§ Mr. R. YOUNG
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether old age pensioners who through sickness enter a union hospital have their pensions cancelled; whether the pensions are not received on their discharge from hospital until they have applied to the local com 1477W mittee, which may not meet for some time; whether when the pensions are received they are paid from the date of discharge from hospital; whether this treatment of unfortunate old age pensioners entails considerable hardship and throws them on the charity of friends; and whether he will take steps to ensure that such old age pensioners will in future automatically receive their pensions and thus prevent them becoming paupers owing to circumstances over which they have no control?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
Under the existing law, old age pensioners who through sickness enter a union hospital do not have their pensions cancelled unless they remain in the hospital for more than three months, or unless they remain after ceasing to require medical or surgical treatment. Where a pension is cancelled, the Old Age Pensions Acts do not permit of pension money being paid until a fresh claim has been allowed by the local pensions committee; but when a fresh claim has been allowed, the pension is payable from the receipt of the claim by the pension officer, provided that the claimant was then eligible. In these circumstances, I am not prepared to agree that considerable hardship is caused or to promote legislation in the sense suggested by the hon. Member.