§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he would state out of what fund clerks of pension sub-committees and county secretaries to pension committees in Ireland are paid; and whether, directly or indirectly, any portion of their salaries for their duties in these positions comes out of the local rates?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
These officers are paid out of the Old Age Pension Vote. No portion of their salaries falls on local rates.
§ Mr. O'SHEE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what are the reasons which prevented old age pensions being granted to Thomas Heelan, Glenshask, Lismore, county Waterford, and his wife, they being seventy-two and seventy-four years of age respectively, and having no property or other income which would exclude them; and whether the pensions were refused under the decision of the local committee or of the Local Government Board?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Thomas Heelan appears to have made three claims, the first of which was rejected by the local pension sub-committee. The two subsequent claims were allowed by the committee, but on coming before the Local Government Board on appeal by the pension officer they were disallowed on the ground that 2665W Heelan's means exceeded the statutory limit. Two claims made by his wife Ellen Heelan were disallowed for a similar reason. These claimants reside on a farm, particularly well stocked and cropped, which the husband assigned to a son in October, 1909. They have also a sum of £270 in the bank.
§ Mr. J. P. FARRELL
asked the Chief Secretary the grounds upon which Michael Fox, Mullaworina, Ballymahon, county Longford, has been refused an old age pension; whether he is aware that this man has executed an assignment to his son, who is now recognised as tenant in possession by the Land Commission; and will he direct that he be now placed on the pension list?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Michael Fox has not been refused an old age pension, but he is in receipt of a pension at the rate of two shillings a week. Originally he was in receipt of five shillings a week, which, on a question by the pension officer, was reduced to two shillings by the Pension Sub-Committee. Fox then took steps to have his farm transferred to his son, and raised a question that he was entitled to have his pension increased to five shillings again. This question the Local Government Board considered they had no jurisdiction to determine, having regard to the decision of the courts in the Pawley case. If a claimant or a pensioner has property which disqualifies him for the receipt of a pension at a certain rate, the assignment of such property to another person does not necessarily remove the disqualification, having regard to the terms of Section 4 (3) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908.