CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - ALLOWANCES TO DEPENDANTS.

To ask the Minister for Defence if he is aware that great dissatisfaction still prevails in consequence of allowances to dependants of National Soldiers not being more speedily dealt with; if, to prevent this delay, he will consider the advisability of adopting the system that prevailed during the European War, when Old Age Pensions Committees in the different areas in consultation with the Customs Officers were allowed to express an opinion on each claim.

So far as I am aware, Old Age Pensions Committees had nothing to do with the investigation of claims for Separation Allowance during the European War, but Customs and Excise officers, who were also Old Age Pension officers, did make the necessary enquiries. The same system has been adopted by us.

Might I ask the Minister if he will make inquiries in respect of this matter? What I said is a fact, because I was a member of a Committee myself.

There is nothing to prevent Old-Age Pensions Committees interesting themselves in any cases that come to their notice, but, as far as the practical work is concerned, the assurance the officials give us is sufficient.

What becomes of the claim if an unfavourable report is sent up by pension officers from any area?

It is open to the person to make an appeal against it, but it must be understood that there is a final Court of Appeal.