in any Bill which is brought in give special consideration to prevent those persons being debarred from obtaining pension who for many years have contributed to keep their relations and dependents off the rates?
§ MR. J. MACVEAGH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that relief in workhouse hospitals has been unanimously held by Irish Judges to be no disqualification for the Parliamentary franchise? Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to secure that no person receiving such 257 relief shall be debarred having an old age pension?