§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Minister of Health whether, seeing that it is the practice of his Department in the awarding of pensions under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, to hold up a pension of a widow on the attainment of her eldest pensionable child to the age of 14 years whilst the necessary adjustments are being made, he will, in view of the hardship which is thus caused, so arrange that there should be no stoppage in the payment of the pension?
§ Major HENNESSY
The general practice is not as stated in the hon. Member's question. The arrangements provide for continuity of payment of the widows' pension, including allowances for any younger children, while inquiries are pro- 1929W ceeding to determine the position of the eldest child. My right hon. Friend is aware that cases have arisen in which there has been a temporary interruption of payment, but these cases are exceptional.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Health how many applications for old age pensions were received during the six months ended 1st November, 1926; how many cases have been settled; and how many are still undecided?
§ Major HENNESSY
The total number of applications for old age pensions received in the six months up to 1st November, 1926, in England, Scotland and Wales, was 216,914, of which 153,818 fell under the Contributory Pensions Act, 1925, and 62,996 under the old Acts. Figures are not available to show the position of the latter, but as regards the former, 135,981 had been settled and 17,837 remained undecided on 1st November. It is not possible to say how many of these have been settled in the interval, but since 1st November 8,557 further claims by virtue of the Act of 1925 have been received, and the total number of such claims now undecided is 14,266.