asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the case of Mr. H. A. Pendrey, 49, Henley Street, Stratford-on-Avon, who suffered the financial loss of £5 7s. 6d. because of the theft of his wallet, which contained his pensioner's tobacco tokens; and, in view of the serious financial hardship which is caused in cases such as this, whether he is prepared to consider amending the present regulations with regard to tobacco tokens issued to pensioners, so that they can be replaced in such circumstances.
The hon. Member has written to my right hon. Friend about this case, and I appreciate that the loss of the token may be a serious misfortune to Mr. Pendrey; but I fear that, as has been explained on several previous occasions, token books lost by accident or theft must be regarded in the same light as currency notes and postage stamps, and cannot be replaced.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in view of the constantly rising cost of living, these tobacco tokens are really a godsend to pensioners? Cannot he devise a scheme whereby they are linked by number or name to the identity cards of pensioners, so that they can be cancelled if they are lost and new ones issued?
The hon. Member no doubt realises that, at the end of a period, a pensioner can get a new token.
Will the hon. Gentleman go into the question of whether it is possible to issue these tokens more frequently than once a year, so that if an old age pensioner lost or burned his coupons, he would not have to wait a considerable time for their renewal?
I will certainly consider that.