CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - PENSIONS APPEAL TRIBUNAL (BRITISH PENSIONS).

asked the President whether he will ask for a return from the Pensions Appeal Tribunal (British Pensions), South Frederick Street, Dublin, showing the number of cases considered by them within the past 18 months, the number of appeals allowed, the number rejected, and the number of dependents and ex-service men who had their pensions reduced, and the cause for the reduction; further, whether he will secure the same information from the Ministry of Pensions, Dunlop House, Dublin.

This tribunal is not under the control of the Government of Saorstát Eireann and I am consequently not in a position to ask for the returns referred to.

Arising out of the President's reply, I would like to ask whether the British Authorities have the right to reduce pensioners' allowances without any regard to the circumstances in these cases, or whether it is the intention of this Government to protect the citizens of the Free State from these undue cuts that are now taking place?

The Government, as I have stated, has got no control whatever over this Committee.

Will the President make representations to the proper authorities to secure, and to safeguard, the interests of these Irish citizens?

That is another question, and I do not know that it is possible to do so.

Is it not possible for this Government to make representations to the Colonial Secretary, or through whatever medium is the proper one, to see that this British Committee should look after the interests of Irish citizens?

I do not think that this Dáil, if it were made aware that representations were made to us as to how we should conduct our business with regard to any persons placed in the same position in Great Britain, would be satisfied that such representations should be made to us. If that be our view in regard to that question, I do not see how we could interfere in a matter which concerns them.

Surely the President will admit——

Order. That is entering upon an argument.