To ask the Minister for Local Government if he has received a copy of a resolution adopted by the Gort Pensions Committee, asking that the Census Returns of 1901 should be made available in order to facilitate claimants applying for Old Age Pensions, and if so, what action he proposes taking in the matter.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. [ORAL ANSWERS.] - OLD AGE PENSIONS.
A copy of the resolution referred to was received. The reason the Census Returns of 1901 have not been made available for search or inspection is that the Forms had been filled up under promise that the particulars given therein would not be made public and that the information would be used merely for statistical purposes. The question whether such undertaking ing should be departed from in the public interest has been carefully considered. Up to the present it has not appeared desirable to adopt that course. It has been found that in the filling up of such forms prior to the passing of the Old Age Pension Acts where the dates of birth were unknown there was a tendency on the part of those concerned to understate their ages. For that reason it is felt that the 1901 Records might not be of much help in facilitating claimants.