§ 3. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Local Government Board for Ireland have, on the assertion of the pension officer as to means, disallowed the old age pensions granted by the Coole sub-committee to James and Anne Reilly, who reside with and are dependent on their son at Fermore, Streete, Westmeath; having regard 1655 to this officer's idea of value and that his business is to prevent pensions without regard to the merits, will he state what means the officer alleges those two persons to possess; and whether the Board will have the assertion tested by some competent person?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
These claims have been disallowed by the local Government Board on the ground that the claimants' means exceeded the statutory limit. James Reilly, in March, 1914, assigned to an unmarried son a farm containing more than twenty-two acres of good land, of which there were two acres under potatoes, three acres under oats, and half an acre under root crops. There are three cows and three calves on the farm, and at least five other calves are bought annually to sell when they get older. There are also pigs and fowl and two horses. The assignment appears to have been made with a view to obtaining pensions for Reilly and his wife. The first claim in the case was made by the latter in January, 1914, and was under consideration when the farm was assigned.
§ Mr. GINNELL
The right hon. Gentleman has not stated what is asked in the question—the means of these two aged persons?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have stated what their means were. In the opinion of the Board they were sufficient to exclude their claims for pensions.
§ 36. Sir C. HENRY
asked the President of the Local Government Board if he will consider making regulations, to be in force during the continuance of the War, that old age pensioners who are obtaining work and receiving payment by which the weekly amount they have hitherto received as old age pensioners, on account of their increased earnings, would be reduced may continue to receive the pension to which they were entitled previous to the War?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
I fear I can only repeat the reply given by the Secretary to the Treasury on the 18th May last 1656 that instructions will be given to pension officers not to raise questions in the case of existing pensioners in respect of any temporary increase of means due to the pensioner's re-employment on account of shortage of labour arising out of and during the War, provided that there is no evidence of a desire to pay, on account of the pension, less than the proper rates of wages.