The House of Commons has been occupied during the week
With the report stage and the third reading of the Old-Age
Pensions Bill. On Tuesday Mr. Harold Cox attempted to induce the Government, but without success, to abandon the sliding-scale and restore their original proposal of a 5s. pension. Mr. Cox proposed that no person should be pensionable unless he had engaged in useful work for, not fewer than a hundred and twenty-six weeks between the ages of- sixty-seven and seventy; and, that his earnings had not exceeded 20s. a week. The problem, declared Mr. Cox, was whether pensions were to be rewards for industry or subsidies to poverty. Under the Bill it would be possible for people who had done no work to obtain pensions. The Socialists claimed pensions for the veterans of industry, yet they were content that pensions should be given to the parasites of society. In the end the Chancellor of the Exchequer refused to agree to Mr. Cox's proposal, which was negatived by a large majority.