§ 65. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that in hundreds of cases old age pensioners at 65 years of age are compelled to apply at Somerset House for a copy of their birth certificate at a cost of 5s. 6d. in order to prove their claim to a pension; and whether he is prepared to make arrangements to grant free certificates in cases of hardship?
§ Sir K. WOOD
No, Sir. Applicants for pensions at 65 years of age under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act are not compelled to prove their age by the production of a birth certificate. If the applicant already has in his possession a birth certificate, he is requested to produce it; but otherwise the stated particulars of date of birth are verified gratuitously by the General Register Office on reference from my Department.
§ Mr. J. BAKER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that unemployment pay has been refused to men on the ground that they were 65 years of age and that they have been compelled to get a birth certificate to prove that they were not 65?
§ Sir K. WOOD
No. There are Press reports of cases of this character, but I invite hon. Members to furnish me with information.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his answer will give great satisfaction in the country, where it is not generally known?