§ Mr. O'DONNELL
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that James Stack, of Doon, Tralee, was granted a pension on a baptismal certificate in January, 1909, and continued in receipt of it till 15th November, 1909; that he was deprived of it on the grounds that according to the Census he would not be seventy years till 6th August, 1910, though, according to the baptismal certificate he was entitled on 3rd January, 1909; and that when on 12th August, 1910, the local committee again gave a pension to Stack the pension officer appealed on the question of means; whether this point was then raised for the first time; and whether, seeing that his means are well under the statutory minimum, as well as the irregularity of the first withdrawal, the Local Government will reconsider their decision?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No baptismal certificate was furnished by James Stack, as alleged. On the contrary, he forwarded a certificate to the Local Government Board that the leaves of the parochial register covering the period during which he states he was baptised are missing. His age, according to the Census Return of 1841, was only ten months, so that he would not be seventy until 5th August, 1910; and the Board accordingly on 15th November, 1909, allowed the question raised by the pension officer that Stack was under seventy years of age. There was no irregularity with regard to this decision, nor was it necessary to estimate Stack's means in view of the fact that he did not fulfil the statutory condition as to age. On attaining the requisite age, Stack made a second claim; but as it appeared that the value of his maintenance on a farm which he had assigned to his son exceeded £31 10s. a year, the Board upheld the pension officer's appeal against the decision of the local pension sub-committee awarding a pension of 5s. a week. It is not open to the Board to reconsider their decision.