§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, he rose not for the purpose of opposing the third reading of this measure, but to ask the Government for an estimate of the expense which its provisions would entail on the country.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
stated, in reply, that the increase of expenditure consequent upon the passing of the Bill might possibly be £70,000 a year at the utmost, taking into account the additions to be made by taking in a new class of officers, and the possible effect of an alteration in the scale. £40,000 was estimated as the possible addition by taking in the officers of the Post Office, £10,000 by admitting other officers, and £20,000 by an alteration in the scale. The hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Wilson) who had paid much attention to the subject, originally estimated the total increase in the expenditure at £100,000, but his (Sir S. North-cote's) belief was, that £50,000 would be nearer the truth.
§ SIR DENHAM NORREYS
said, he considered this was one of the most improper and uncalled-for Bills the House 1523 had ever passed. It was founded on a promise of a revision of salaries, but that revision had never been and probably never would be, carried out; and yet the Bill would inflict a burden of £70,000 upon the country. He should feel pleasure in having recorded what would probably be his last vote in this Parliament against that Bill.
§ MR. DRUMMOND
said, the Bill was a most improper one, both in principle and detail. If it were just in principle, which he denied, every banker and merchant ought to provide superannuation allowances for his clerks and every private person for his servants.
§ MR. WEGUELIN
said, that as one of the Commissioners who had originally investigated this subject, he was desirous of expressing his belief that the Bill contained the only practical conclusion that could be come to upon it. The revision of salaries referred to could only be prospective, as it was almost impossible to reduce the salaries of existing officers. The Bill might throw an additional charge upon the revenue for the present, but ultimately it would result in a saving to the country.
§ Bill read 3° and passed.