§ Mr. FITZPATRICK
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that several old age pensioners have been obliged though illness and by reason of the increase in the price of the necessaries of life to enter the Mountmellick workhouse hospital and have given their pensions as part payment for their support; and, as the pension officer is making this a pretext for depriving these poor people of their pensions, will he take steps to prevent such action by the pension officers?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which I gave to the hon. Member for Wexford, County, South, on 24th July last and to the hon. Member for Kilkenny, County, South, on 3rd August last.
§ Mr. FARRELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will state the grounds on which a labourer named James Fox, Bathbracken, Granard, county Longford, has been refused an old age pension; whether he is aware that this man attained the full age last May and has since been informed that he will not get the pension due to him unless he refunds money claimed to have been paid to him in error two years ago; and will he see that the law is carried out in this case and the pension is granted?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am informed by the Local Government Board that this man obtained a pension at the rate of 5s. a week from the 1st January, 1909, until the 7th February, 1915, when a question was raised as to his right to a pension on the ground that he was not the statutory age. It was found that the pension had been granted on an incorrect baptismal certificate, given in October, 1908, being that of a brother Charles, baptised 30th July, 1837. As the result of the disqualification there was a debt due to the Crown of £80 5s., and by order of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise the new order book is to be withheld until this debt is recovered. The 393W Board have no authority to interfere in the matter, and Mr. Fox has been so informed.