§ 61. Mr. NEAL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the following case: William Henry Peal, of 21, Mill Lane, Sheffield, was born in October, 1845; in 1864 he joined the Militia and in 1865 was transferred to the 14th Foot Regiment and remained in that regiment until 1872, when he was discharged from the Army; he received no pension at that time and remained in civil life until the 7th August, 1916, when he joined the Royal Defence Corps, giving his age as fifty-eight instead of seventy; he was discharged as unfit for further service on the 26th September, 1917, and was granted an Army pension of 8s. 3d. a week; he then applied for an old age pension and, on account of his Service pension, was only allowed 4s. per week; on the 1st October, 1918, his Army pension was increased to 11s. per week and, in conse- 1084 quence of such increase, the pensions officer applied to the old age pensions committee to reduce the pension to 2s. per week on the ground that technically the man was not within the terms of the administrative concessions made to old age pensioners (O. 8,320); that the committee were of opinion that the man was unable to obtain proper nourishment and was failing in health, but were advised they had no option but to reduce the pension to 2s. per week; and will he give instructions for the issue of the full pension of 7s. 6d. a week or afford some other assistance to this old veteran?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
I have made inquiry into the case referred to, and find that the facts in regard to the old age pension are as stated in the question, except that Mr. Peat has received the additional allowance of 2s. 6d. a week in addition to his old age pension of 4s. a week originally, and 2s. a week as subsequently reduced. The action taken was necessitated by the provisions of the Old Age Pensions Acts, and I have no authority to give instructions for the issue of the full old age pension.