Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - I.R.A. Pensions.

asked the Minister for Defence if he is aware that there are still numbers of people who, for various reasons, failed to avail of the recent extension of the period for making application for service medals and I.R.A. pensions; and, if so, if he will introduce proposals for legislation allowing a further extension in an endeavour to satisfy all requirements.

Further applications for medals will be accepted provided the applicants furnish satisfactory explanations as to their failure to apply before the 30th January, 1950, but medals granted under such circumstances do not render applicants eligible to apply for special allowances under the Army Pensions Acts.

The time limit for the acceptance of applications under the Military Service Pensions Acts has been extended to the 7th June, 1952, in the cases of persons who have not previously applied under these Acts, provided they furnish satisfactory explanations as to their failure to apply before the 1st January, 1926, in the case of applicants under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, and before the 1st January, 1946, in the case of applicants under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934.

Is the Minister aware that very many potential applicants both for service medals and for military pensions, who are in foreign lands or who live even in remote areas in this country, did not realise that there was a final date for application? Because of these circumstances, would he not extend the period so that everybody may be satisfied in connection with this matter?

The Deputy must be surely aware that the 1924 Act is 27 years in existence and the 1934 Act 17 years in existence. During the intervening period, numerous extensions of time were made in order to facilitate people who for one reason or another had not applied earlier. I think it would be bringing the Acts into ridicule to continue extending the final dates for application and I do not intend to do so.

As so many extensions have already been made, would the Minister not consider making one further extension?

Let us hear no more about extensions.