HC Deb 16 December 1908 vol 198 cc1855-6
MR. GILL (Bolton)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he intends to remove the pauper disqualification from the Old-Age Pensions Act during the next session of Parliament.


I am not in a position to make any further statement at present.

MR. BELLOC (Salford, S.)

Arising out of that Answer, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is a most important question for the constituencies, and can I press him to give a more favourable hint? It is very important for the Government.


The hon. Gentleman was not in the House when the Prime Minister made a statement on the subject. If he has time to look it up, he will find it is rather more friendly than he thinks.

SIR FRANCIS CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to several instances of persons being held to be disqualified for old-age pensions for having received outdoor relief since 1st January, 1908, although members of their families have voluntarily repaid to the guardians the whole of the sums thus paid in outdoor relief; whether, where the guardians have themselves enforced such repayment by members of the family, the applicant would under the Act and the regulations be entitled to a pension; and whether, having regard to this, he will issue a circular to pension committees urging them to accept as qualified for a pension persons whose relatives have thus voluntarily repaid any sums paid in outdoor relief as if the guardians had enforced such repayment.


My attention has been called to cases of the kind referred to; but I am advised that subsequent repayment, by whomsoever it may be made and whether made voluntarily or compulsorily, does not remove the disqualification. The disqualification is statutory, and I have no power to issue instructions in the sense suggested in the Question.


Will boards of guardians be advised to take action in case such an applicant is disqualified?


Answer was inaudible.


Does the reply cover a case in which the guardians bring an action to recover relief by a loan to the pauper?


I should like notice of that Question.