§ Mr. FFRENCH
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, by the operation of Section 3, Sub-section 2, of the Old Age Pensions Act, James Quirke, a native of Wexford, certified to be seventy-three years of age, has been deprived of his pension for ten years because he was found begging on 20th October, 1909, and incarcerated in Water-ford Prison for fourteen days; whether it was intended that persons sent to prison for begging should be subjected to this disqualification; and, if not, will he introduce some short amending clause to enable these poor persons to get the pension to which they would otherwise be entitled?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
This case has not been brought to my right hon. Friend's notice. The Old Age Pensions Act disqualifies for the receipt of a pension any one who has been imprisoned without the option of a fine until ten years from the date of his release. Hardship occasionally arises in Ireland through the justices not having the power to inflict fines as an alternative to imprisonment in the case of certain offences, and if it is found possible to introduce an Old Age Pensions Amending Bill, my right hon. Friend will consider the desirability of including such a clause.