§ CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can state the number of pensioners at present in receipt of the Greenwich old-age pension of 5d. a day, the number of men who are entitled and qualified to receive it but who do not receive it, and the average length of time a man has to wait after qualifying for it before he is paid it; what is the procedure followed in promoting men on to the list, are they promoted strictly in the order in which they qualify, or is it necessary that interest should be brought to bear in each individual instance; and will he state whether men on discharge who 957 are entitled and qualified to receive it eventually are fully informed of the necessary steps to take.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. MCKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
The reply to the first Question is 8,640. With regard to the second Question, the hon. Member is mistaken in assuming that any persons are entitled to Greenwich Hospital Age Pensions. The number who are qualified but have not received an award is 4,700 approximately. At present few pensioners receive age pensions before they are sixty-five, though a person may be qualified at fifty-five. The names of eligible men are registered as they apply. The only considerations which influence the Admiralty in making selections to fill vacancies are the age, circumstances, and necessities of the men. Applicants for Greenwich Hospital Age Pensions are already naval pensioners who are in regular communication with the Admiralty, to which Department they must be fully aware that they should make their applications.