HC Deb 09 March 1911 vol 22 cc1383-5

asked whether Thomas Tobin, of Ballinanima, Kilfinane, whose claim for a pension has on two occasions been rejected by the Local Government Board on the recommendation of the pension officer, produced before the local committee and the pension officer written statements by "even respectable people, all of whom verified that this man was beyond seventy, and who are prepared to make an affidavit to that effect; and whether, in view of the provision that in cases such as this, where no evidence of age can be found officially, evidence and statements of those to whom the applicant has been known for more than forty or fifty years would be sufficient, the right hon. Gentleman will explain why in this particular case the officer has ignored the evidence of respectable witnesses as well as upsetting the decision of the local committee?


The Local Government Board do not appear to have received any appeal in this case.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say how it is that this man had to satisfy the Local Government Board and the pension officer as to age when his name cannot be found in the Census or local register, and that the Local Government Board and the pension officer absolutely refused to accept the statement of men who had known the applicant during the last forty or fifty years?


The matter has not yet been before the Local Government Board.


asked what is the objection to grant James Heney, aged seventytwo, of Market Street, Enniskillen, an old age pension, as he is a poor man, and there is no objection as to age?


As stated in my reply to the hon. Member on the 6th instant, the Local Government Board, after careful inquiry, considered that Heney's means exceeded the statutory limit.


asked the Prime Minister, in view of the consensus of opinion in the House on the subject of removing the disabilities under the Old Age Pensions Act in respect of, firstly, disqualification of a man through receipt of poor relief by his wife, and, secondly, disqualification through temporary residence abroad, if he will give the time necessary for the passage into law of a Bill to remove the disqualifications referred to?


As I said, in reply to a similar question yesterday, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is considering these matters, and he hopes shortly to make a statement to the House.


asked on what grounds Margaret. Harte, of Banagher, Fivemilebourne, Sligo district, No. 292, was deprived of an old age pension notwithstanding the fact that her age was found in the Census of 1851 to be ten years, and on further search in the Record Office she was shown to be two years of age in 1841; and whether, having regard to these facts, she would be granted a pension, together with the amount due since the date of application, 15th June, 1909?


I understand that Margaret Harte's pension was withdrawn by the Local Government Board in June, 1909, on the evidence of the Census of 1851, where she was recorded as ten years old, but that she was afterwards found recorded as two years old in the Census of 1841. She was granted a second pension from 15th July, 1910. There is considerable difficulty in ascertaining at this distance of time the full facts relating to the withdrawal of the first pension; but I will communicate with the hon. Member when my inquiries are complete.


asked the number of applicants for old age pensions whose application has been disallowed on the ground of residence for a period of less than twelve months in the previous twenty years outside the United Kingdom, although within the Empire.?


It is not possible to give this information.