37 1936

Next (FIRST SCHEDULE)

No. 37/1936:

CONNAUGHT RANGERS (PENSIONS) ACT, 1936


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF PENSIONS, ALLOWANCES, AND GRATUITIES TO OR IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN FORMER MEMBERS OF THE 1ST BATTALION, THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS, AND TO MAKE PROVISION FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID.[8th August, 1936.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Definitions.

1. —In this Act—

the expression "the Minister" means the Minister for Defence;

the expression "the Mutiny" means the mutiny of certain members of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, which took place in June and July, 1920, at Solon and Jullundur in India;

the expression "the General Court-martial" means the British General Court-martial which assembled in August, 1920, at Dagshai in India for the purposes of trying certain members of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, on charges arising out of the Mutiny;

the expression "army service" means British army service preceding the Mutiny together with any period spent in prison or internment awaiting trial by the General Court-martial and any period spent in prison following on a sentence by the General Court-martial;

the expression "long service" means army service amounting to more than twelve years;

the expression "pre-1918 short service" means army service which does not exceed twelve years and which commenced before the 18th day of April, 1918;

the expression "post-1918 short service" means army service which does not exceed twelve years and which commenced on or after the 18th day of April, 1918;

the expression "period of national service" means, in relation to any person whose army service is long service, the period which commenced at the expiration of his army service and ended at the expiration of a number of days equal to the number of days by which his army service fell short of twenty-one years;

the word "wound" means an interruption of the normal continuity of body tissue caused by direct or indirect violence but does not include any injury due to the serious negligence or misconduct of the person suffering therefrom;

the word "disablement" means an injury of a permanent nature resulting in impairment of function caused by wound or disease and not due to the serious negligence or misconduct of the person suffering therefrom;

the expression "degree of disablement" when used in relation to a disablement means the degree of disablement assessed in respect of such disablement by the Army Pensions Board.

"Qualified persons.".

2. —In this Act the expression "a qualified person" means a person in respect of whom the Minister certifies that—

( a ) he was a member of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, and

( b ) he joined in the Mutiny, and

( c ) he was, in consequence of so joining, sentenced by the General Court-martial to death, penal servitude, or imprisonment for any term of not less than twelve months.

Service pensions.

3. —(1) There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose army service is long service, a pension (in this Act referred to as a long service pension) payable during his life.

(2) A long service pension payable to any person shall be as follows, that is to say:—

( a ) in case such person did not at the date of the Mutiny hold the substantive rank of corporal or substantive higher non-commissioned rank, such pension shall consist of an allowance at the rate of two shillings and sevenpence halfpenny per day;

( b ) in case such person held at the date of the Mutiny the substantive rank of corporal, such pension shall consist of—

(i) an allowance at the rate of two shillings and sevenpence halfpenny per day, and

(ii) an additional allowance at the rate of one halfpenny per day for each complete year of his pensionable service during which he held the substantive rank of corporal;

( c ) in case such person held at the date of the Mutiny the substantive rank of sergeant or substantive higher non-commissioned rank, such pension shall consist of—

(i) an allowance at the rate of two shillings and sevenpence halfpenny per day, and

(ii) an additional allowance at the rate of one penny per day for each complete year of his pensionable service during which he held the substantive rank of sergeant or substantive higher non-commissioned rank, and

(iii) an additional allowance at the rate of one halfpenny per day for each complete year (if any) of his British Army service preceding the Mutiny during which he held the substantive rank of corporal.

(3) For the purposes of sub-section (2) of this section—

( a ) the pensionable service of a person shall be taken to be the sum of his army service and his period of notional service;

( b ) a person who at the date of the Mutiny held any substantive non-commissioned rank shall be deemed to have continued to have held that rank during the period commencing on the date of the Mutiny and ending at the expiration of his period of national service;

( c ) in the case of a person who held at the date of the Mutiny the substantive rank of corporal, the number of complete years during which he held the substantive rank of corporal shall be taken to be the result obtained by dividing by three hundred and sixty-five a number equal to the number of days during which he held that substantive rank or a substantive higher non-commissioned rank, any fraction being disregarded;

( d ) in the case of a person who held at the date of the Mutiny the substantive rank of sergeant or a substantive higher non-commissioned rank—

(i) the number of complete years during which he held the substantive rank of sergeant or substantive higher non-commissioned rank shall be taken to be the result obtained by dividing by three hundred and sixty-five a number equal to the number of days during which he held the substantive rank of sergeant or substantive higher non-commissioned rank, any fraction being disregarded, and

(ii) the number of complete years (if any) during which he held the substantive rank of corporal shall be taken to be the result obtained by dividing by three hundred and sixty-five a number equal to the number of days during which he held the substantive rank of corporal, any fraction being disregarded.

(4) There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose army service is pre-1918 short service a pension (in this section referred to as a short service pension) payable during his life at the rate of ten shillings and sixpence per week.

(5) The expression "a service pension" where it occurs in the subsequent provisions of this Act shall be construed as equivalent to the words "a long service pension or a short service pension."

Service gratuities.

4. —There may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be granted to a qualified person whose army service is post-1918 short service a gratuity (in this Act referred to as a service gratuity) of such amount (not exceeding one hundred and fifty pounds) as the Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

Wound pensions and gratuities.

5. —(1) Where a qualified person is suffering from a disablement caused by a wound certified by the Minister to be attributable to the Mutiny or to circumstances directly arising out of the Mutiny, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

( a ) if the degree of such disablement at the date of his examination by the Army Pensions Board is not less than twenty per cent. there may, in addition to a service pension or a service gratuity, be granted to such person a pension (in this Act referred to as a wound pension) payable during his life at, in case his army service is long service, the rate mentioned in the third column of the First Schedule to this Act opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the second column of that Schedule or, in case his army service is pre-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the fourth column of that Schedule opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said second column or, in case his army service is post-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the fifth column of that Schedule, opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said second column;

( b ) if the degree of such disablement at the date of his examination by the Army Pensions Board is less than twenty per cent. there may, in addition to a service pension or a service gratuity, be granted to such person a gratuity (in this Act referred to as a wound gratuity) of such amount (not exceeding thirty pounds) as the Minister, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

(2) Where a person is suffering from any of the disablements mentioned in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act, the degree of such person's disablement shall, for the purposes of this section, be the degree set out in the second column of that Schedule opposite to the disablement from which such person is suffering.

(3) In the case of a person who is suffering from a disablement, caused by a wound, not mentioned in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act, the degree of such person's disablement for the purposes of this section shall be the degree assessed in that behalf by the Army Pensions Board.

Disability pensions.

6. —Where a qualified person is suffering from a disablement caused by disease certified by the Minister to be attributable to the Mutiny or to circumstances directly arising out of the Mutiny and the degree of such disablement is at the date of his examination by the Army Pensions Board not less than eighty per cent. there may, in addition to a service pension or a service gratuity, be granted to such person a pension (in this Act referred to as a disability pension) payable during his life at, in case his army service is long service, the rate mentioned in the second column of the Second Schedule to this Act opposite the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the first column of that Schedule or, in case his army service is pre-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the third column of that Schedule opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said first column or, in case his Army service is post-1918 short service, the rate mentioned in the fourth column of that Schedule, opposite to the appropriate degree of disablement mentioned in the said first column.

Double disablement.

7. —Where—

( a ) a person is suffering from a disablement (in this section referred to as the disease disablement) caused by a disease the degree of which is less than eighty per cent. and the circumstances are such that such person could be granted a disability pension in respect of the disease disablement if the degree of disablement had equalled or exceeded eighty per cent., and

( b ) such person is also suffering from a disablement (in this section referred to as the wound disablement) caused by a wound in respect of which he could be granted a wound pension, or could, if the degree of disablement had equalled or exceeded twenty per cent., be granted a wound pension,

then, for the purposes of the two immediately preceding sections the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(i) the degree of his disablement shall be the sum total of the degree of the disease disablement and the degree of the wound disablement,

(ii) if the said sum total exceeds one hundred per cent., the degree of disablement shall be reckoned as one hundred per cent.,

(iii) the whole of his disablement shall be deemed to have been caused by the wound.

Dependants allowances.

8. —(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, there may, on account of the death of any person to whom this section applies, be granted the following allowances, that is to say:—

( a ) to the widow of such person, an allowance (in this Act referred to as a dependant's allowance) payable during widowhood at the rate of ten shillings per week;

( b ) if and so long as there are two or more children of such person under the age of sixteen years—

(i) to the eldest or elder of such children, an allowance (in this Act also referred to as a dependant's allowance) at the rate of five shillings per week,

(ii) in case there are three or more such children, to each of such children (other than the eldest) or, in case there are two such children only, to the younger of such children an allowance (in this Act also referred to as a dependant's allowance) at the rate of three shillings per week;

( c ) if and so long as there is one child only of such person under the age of sixteen years, to such child an allowance (in this Act also referred to as a dependant's allowance) at the rate of five shillings per week.

(2) There may, on account of the death of any person to whom, by virtue of sub-section (4) of this section, this section applies, be granted to the father of such person an allowance (in this Act referred to as a dependant's allowance) payable during his life at the rate of ten shillings per week.

(3) This section applies to every person who is certified by the Minister—

( a ) to have been a member of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, and

( b ) to have joined in the Mutiny, and

( c ) to have been killed in the Mutiny.

(4) This section also applies to every person who is certified by the Minister—

( a ) to have been a member of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, and

( b ) to have joined in the Mutiny, and

( c ) to have been executed in accordance with a sentence passed by the General Court-martial.

(5) This section also applies to every person—

( a ) who is certified by the Minister—

(i) to have been a member of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, and

(ii) to have joined in the Mutiny, and

(iii) to have been sentenced, in consequence of his so joining, by the General Court-martial to death, penal servitude or imprisonment for any term not less than twelve months, and

( b ) who died before the date of the passing of this Act, and

( c ) whose death is certified by the Minister to have been attributable to wound or disease arising out of the mutiny.

(6) No dependant's allowance shall be granted under this section to the widow of a person to whom, by virtue of sub-section (5) of this section, this section applies, if the marriage took place after the 30th day of June, 1920.

(7) No dependant's allowance shall be granted under this section to the child of a person to whom, by virtue of sub-section (5) of this section, this section applies, if the marriage of such person to the mother of such child took place after the 30th day of June, 1920.

Application for pension etc.

9. —(1) Every application for pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall be made not later than the 31st day of December, 1937.

(2) Every application for a pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall be made to the Minister in such form as the Minister may direct and shall contain such particulars as the Minister may require.

(3) Every person applying for a pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall, when required by the Minister so to do, furnish to the Minister all such information as the Minister may require for the consideration of the application.

(4) The Minister may require any statement of fact made in an application for a pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act or made to the Minister in response to a request for information under the immediately preceding sub-section to be verified by the statutory declaration of some person having, personal knowledge of the facts so stated.

Reference of application for wound pensions, wound gratuities, disability pensions and dependants' allowances to the Army Pensions Board.

10. —(1) Every application for the grant of a wound pension, a wound gratuity, a disability pension, or a dependant's allowance shall be referred by the Minister to the Army Pensions Board.

(2) Whenever an application is referred to the Army Pensions Board under this section, they shall report to the Minister on such matters arising on such application as they may be requested by the Minister to report upon, and for the purposes of such report shall cause such application to be investigated in such manner as the Minister may direct.

(3) The Army Pensions Board may for the purposes of carrying out the duties imposed on them by this Act make all such inquiries, summon all such witnesses and take such evidence on oath (which any member is hereby authorised to administer) or otherwise, as they may deem necessary.

Assessment of degrees of disability.

11. —Whenever the Army Pensions Board report that a person, who is an applicant for a disability pension, is suffering from a disablement caused by disease they shall assess and state in such report the degree of disablement from which such person is suffering.

(2) Every assessment under this section of a degree of disablement shall be made on a percentage basis, and total disablement shall be assessed at one hundred per cent., and every disablement less than total disablement shall be assessed as a percentage of total disablement.

Grant and commencement of pensions, etc.

12. —(1) Every award of a pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall be made by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

(2) Every pension and dependant's allowance under this Act shall commence from the 1st day of October, 1934, and shall be payable monthly in arrear.

Application of pensions, etc., in certain cases.

13. —(1) Where the Minister is satisfied that any person, who is in receipt of a service pension, a wound pension, or a disability pension, is under a legal obligation to maintain his wife and children or any of them and is neglecting to fulfil such obligation, such pension may, if and whenever and for so long as the Minister so directs, in lieu of being paid to such person, be paid to his wife or applied, in such manner as the Minister thinks fit, for the benefit of his child or children.

(2) A dependant's allowance payable to a child under the age of sixteen who is not an orphan shall be payable to the mother of such child, but the Minister may from time to time direct that such allowance shall, in lieu of being paid to the mother of such child, be paid to some other person for the benefit of the child.

(3) A dependant's allowance payable to an orphan child under the age of sixteen years shall be paid to such person as the Minister may from time to time direct for the benefit of the child.

Offences.

14. —(1) If any person, with a view to obtaining for himself or any other person a grant or payment of any pension, gratuity or dependant's allowance under this Act, makes, signs, or uses any declaration, application, or other written statement knowing the same to be false, such person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act, and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds, or, at the discretion of the Court, either to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) If any person convicted of an offence under this section is in receipt of any pension of dependant's allowance obtained by reason of any such false declaration, application or other written statement, he shall forfeit such pension or allowance as on and from the date of such conviction.

(3) For the purposes of proceedings in respect of an offence under this section, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed either at the place where it was actually committed or any place where the offender may happen to be.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, a prosecution for an offence under this section may be brought within six months after the date when evidence to sustain the prosecution came to the notice of the Minister, and a certificate under the hand of the Minister as to the date on which evidence to sustain such prosecution came to his notice shall for the purposes of this sub-section be conclusive.

Revocation of pension and allowances.

15. —(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Executive Council may at any time by order revoke for reasons stated in such order any pension or dependant's allowance granted under this Act.

(2) No pension or dependant's allowance under this Act shall be so revoked unless or until the reasons for such revocation have been communicated in writing to the person in receipt thereof and such person has been given a reasonable opportunity of making to the Executive Council such explanation, answer or other case he may think proper in relation to such proposed revocation or the reasons thereof.

(3) Every order made by the Executive Council under this section shall be published in the Iris Oifigiúil as soon as may be after it is made.

Forfeiture of pensions and dependants' allowances.

16. —If any person to whom a pension or dependant's allowance has been granted under this Act is, during the continuance of such pension or allowance, convicted of any crime or offence by a court of competent jurisdiction in Saorstát Eireann and sentenced by that court for that crime or offence to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term exceeding three months or to penal servitude for any term, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

( a ) such pension or dependant's allowance shall be forfeited as on and from the date of such conviction;

( b ) if such conviction and sentence is quashed or annulled, the forfeiture consequent on such conviction and sentence shall be deemed to have been quashed or annulled also, and such pension or dependant's allowance shall be thereupon revived and payable together with all arrears thereof accruing since the date of such conviction.

Prohibition of assignment, etc., of pensions and gratuities and dependants' allowances.

17. —(1) Every assignment of and every charge on and every agreement to assign or charge any pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall, except so far as the same is authorised by an Act for the time being in force, be null and void.

(2) No pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance under this Act shall be capable of being taken in execution or otherwise alienated by process of law for the payment of any debts or liabilities of the person to whom such pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance is granted.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the deduction from any pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance payable under this Act of any moneys which may be due and owing to any Minister, head of a Department of State, or any public department of the Government of Saorstát Eireann by the person to whom such pension, gratuity, or dependant's allowance is payable.

Suspension and prohibition of double pensions.

18. —(1) If any person to whom a service pension is payable under this Act shall at any time during the continuance of such pension be in receipt of any remuneration, pension (other than a wound pension or a disability pension payable under this Act) or allowance payable out of public moneys, whether provided by the Oireachtas or out of the Central Fund or by means of the poor rate or any other rate imposed by a local authority, the said service pension shall, while he is in receipt of such remuneration, pension or allowance, be suspended to an extent calculated according to the rules contained in the Third Schedule to this Act.

(2) Where—

( a ) a person is entitled to a long service pension, and

( b ) such person's army service is less than twenty-one years, and

( c ) such person served in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann for any period (in this sub-section referred to as the period of civil service) which fell within his period of national service,

such person shall not be entitled to reckon the period of civil service for the purposes of a superannuation allowance under the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1923, as amended by any subsequent enactment, unless he surrenders a part of the said long service pension which bears to the whole of the said long service pension the same proportion as the period of civil service bears to twenty-one years.

Determination of certain matters.

19. —Every question arising under this Act in relation to any of the following matters, that is to say:—

( a ) the period of army service of a qualified person and the date of commencement of such service,

( b ) the substantive non-commissioned rank (if any) held, at the date of the Mutiny, by a qualified person,

( c ) in the case of a qualified person who held a particular substantive non-commissioned rank at the date of the Mutiny, the period or periods during which he held such non-commissioned rank or any substantive lower or higher non-commissioned rank before the date of the Mutiny,

( d ) the period of notional service of a qualified person whose army service was long service,

shall be determined by the Minister and the determination of the Minister shall be final and conclusive, and binding on all persons and tribunals whatsoever.

Travelling expenses and subsistence.

20. —(1) Payments for travelling expenses and for subsistence allowance may, in accordance with regulations made under sub-section (2) of this section, be made by the Minister, out of moneys Provided by the Oireachtas, to applicants for wound pensions, wound gratuities and disability pensions when attending in the city or county of Dublin for medical examination by direction of the Army Pensions Board and to persons attending in the city or county of Dublin as witnesses before the Army Pensions Board pursuant to a summons by the Army Pensions Board.

(2) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by order make regulations prescribing the amounts of the payments which may he made for travelling expenses and subsistence allowance under the immediately preceding sub-section and the circumstances in which and conditions under which such payments may be made.

Expenses.

21. —(1) All pensions, gratuities, and dependants' allowances payable under this Act shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

(2) All other expenses incurred in carrying this Act into execution shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

22.—This Act may be cited as the Connaught Rangers (Pensions) Act, 1936 .