§ 81. Mr. JOHN O'CONNOR
asked the Pensions Minister whether he has received any communications from Mr. E. L. O'Brien, area organiser, Dublin, South respecting the widow Cornally, widow of Private Cornally, of the Irish Guards, who-was given a pension on her own account and that of three children; whether he was informed that owing to her pension book not being received at the post office, Hazel-hatch, from the pension office, Baker Street, London, she has received no pension since the last quarter's payment; whether he is aware that Mrs. Cornally repeatedly wrote for redress, but did not receive even an answer to her letters, and that the woman has died practically of starvation, accelerated by influenza, and that one of the three children also died, whilst a second is dying, and the third has been taken to the workhouse to be cared for; and if inquiries will be made into this case and steps taken to prevent a repetition of such an occurrence?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of PENSIONS (Sir A. Griffith-Boscawen)
I regret to learn the facts to which my hon. Friend calls my attention. The form of life certificate which should have been given to Mrs. Cornally in the first week in September by the postmaster at Hazelhatch, Dublin, contained instructions that it should be returned to Pension Issue Office within eight days, as otherwise payment might be delayed. It never reached the office, and a break in payment resulted on the first of this month. Mrs. Cornally should, however, have obtained assistance from her local committee, who are authorised, in cases of this kind, to make advances while the payment of pension is in suspense. Inquiry is being made of the committee as to whether Mrs. Cornally applied to them, and what action they took. The committee are also being asked to make arrangements for the welfare of the surviving children. I may add that a letter from Mr. O'Brien, which is dated 15th October but which, being improperly addressed, did not reach the office until two days ago, is the only communication which can be traced as having been received.
§ Mr. J. O'CONNOR
What is the cause of this miscarriage of post? Why did the fully stamped letter not reach her?
§ Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN
I cannot explain miscarriages in the Post Office. I can only say I greatly regret the circumstances, and am having inquiries made.
§ Mr. J. O'CONNOR
Will the hon. Gentleman let me know at the earliest possible moment the result of the inquiries?