§ Mr. COOPER
asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been directed by any local pension committees to cases of hardship which have occurred under Section 3 (2) of the Old Age Pensions Act by which, in effect, a person is punished twice for the same offence; if he proposes to amend the law on this point; and, if so, can he see his way to introduce the amending Bill this Session?
§ 13. Mr. PATRICK O'BRIEN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland the exact grounds on which the Local Government Board have decided, re the claim of Mrs. Bridget Hickey, Kilkenny, to an old age pension, that the joint means of herself and her husband exceed £63 per year; whether he is aware that both husband and wife are known to members of the committee and persons having intimate 384W knowledge of their affairs to be in absolute need of the pension to obtain the necessaries of life; on what ground the Board held that the transfer of the small licensed business managed by a married son and his wife to the son was effected in order to obtain the pension, having regard to the fact that Thomas Hickey has for years past been too feeble to work himself; whether the Board adopt the construction laid down by the Lord Advocate, in reply to a question in Parliament, that even if a transfer of property were partly actuated by desire to obtain the pension it must be regarded as effective unless there is no other substantial motive; if not, on what grounds the Board adopt a different official construction from that holding good in Scotland; and whether, having regard to the particulars of trading supplied by an independent source in connection with the husband's claim, from which it is plain that after reasonable allowance for assistance the husband is fully entitled in respect of means even if regarded as still owner of the small business, he will undertake that the appeal pending in the husband's case will be decided in favour of the claimant and that the wife's claim, if made again, will be reconsidered in the light of the said particulars?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Patrick Hickey and his wife have a public-house at Kilkenny, the net yearly profits from which exceed £63, so that upon this basis neither husband nor wife would be entitled to a pension. Patrick Hickey is still the licensee of the premises, but transferred the house and garden to his son, who is a small farmer, and immediately after he applied for an old age pension. The Board accordingly upheld the pension officer's appeal on the ground that the case came within Section 4 (3) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908. Patrick Hickey is reported to do very little himself in connection with the public-house, being too old, but his wife carries on the business. The Board see no reason to dissent from the veiw attributed to the Lord Advocate.