12. Mr. HAZLETON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will secure that the claim to an old age pension of Thomas Donelan, Shantallow, Clonberne, county Galway, is reconsidered, in view of the fact that, while the pension officer reported against the case and appealed on the ground of age against the decision of the sub-committee, the Local Government Board have since accepted the claimant's age as being over 70, but have refused the pension on the new ground that they are not satisfied that his means were under the statutory limit; what evidence is there of this; and whether it has now become the practice of the Local Government Board, when unable to sustain the case made by a pension officer on the ground on which he has appealed from the decision of a local pension sub-committee, to refuse pensions on grounds concerning which no appeal at all was entered by the pension officer?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed that the Local Government Board has no authority to review its decisions upon claims to old-age pensions, and that the claim of Thomas Donelan, of Shantallow, Clonberne, county Galway, therefore cannot be reopened upon the facts as they now stand. The pension officer appealed to the Board on the ground of age, and the Board had thereupon to consider the application anew. They were satisfied on the report of their inspector that the applicant's means were such as to disentitle him.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there was no evidence brought before the sub-committee with regard to the question of means, and that they had a right to review the subject, but got no opportunity of doing so from the Local Government Board?
§ Mr. DUKE
I tried to point out that the statutory powers of the Local Government Board require the hearing of the whole application. As a matter of fact, it comes before them on appeal in two branches. They found on the first that the 1838 applicant failed, and they proceeded to consider the second, and were not satisfied.