HC Deb 25 July 1911 vol 28 cc1507-9

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that an old age pension has been refused to Selina Shackleton, of 98, Jackson Street, Stretford, Manchester, who was seventy years of age on 13th March; whether he is aware that, with the exception of an interval in America, where she went to join her husband, she has resided only in this country; and whether, as she has lived here for sixty-two years, he can cause her case to be reviewed and a pension granted?


The case to which the hon. Member refers came before the Local Government Board on an appeal against the decision of the pension committee. As it appeared that the claimant had been absent from the United Kingdom for more than eight years out of the last twenty years, the Board had no alternative but to decide that the statutory requirement as to residence had not been fulfilled in her case.

Captain FABER

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will state why two weeks' old age pension belonging to Mrs. Mary Hillary, of Micheldever, since dead, and for one week of which she had signed her name, was never paid; and whether the two weeks' pension should have been paid to her son for her funeral?


The amount will be paid as soon as the necessary formalities have been complied with. The officer called on Mr. Hillary for this purpose on the 18th instant, but found that he was away from home. He will call again on his next visit to Micheldever.

Captain FABER

Are the old age pensions paid up to the actual day of death?


My impression—I do not want to be dogmatic—is that they are paid up to the time of death.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will say why John Coyle, of Granard, who was receiving an old age pension from January, 1909, to January, 1911, has now been deprived of the pension, and no reason assigned for this action; whether any new instructions have recently been given to strike off persons receiving the pension for two years, as a number of such cases have recently occurred in county Longford; and whether in such cases the grounds of the decision to review pensions granted two years will be laid upon the Table of the House, so that the official act of removal may be known to the persons affected?


John Coyle's pension was revoked by the Granard local pension sub-committee on the ground that he had not attained statutory age. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. The Statutory Regulations provide that, in every case where a pension is revoked, notice of the fact is to be sent to the pensioner concerned by the clerk to the committee.


Have any new regulations at all been made since the beginning of 1911?


Not to my knowledge.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman would state on what grounds was Myles Gilmartin, of Corn- tella, Ballinaglera, county Leitrim, deprived of the full amount of the old age pension; and whether, having regard to the fact that Gilmartin is merely a caretaker for his son, who is compelled to emigrate to England to earn the rent of his little farm, he would be granted the pension in full, together with arrears due to him from date of application in February, 1911, to date of receipt of portion in May, 1911?


Myles Gilmartin made a claim on 15th April last, and on. 22nd June was awarded a pension of 3s. a week by the pension sub-committee on the ground that his means exceeded £23 12s. 6d., but did not exceed £26 5s. per annum. He has appealed to the Local Government Board, and the case is at present being investigated. Having regard to the date of the decision of the subcommittee and to the terms of Section 5 of the Old Age Pensions Act, nothing is due to the pensioner in respect of the period mentioned in the question.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that Pat Guihan (Terry) of Largy, Spencer Harbour, county Leitrim, was denied an old age pension on the ground that his name could not be found in the Census of 1841 or 1851; and whether in this and similar cases where applicants' names cannot be found in the Census, but where they produce sworn evidence by competent and reliable witnesses that they are over the statutory age, they should be granted the pension?


The only evidence Guihan furnished to the Local Government Board to show that he had reached the statutory age was a certificate by a person claiming to be eighty-six years of age. The family of the claimant's parents was traced in the 1841 Census Returns, but his name was not recorded in. the list of members. In the absence of any satisfactory evidence that he had attained the statutory age the Board decided that he was not entitled to any pension. As regards the second paragraph of the question, evidence of the nature indicated is always carefully considered by the Board.