§ Mr. BYRNE
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that difficulty is experienced with old age pensioners in Irish-speaking districts in Ireland caused by the fact that the pension officers cannot speak Irish; is he aware that in one station in Galway there are upwards of 600 old age pensioners unable to speak English; and will he take steps to appoint Irish-speaking officers in Irish-speaking districts such as the one referred to?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am not aware that the fact that a pension officer cannot speak Irish prejudices in any way the interests of claimants for old age pensions, and I do not know of any station in Galway answering the description in question. In selecting pension officers for Irish-speaking districts preference is given as far as passible to Irish-speaking officers, but it is not possible to ensure that all pension officers in these districts should know Irish.