§ Mr. DUKE
This claim was disallowed on the ground that the claimant's means exceeded the statutory limit for the receipt of a pension. He was the owner of a farm of 16 acres of good land, which he assigned to an unmarried son, reserving board and lodging admittedly in order to qualify for a pension.
§ 21. Mr. FITZPATRICK
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that the pensions granted to asylum workers in Ireland is small and inadequate to support them at present owing to the increased cost of living; is he aware that the board of governors of the Maryborough Asylum are prepared to consider the question of granting a war bonus to their pensioners provided the Treasury will give a Grant in Aid and that no surcharge will be made by the inspectors of lunacy; and whether he will give an undertaking to this effect?
§ Mr. DUKE
Pensions are granted to asylum workers in Ireland in pursuance of the provisions of the Act 9, Edwd. VII., cap. 48, and in some cases of the Act 53 and 54 Vic., cap. 31. Owing to the low rate of pay at which the local authorities are able to staff the asylums the pensions are, as a rule, small, and the asylum workers, in common with the rest of the community, are suffering from the increased cost of living due to the War. I understand that no representation has been made by the committee of management of the Maryborough Asylum as regards granting a war bonus to pensioners, and, so far as I am aware, there is no. statutory provision under which the Treasury could give a Grant in aid of such a bonus. The accounts of the District Asylums are audited by the Local Government Board auditors, in whom is vested the power of surcharging illegal payments. They exercise quasi-judicial functions, and I have no authority to direct them as to their decisions.