§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Home Secretary whether the old age pensions long overdue will now be paid to James Reilly, a cripple for many years, and Anne Reilly, formerly of Fermore, now lodgers at Kilmore, Streete, Westmeath, both incapable of self support and devoid of means; whether he is aware that the Coole Pension Committee, familiar with the facts, have again voted full pensions to these two applicants; and, if the pensions are still refused, will he specify the means and capacity attributed to these old persons as grounds for the refusal?
§ Mr. DUKE
I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to his previous1154W questions in regard to these cases. Since the last reply further claims by James and Anne Reilly were disallowed by the Board on the 4th August last. They refused to give any information as to their means, and on investigation of earlier claims it was reported that James Reilly had on the 26th March, 1914, assigned to an unmarried son a farm of twenty-seven acres of good land, and that there appeared to be no reason for the assignment except the hope of qualifying himself and his wife for pensions. The return from the farm assigned was estimated to be over £100 a year. The only additional fact reported to me is that the applicants have left their farm and gone to reside in lodgings.
§ Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary whether any general instructions have been issued to old age pension committees and sub-committees and to pension officers in Ireland with reference to the new power to increase pensions in certain cases to Vs. 6d. a week; and what precautions are being taken against the influence of those old age pension inspectors who regard it as their sole function to get pensions reduced from the sums voted by the local committees?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Pension committees and pension officers in all parts of the United Kingdom have been fully instructed in the matter referred to. I must deprecate the suggestion of the hon. Member as to the manner in which the pension officers carry out their duties under the Old Age Pensions Acts.