HC Deb 31 March 1910 vol 15 cc1584-5W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Board of Inland Revenue in a circular, dated 3rd February, 1909, prescribed the Census Returns as the evidence to be required by pension officers in certain cases in Ireland, and, failing these, prescribed that the pension officer shall report to the committee that no evidence of age has been produced, and that the claim cannot properly be allowed; whether this Board had any, and, if so, what authority for prescribing such evidence or any evidence in regard to the question of age; if not, will he see that the circular referred to is withdrawn; and whether this circular was issued about the time when inspectors Visited Ireland and threatened pension officers that they would incur very grave responsibility if they did not appeal in every case against the decision of the local pension committee where the claimant's name could not be found on the Census Returns, even though the officer was otherwise satisfied the claimant was of the statutory age?


The directions contained in the circular referred to had reference to cases where no satisfactory documentary evidence at all of age could be produced by the claimant. In such cases the Census Returns constituted the only possible source from which the claimant could hope to obtain documentary evidence of age. Under the Second Schedule of the Statutory Regulations, in determining the age of a claimant any evidence which appears sufficient for the purpose may be accepted. Under paragraph 34 of the Statutory Regulations pension officers are instructed to observe and follow the instructions and directions of the Board. It is not proposed to withdraw the circular, and I can trace no foundation for the suggestion contained in the last part of the question.