Oral Answers to Questions — Old Age Pensions.

– in the House of Commons on 10th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Robert Taylor Mr Robert Taylor , Morpeth

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether detailed instructions have been issued to the Assistance Boards in relation to noncontributory old age pensioners and supplementary pensions; and whether such information will be supplied to Members of the House of Commons?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

I assume my hon. Friend is referring to the administrative concession announced on 3rd February to avoid the withdrawal of supplementary pensions in certain cases. I understand that the instructions necessary to give effect to this concession have been issued by the Departments concerned. As regards the second part of the Question, the instructions are necessarily of a detailed and technical character. It is not the practice for executive directions of this nature given by Government Departments to their officers to be made available in the way suggested, but if my hon. Friend has any other point in mind and will give me particulars, I will look at it.

Photo of Mr Robert Taylor Mr Robert Taylor , Morpeth

Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not realise that, as this is a complicated matter, if it is to be left entirely to the officers concerned many old people will be unable to take advantage of this very valuable concession?

Photo of Captain Harry Crookshank Captain Harry Crookshank , Gainsborough

The hon. Member must not be under any misapprehension. There are not very many people involved. It is a concession which was found to be necessary, and, if the hon. Member will study my reply of 3rd February, he will see that there are very few cases which can arise. Where they do arise we are very happy to be able to deal with them.