§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, whether the case of Felix Cassidy, of Conagher, Derrygonnelly, county Fermanagh, was specially investigated by the local pension officer and pension committee and his age ascertained as seventy, in January, 1910; why his application for a pension book has not been granted, as he was held to be fully qualified, and his claim was sent by the Derrygonnelly Post Office to Pension Officer Toal, of Ballyshannon; and will he also inquire into the very similar case of Rose M'Manus, of Braacle, Derrygonnelly, whose claim was allowed by the Local Government Board, but who has failed to get her pension book from the same pension officer?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
As regards Felix Cassidy, a pension was provisionally allowed by the Committee on 18th December, 1908, to commence on 1st January, 1909; but, in the meantime, the officer had ascertained that, according to the Census record (one year and a half old in 1841), 1075W Cassidy had not yet attained the age of seventy. He raised a question accordingly on 31st December, 1908, and the grant of a pension was revoked by the Committee on 20th January, 1909. A book of pension orders was not delivered, as any pension drawn under the original grant would have been repayable under Section 9 (2) of the Old Age Pension Act. So far as can be ascertained, Cassidy has not again claimed a pension. As regards Rose McManus, the pension originally granted was revoked as the result of a question raised by the officer after she had drawn a sum of £11 5s., which constituted a debt due to the Crown under Section 9 (2), and accordingly, when a pension was again granted by the Local Government Board to commence on 1st April, 1910, a book of orders was withheld with a view to recovering the debt. In accordance with Treasury instructions given in accordance with my statement in the House of Commons on 28th April last, a book of orders has now been delivered, the first order being made payable for 29th April. 1910.