HC Deb 21 March 1910 vol 15 cc763-5

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he would inquire into the case of Honor Cullen, Cartron townland, parish of Ardcarne and Boyle No. 1, whose pension had been stopped by the pension officer without any evidence as to her age, and whose name is not found in the Census of 1841 or 1851, but who was able to produce the testimony of respectable persons sufficient to satisfy the pension committee that her age was over seventy years; whether pension officers were to be allowed to cancel pensions granted after careful examination by the pension committee; and whether he would cause the return of Honor Cullen's pension book, taken away in the month of May last, and the restoration of the pension money due to her since it was stopped in May?


The facts in this case are as follows: After the grant of a pension to Honoria Cullen by the pension committee a question based upon the Census Returns was raised by the officer on the ground that she had not attained the age of seventy years, so as to be entitled to a pension. Upon this question the pension committee decided that she was entitled to a pension, but upon appeal by the officer, the decision of the committee was reversed by the Local Government Board for Ireland, who decided that she was not entitled to receive a pension. The payment of the pension was accordingly stopped, and I have no power to restore it.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the fact that the Local Government Board (Scotland) dismissed the appeal of the pension officer in respect of the claim of Margaret Harcus, and declared that the claimant was entitled to a pension of 5s. a week from 1st June, 1909, he can state for what reason the pension has been withheld, and if the arrears due will now be paid?


The pension order book in this case was delivered on the 18th ultimo, and all arrears due will be paid. The delay in delivering the book was due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the island of Papa Westray, on which the pensioner resides. The hon. Member is so well acquainted with these islands and the difficulties of reaching them in rough weather that he will readily understand that delays at times are unavoidable.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if his attention had been directed to the refusal to grant pensions to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, aged respectively eighty-four and eighty-two years of age, and who were proved to have lived on the island of Eday, Orkney, for over seventy years; and if, in view of the fact that, during the temporary absence abroad of the applicants, they always retained their home on the island, he would give the most favourable consideration possible to all the circumstances?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to him on 31st March last, and I would add that the Local Government Board on consideration of the facts were unable to hold that the applicants retained a home in this country during their absence in Canada.