§ Mr. E. Smith
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the number of men employed in the North Staffordshire area, the percentage of machine mining and the quantity of coal cut and conveyed for the years 1920 and 1930 to 1941, respectively?
§ Mr. T. Smith
The following is the information for which my hon. Friend has asked:
a view to effecting a saving in manpower. Non-contributory old age pensions to persons of 70 and over, entitlement to which depends upon the person's means, are now administered by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, and supplementary pensions, which are granted to many old age pensioners who are in need, are administered by the Assistance Board. This arrangement involves visits to a pensioner who is entitled to the two forms of pension by both the Pensions Officers employed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise and also officers of the Assistance Board: it also involves the issue of two separate 1851W order books for the payment of the basic and supplementary pensions respectively. Arrangements have accordingly been made that as from 1st January, 1943, in cases in which a supplementary pension is payable in addition to a non-contributory pension, all necessary visiting shall be undertaken by officers of the Assistance Board who will, as soon as one of his current books is exhausted, issue to the pensioner concerned one order book to include both pensions. Of the 500,000 persons in receipt of non-contributory pensions about 300,000 will be affected by the new arrangements, which, besides serving the convenience of the pensioners, will make possible an economy in both staff and material.