§ MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the old-age pensions committee for Portadown and Lurgan have decided to calculate the income of small farmers at two-and-a-half times the valuation of their holdings; whether, in doing so, they have acted on any instructions issued from any Government Department; if so, whether he will state what the instructions are; and, if not, under what authority they decided on that course; and whether every separate claim should be decided on its merits.
(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) I have no information as to the method of calculating means arising from the occupation of land adopted by the committees referred to. The matter is governed by Section 4 of the Act, and the Treasury has not issued, nor has it any power to issue, any instructions to pension committees on the subject. Subject to the provisions of the section to which I have referred, the committee is at liberty to adopt any method of calculation which may in their opinion be likely to produce a correct result, but their decision is of course subject to appeal to the Local Government Board, either by the claimant or by the pension officer.