§ 67. Mr. TOUCHE
asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is in a position to give any reliable estimate of the percentage of old age pensioners in Poor Law infirmaries?
§ Mr. BURNS
The only information which I can give on this subject is derived from a Return, which I obtained early in the present year. This showed that on the 1st January last there were in workhouses or other Poor Law establishments in England and Wales 2,191 old age pensioners who were receiving relief which did not disqualify for an old age pension—i.e., medical or surgical assistance only. The number of old age pensioners in England and Wales on the 29th March, 1912, was, according to the last Annual Report of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, 642,524.
§ 68. Mr. BAIRD
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether the Local Government Board have decided that the provision by boards of guardians of nurses for old age pensioners on account of infirmity caused by old age or resulting from an accident is beyond the scope of Section 3 (1) (a) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908; and, if so, whether he will consider the desirability of introducing legislation to secure the provision of nursing attendance granted on medical recommendation to old age pensioners?
§ Mr. BURNS
The Local Government Board have acted, speaking generally, on the view indicated in the hon. Member's question; but I may say that where nursing attendance is recommended by the medical officer on account of specific illness, or incidentally to medical or surgical assistance, disqualification would not, in the Board's opinion, ensue. The question of amending the Act of 1908 is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer rather than for me, but I will bring the hon. Member's suggestion to his notice.