HC Deb 19 November 1908 vol 196 cc1428-9
DR. AMBROSE (Mayo, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to a resolution recently passed by the Mayo County Council showing the difficulty experienced by applicants for pensions under the Old-Age Pensions Act, and the expense they are put to in order to prove their age, seeing that the Compulsory Registration Act was not put in force in Ireland until the year 1864, and that there are scarcely any means of proving the ages except through the Census Returns for 1841 and 1851, the original manuscripts of which are in the office of the Deputy-Keeper of Records in Dublin; and whether, to facilitate matters and save the poor people unnecessary expense, he will cause printed copies of such manuscripts to be supplied to the different county councils in Ireland.


My attention has been drawn to the resolution of the Mayo County Council. The Census Returns in question comprise about 3,000,000 separate documents, and the suggestion that they should be printed and issued for the purpose of the Old-Age Pension Act is wholly impracticable. Where it becomes necessary to search the Census Returns for proof of age no expense need be incurred by a claimant, arrangements having been made for the work to be done by Inland Revenue officers; and I am confident that every effort will be made by the officials to assist claimants in obtaining proof of their age. At all events, I can promise that no difficulties will be thrown in their way by the Irish Government.