§ Colonel DAY
asked the Minister of Health if he is yet in a position to state the approximate amount likely to be saved during the current year by boards of guardians following the operation of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act?
§ Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN
No, Sir. I hope that the results of the return. which I mentioned in a previous reply to the hon. Member, will be available before the end of April.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Health if he will have prepared and circulated a summary of Orders, Regulations, and decisions in special cases under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
As the operation of the Act is still in its initial stages and the arrangements are in some respects incomplete, I regret that it is not possible at present to meet the suggestion of the hon. Member. I will, however, bear the point in mind.
§ Mr. BOWERMAN
asked the Minister of Health the estimated number of old age pension claims which will be decided by him. during the quarter ending 30th September, 1926, under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925; the estimated number of such claims which will be decided by the old age pensions committees and sub-committees during that quarter under the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 to 1924; the number of such claims which were decided by those committees and sub—committees during the year 1925; whether any legislation will be introduced in the current Session, or is in contemplation, which would further reduce the number of such claims to be decided by those committees and sub-committees; and, if so, will he give the fullest available information as to the nature of the legislation, and the extent of such further reduction in the work of those bodies?
§ Mr, CHAMBERLAIN
With regard to the first part of the question, Section 20 of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age `Contributory Pensions Act comes into operation on the 2nd July next, and as applicants are being invited to submit their applications as early as possible, beginning next month, the best forecast1860W I can give is that it is estimated that about 100,000 claims under Section 20 will fall to be dealt with between April and the end of September next. As regards the second and third parts of the question, it is estimated that from 20,000 to 25,000 claims will be dealt with by local pension committees during the quarter ended 30th September next. 213,518 claims were dealt with by such committees during the year 1925. The answer to the fourth part of the question is in the negative, and the last part does not, therefore, arise.