HC Deb 29 May 1865 vol 179 cc1019-35

Order for Second Beading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


said, that he begged, on the part of the gentlemen affected by the Bill, to recognize the interest taken by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cardwell) in the colonial service, as indicated by that measure. The Bill was a step in the right direction, although as it stood it did not meet the real requirements of the case and would not work. In introducing such a measure the first object should be to make it a measure which should give, if not universal, at any rate general satisfaction to the service, and not one the benefits of which would be confined to a very small part of it. These gentlemen were sent out to fill high and important posts, often in unhealthful climes. They were not merely colonial officers, but were the immediate representatives of the Sovereign, and after twelve or eighteen years' service, upon salaries out of which it was impossible for them to do justice to their position and save a sixpence, they returned home to be thrown upon the world penniless unless they happened to have private fortunes. The Bill required an active service of eighteen years from a Colonial Governor before he could receive a pension. In other words, he must have held three separate Governments. But at the present moment he believed there were not more than two officers in the service who would receive any advantage from the measure if that condition were insisted upon. One distinguished officer had served seventeen years and two months, and he would be entirely shut out. Colonial Governments were generally granted for six years, and it was very difficult to obtain three in succession. Moreover, where three were obtained it was still difficult to make out the eighteen years, because something or other perhaps occurred which caused a Governor to be recalled a year or two before his full term, and if he had served but sixteen years when he came back he would not be entitled to a pension. He certainly thought the term ought to be fixed at twelve years, and that after such a period of service as that it was neither to the credit nor the dignity of this country that a Colonial Governor should be left without the means of support, unless he possessed a private fortune, which might not be the case. But these gentlemen would be satisfied if the right hon. Gentleman would fix the term at fifteen years, which would generally cover the time represented by three distinct appointments. Another provision of the Bill was that no Colonial Governor should be entitled to a pension until he was sixty years of ago. That rule was, he knew, based upon the principle adopted in the Civil Service; but an officer of the Civil Service received regular employment till he was sixty, whereas a Colonial Governor, after holding three appointments, depended upon the will of the Secretary of State whether he obtained further employment or not. Supposing a man to have been sent out at thirty to his first Colonial Governorship, and to have served eighteen years mostly in sickly climates, he would return home at forty-eight years of age. He might ask for another Governorship and happen to be refused it; and then he would have to walk up and down the street waiting for his pension for another twelve years until he was sixty. He would suggest, therefore, that instead of sixty the age should be fixed at fifty, always providing that up to sixty the officer should be required to accept employment if it were offered to him. Another provision of the Bill was that where any officer had administered the government of any colony or colonies, and had also been employed in the permanent service of Her Majesty, but was not entitled to a pension under the preceding clauses of the Bill, the number of years passed in such Colonial Governments should, for the purpose of computing any superannuation allowance to be granted to him under the Superannuation Act of 1859, be taken to have been passed in the Civil Service of Her Majesty. Let them omit the word "permanent" from that clause and not cast a slur on the colonial civil service, time spent in which ought to be allowed to count. He would suggest in Committee a modification of the clause. He saw the other day in that great influential organ of public opinion The Times of the 12th inst., a very able article on that subject, from which he would take the liberty of quoting the following passage:— Now, doubtless, this scheme has been copied from the English Superannuation Act. But, as you will see, the cases are not analogous. The civil servant in England, whether in the Treasury, the Admiralty, or the Foreign Office, is during his whole period of service in the receipt of a salary—a salary, too, which is continually increasing with the duration of his employment. He receives this up to the moment when his pension becomes due. The salary and the pension, so to speak, coalesce. He knows no intermediate condition between that of full pay and pension. But the case of a Colonial Governor is wholly different. He is appointed for six years. When the six years are over he is not sure of being appointed to another Government. He has no absolute right or claim to such a re-appointment. The writer went on very forcibly to point out the loss in most cases to which the Colonial Governor had to submit. Well, then, at a time when the colonies were attracting so much public attention, when their relations with us were becoming so much more difficult to maintain, and when almost the only possible link of connection was the appointment of the Governors, it was of the utmost importance in introducing a measure of this kind to satisfy the just demands of those officers. It was a I disgrace to this country that a distinguished officer like Sir Francis Head should be able to say— In short, my deliberate opinion about colonial service is this:—The public, in this department, is the worst master a man worth anything can have. Under the present system there is no career, properly so called, and an able man who devotes himself to the colonies makes a great and serious mistake. It may be, in many cases, that a man cannot help himself; but I speak of those who have an opportunity of advisedly selecting their line of life. It is not a comfortable reflection, after spending the best part of one's life in the public service, to find that the provision thought equitable in other cases is denied specially in yours. Whether a man can or cannot do without it, there must be a certain bitterness of feeling generated by the contrast. Well, that was the feeling which prevailed, and which was represented in the great organ of public opinion. It was stated in The Times not Very long ago, that— The colonial pay for all grades and departments is so small that it is almost impossible to save anything, and few men come home without getting into debt or encroaching on their private fortune. It was the knowledge of this which had induced his right hon. Friend (Mr. Card well) to bring in the Bill. He knew a case, and his right hon. Friend also knew it, of a man of distinction whose salary in a climate not very good was only £500 a year. What could such a man representing his Sovereign save out of £500 a year? Salaries, which at one time were £5,000 a year and more, had been reduced to £1,000, £2,000 or £3,000. Seeing that greater efficiency had been shown in no other service, when a Bill was introduced with a view of granting pensions to Colonial Governors whose salaries had been reduced to the lowest point, it should have been of such a nature as to give satisfaction, while it did not call upon the House to give its assent to anything which should appear to be exaggerated. At all events, he would say, let justice be done to gentlemen who had done such services to their country.


said, he thought that there were many defects in this Bill. In his opinion it was far too exclusive. It proposed only to reward officers who had passed almost their lives in filling these offices. It was not a continuous service, and a man might serve here and there and have great intervening periods between his different appointments, which would deprive him of a pension; and therefore he thought that the Bill would not give that satisfaction to gentlemen in this service that it was desirable they should feel. He was greatly disappointed that the Bill confined pensions exclusively to cases of length of service. The House should consider how appointments of this kind were made, and that they were different from the rest of the Civil Service appointments. The gentlemen in question were selected exclusively at the discretion of the Colonial Minister, and he might or might not continue to employ them. He (Sir William Jolliffe) could not see why the Minister's discretion should be exercised only in this way, nor why in the case of great and distinguished services he should not have the power to recompense those services. He had the honour last year to bring before the House the case of Sir Francis Head, who many years since rendered services to this country which were quite un- paralleled, and who had for all those years been deprived of any compensation for such services. He had been without employment and without reward. He gave up an appointment of £1,000 and acceptor the Governorship of Canada at a moment's notice. He (Sir "William Jolliffe) was quite satisfied that if the way in which Sir Francis Head left the service was thoroughly sifted, the whole world would acknowledge that he had been treated in a manner that was not creditable to the country, which he had served so well. Last year, he (Sir William Jolliffe) made some observations upon this matter, which his right hon. Friend (Mr. Cardwell) very kindly considered; and, among other things, he had urged that a Bill like this should contain provisions to meet this particular case. His right hon. Friend made some observations as to granting pensions for distinguished services where the length of time had not been served; and this had raised his hopes in reference to Sir Francis Head. This gentleman had received the highest possible testimonials from Lord Durham and many other distinguished persons, showing that his case was one that merited consideration. He (Sir William Jolliffe) had written to him asking his permission to read to the House a letter which he had been so kind as to address to him, and which letter described the case. Sir Francis, after making some comments upon a speech of Mr. Cardwell, delivered on the 11th July, 1864, said— In the printed Bill now before the House of Commons this morning, no such provision exists; and as no one can be more desirous than I am to uphold the monarchical principle that a reward for public services can emanate solely from the Minister of the Crown, I feel that the only course I have to pursue is, without a moment's delay, to request you to be so good as to state in the House of Commons, in my behalf, that in perfect good humour, and without the smallest complaint, I bow to the adverse decision of the Queen's Government, which excludes me in my 73rd year from any portion of the rewards proposed by Her Majesty's Ministers to be given retrospectively to the bygone services of other Colonial Governors. Although I clearly see that it was quite right to omit in this Bill the intended clause in favour of short 'distinguished services,' which, to colonial secretaries, would always be difficult, as well as invidious, to define; yet, I feel that a short special clause, authorizing the Colonial Minister to weigh my services, instead of measuring them, might, without very much injury to the public service, have been introduced. For if, without troops, I repelled the invasion of Canada quickly, is it not rather hard that I should be excluded from reward, simply for the reason that I was not long enough about it? And is it not harder still that Parliament, after passing a 'Canada Rebel Indemnity Act,' should now proceed to pass a 'Colonial Governors' Pension Act,' deliberately excluding me, who suppressed rebellion, from the indemnification they awarded to those who committed rebellion? Lastly, while the President of the United States, at this moment, is expounding, as a republican doctrine, that 'though murder is a crime, arson is a crime, yet that the greatest of all crimes is treason,' is it not rather strange that the monarchical Parliament of Great Britain should, by two separate enactments, not only pardon, but reward the Queen's enemies in Canada; and, on the other hand, neglect one who, by obediently giving up an appointment of £1,000 a year, has literally sacrificed £27,000, by successfully defending, as Her Majesty's representative, in that remote region, her laws, her territory, and her people? It is possible history may argue that I have been, by my country, roughly dealt with. She shall, however, have no just cause to say, that, insensible of the blessings I have enjoyed, I was foolish enough, and ungrateful enough, to die … discontented. The letter was honourable to the writer, and a touching appeal to the justice of the House and the country. In Committee he should make a suggestion, and he hoped it would be possible by some clauses in the Bill to embrace the case of Sir Francis Head.


said, he wished to call attention to the case of a gentleman—a friend of whose abilities he had full knowledge—who for fourteen years had administered the affairs of a district in one of our largest colonies, to the satisfaction of the Government, and whose claim to a pension was not included in the provisions of this Bill. He was sent out in 1839, to manage the affairs of a large district (Port Phillip), which happened at that time to be under the administration of the Governor of New South Wales. He held Her Majesty's Commission, not as Lieutenant Governor, but under the new-fangled name of Superintendent. Then the separation of the district from New South Wales took place, and he became Lieutenant Governor. During that time he was sent under the Sign Manual of Her Majesty to New Zealand. It was admitted by the Government that he had served the country for fourteen years with integrity, assiduity, and success; and yet the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Louth (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) coolly informed him in a despatch, that because for a certain portion of the time he was only called superintendent of the province over which he ruled, he could not participate in the rights which this Bill professed to give. He (Mr. Moor) challenged the production from the whole series of colonial injustice of a harsher ease than this. He had no authority to advocate this gentleman's case, and he dared say that by advocating it he was doing him injury; because he knew the Governmental mind, and that very often the espousal of the cause of a man who had been treated with injustice resulted in his further damage. This gentleman was not a man of territorial possessions; he belonged to no party; neither did he (Mr. Moor) belong to any party; he was an independent Member. It was of no use to appeal to the sense of justice in the House, because he knew that he could not bring to his support either one side of the House or the other, so that between them both, his friend was likely to go to the wall. But he would appeal to the Secretary for the Colonies, who had had all the papers before him, with his strong hand and kindness of heart, to sweep away the quibbling distinction which had been set up, and introduce some words in the Bill which should have the effect of doing justice to a man who, after fourteen years of faithful service, was blind, poor, and destitute.


said, his opinion went even further than any which had yet been expressed as to the serious evils involved in this Bill, and if any adequate amount of support was likely to be accorded, he should seek to throw it out on the second reading. The defects of the measure were threefold. It did not do well, but stintingly, what it professes—that is, what was contemplated in the Resolutions passed last year at the instance of the hon. Member for Honiton, who was the virtual author of the Bill; next, it only made provision for those who had served a certain number of years, taking no account of others, who in shorter periods might have rendered more distinguished services to their country; but its principal defect lay in the fact that it was a retrograde step from the whole of our modern colonial policy. A retrograde step is taken in beginning again to charge colonial services upon the Treasury of England. It would be for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had delivered so many able speeches on this subject, I to defend a measure opposed to all his expressed convictions. In the last century we tried to make the colonies tributary to this country by converting them into fields for the patronage of the British Crown, and seeking to gain com- mercial advantages from them. The attempt to carry out the policy forcibly lost us the most valuable colonies this country ever possessed, and then we went to the other extreme and became tributary to our colonies paying all the expenses of their Government. It was only very recently that we had become convinced of the fallacy of a system which was doing mischief to the colonies themselves, and that we had again retraced our steps, and said to the colonial subjects of Her Majesty, "You must act like the Queen's subjects at home, and pay your own expenses." Having with difficulty established that principle and induced the colonies to pay their own Governors, we were now under this measure about to resume what is, in fact, a portion of these payments; and, what is worse, to introduce a system of joint payments, which could not fail to operate mischievously. Would not the gold-digging colonies of Australia, when they saw the mother country ready to take this step, reduce the salaries of their Governors? They had already found that they had been paying too much, they had begun the reduction, and they would reduce still more, and the consequence would be that only part of the expense of their own Government would be paid by the rich taxpayers in the colonies, and part would fall upon the already sufficiently burdened English taxpayer. Of all periods for making this retrograde movement it was singular that it should come at the moment when there were hopes that the North American provinces would soon form themselves into a great confederation, undertaking their own defence, assuming their proper position as a great self-reliant country, and being no longer an embarrassment but an aid and a protection to this country. If the five united provinces of North America maintained a Governor for eighteen years, England would pay his pension when he was sixty years of age. This Governor was also to appoint the Lieutenant Governors of the confederated provinces, who, under this Bill, would nevertheless be pensioned here. The colonies now paid their own Governors out of the taxes arising within the area of their Government—that is, out of that portion of the Imperial taxation which was raised within the province of the Governorship, and by the votes of the representative Parliament of the colony; and it would be just as reasonable for a distant county in England—Cornwall for instance—to apply to the metropolitan county of Middlesex to pension out of its rates, for the economy of theirs, the Governor of one of its gaols as for this country to be asked to pension Colonial Governors. He quite agreed with the hon. Member for Honiton, that, whoever paid the pensions, they ought to be on a handsomer scale than this Bill proposed; and that any Governor who was strictly a servant of this country, and not of the colony, such as those of past times, and those over Crown colonies, ought to be pensioned on the conclusion of such service. There were many such cases, and it would be miserable policy to deny their claims, and yet to grant them in analogous cases. A proof that the Bill was vicious from its very foundations was afforded by the attempts to lessen the burden that would be inflicted by it upon the country, by shifts such as had been referred to in the course of that discussion. It mattered not what the title of the claimant was; in fact, many other kinds of colonial officers had as good a claim. Probably the worst defect of all was the ignoring of short but distinguished services. A man might have been for the prescribed number of years governing one of our colonies in the very worst manner—plunging the country into a series of Kaffir wars by his injudicious rule; maintaining a Maori strife against the advice of his own Government and the remonstrances of the Home Administration; wasting the treasure and lives of this country in Ballarat riots, and yet, under this Bill, he would receive a pension; while for such a man as Sir Francis Head, who, in a much shorter period, had rendered signal services to this country, no provision whatever was made. Sir Francis Head, in a letter, quoted the words used fey the Colonial Minister last year, to the effect that— No doubt, whatever Bill might be passed on this subject, provisions would be introduced to enable the Government to grant pensions for distinguished services, even though the specified limit of service might not have been reached. What was the principle of the Bill? To reward services. If that was so, the reward of distinguished services ought to be a primary consideration. Sir Francis Head had rendered most distinguished services to the country. Men who were rebels when he went out to assume the Governorship had become Ministers before he left. The policy having changed, his ser- vices were ignored. He had given up a lucrative appointment in this country to go out to Canada, when it was thought his services would be valuable there; but when he came back he was neither rewarded nor re-instated in the office of which he had been deprived in this country. The vigour of his administration had effected too thoroughly what he was sent to perform. All the recompense he enjoyed was that of being an honoured subject of the Queen, but a poor man. In the present state of the House, he felt that he would not be supported if he were to divide; but he proposed that in Committee they should insert words to meet the case of distinguished services, and also words to provide that pensions should not be paid by the country to Governors whose salaries had been paid by the colony.


said, he thought that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Adderley) had very successfully answered the first by the second part of his speech. He could not for a moment agree with his right hon. Friend that from the fact of a Governor's salary having been paid by the colony the Crown should not, therefore, grant pensions for services rendered to it in any part of the world. His right hon. Friend apprehended that the colonies which paid the salaries of those Governors would reduce those salaries when they found that pensions were to be paid by the country; and he had mentioned the case of Victoria as a colony in which the salary of the Governors was being reduced. But why was that being done in Australia? Because the salary of the Governors had been raised to a very unusual amount, £15,000 a year—under pressure of the enormous rise of prices which had followed the discovery of gold there; and now that things were coming back to their level, the same reasons did not exist for the payment of such a salary. But he wished to apply himself to a much larger question. He entirely approved the principle of the Bill, but he asked to whom it would apply. He doubted very much whether it would apply to any one. He concurred with what his right hon. Friend had said with respect to Sir Francis Head, who, no doubt, was a most distinguished public servant, and had not been treated in a manner creditable to this country. He had been sent out at a very critical moment, but instead of being re warded for what he had done in Canada, he was repudiated by the Government, notwithstanding that he had been deprived of an office at home, the salary of which, £1,000 a-year, he might have enjoyed for the last twenty-seven years if he had not complied with the demand which the Government had made of him. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies would take this case into his consideration.


approved entirely of the general principle and object of the Bill. He thought it would tend to make the service more popular, and bring into it a larger number of competent men. He could not agree with his right hon. Friend (Mr. Adderley) that the colonies ought to pay these pensions. It might be quite right that as long as they enjoyed the benefit of the services of their Governors they should pay the salaries; but the House ought to look at the Bill in a more Imperial point of view as the means of obtaining a body of public servants upon whom this country could rely for the government of any colony at any time. This measure would also confer a great boon upon a meritorious class of public servants who had received hitherto but little consideration. It was rarely possible for a Colonial Governor to save much out of his salary—a saving Governor was rarely successful. Those who were popular and successful frequently spent part of their private means in addition; and they, too, often returned home, after protracted periods of service, broken in health, with habits formed in a different mode of living, with their friends dispersed or dead, their power and consequence gone, and not even a bare competence to reward them for having spent the best years of their lives in their country's service. He (Mr. Cave) looked also to another advantage from this measure. It was rarely possible to tell he-forehand whether any man would make a good Governor or not. An excellent civil servant frequently made a very indifferent Governor. This Bill took from the Secretary of State all excuse for continuing such a man in such a post, by providing that, if recalled to his former occupation, he should lose none of the time during which this as it were experimental office had lasted. But he was sorry the Bill had not gone somewhat further in the same direction, and allowed the time occupied by Governors in civil employments in the colonies themselves to count as well as the time occupied in the Civil Service at home. Surely ten years in an unhealthy country gave as valid a claim as ten years in Downing Street. He knew an instance of a Colonial Governor who was twenty years in the West Indies, ten of them ns Colonial Secretary in British Guiana before promotion to a Governorship, and though it was true that he was paid by the colony, yet he was appointed to these offices virtually by the Crown, and might be said to have been educated for the high service of this country at the expense of the colony; and it should be remembered that on his promotion he gave up another service in the colony which might eventually have led to a retiring allowance, and when it was considered how much colonial salaries had been reduced, and that there was rarely any half-pay, he thought the colonial time of these gentlemen ought to count for their pension. He also thought that the case mentioned by the Member for Brighton (Mr. Moor) was worthy of consideration. A Superintendent administered the affairs of a colony to quite as full an extent as a Lieutenant Governor, and it would be very hard if an arbitrary variation of title should deprive him of his pension. Hoping the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to introducing words in Committee to this effect, he cordially supported the second reading of the Bill.


said, he did not concur in the objections raised against the Bill by the hon. Member for North Staffordshire as involving a departure from the principle laid down for the conduct of colonial affairs by recent legislation. There were cases in which a portion of the Governor's salary should be borne by the colonies—as, for instance, that of Australia, which was very wealthy, but he could not see what impropriety there could be in the Imperial Government paying the pension in cases in which the colonies paid the salaries. Every one who had studied the question knew that peculiar difficulties arose in the government of the colonies from the circumstance that, unfortunately, the Governor was frequently a mere puppet in the hands of the Colonial Legislature, and greater difficulties still would arise if he were dependent upon the Colonial Legislature for his pension as well as for his salary. It had been said that we should abandon our colonies, but if we intended to bold them we ought to place the representative of the Queen in a position in which he could command authority, and in which the Queen, whom he represented, would be respected. Of course, it might be said that this would involve a very considerable item of charge upon the Imperial revenue, and that it might be extended still further; but that was a result which could not be avoided. When it was at first proposed to limit retiring pensions to a number of Governors holding first-class positions, he thought the proposition most objectionable. It would be unfair to grant pensions to the Governors of such colonies as Canada and Australia, who received very large salaries and resided in healthful climates, and to withhold them from those who were obliged to live in such places as Gambia and Lagos, whence they returned bankrupt in health and purse. The great merit of the Bill was its very fair and inexclusive character. In reply to what had been said as to the case of Sir Francis Head, alluded to by previous speakers, it would probably be asked, "How can you gauge distinguished services?" That was a difficulty which he was not prepared to solve, but length of service was not the only gauge of merit. If they were to exclude men like Sir Francis Head they would make what, under other circumstances, would be a very graceful act on the part of the Legislature, an act of a very different kind. As to the case of Mr. Latrobe, his exclusion because he bore the title of "Superintendent" was evidently an oversight. It would be far better if a clause could, in the first instance, be introduced into the Bill embracing cases of this kind. The main point of the measure, which he heartily approved, was that it appeared to him to tend both to encourage able men to enter the colonial service and to render them independent both during and after their service.


said, no person could have listened to the discussion which had taken place on the measure before the House without feeling that to draw up a Bill of this description was no easy task. When the right hon. Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) commenced his speech it almost appeared as if the Bill had only been successful in displeasing everybody, because it either went too far or not far enough; but as the right hon. Gentleman proceeded, it appeared that he was willing to be even more liberal than the Bill itself, but at other people's expense, and that was only nominally, for in reality it was at nobody's expense. If only those Governors who were paid by the mother country were to receive pensions he was afraid the number would be like Slender's love—"small at the beginning and decreasing on further continuance," because there were few Governors who were paid by the mother country. The Government had to discharge a difficult and divided duty, because while it was their desire to do that which would be efficacious and sufficient for the improvement of the service, it was also their bounden duty on the part of the executive Government to be careful of the public money, out of which these pensions were to come. They, therefore, had to frame rules which should be clear, precise, and intelligible, and to lay them before the House in order that it might be determined how far they should be adopted and how far they were capable of amendment. The Bill was to be of a prospective rather than a retrospective character, as it was intended to act as an inducement to gentlemen of position to become Governors of colonies so that there might be a continual supply of able men who would be capable of upholding the dignity of the Crown. He might say that he during the short time he had held office—as well as the gentlemen who had preceded him in the office he held—had done his best to find persons who were the most diligent, the most able, and in general the best fitted for the office they were to hold. The selection of the Governor of a colony was a matter of the greatest importance, and he vas certain that it was not mainly Parliamentary influence, but a conviction of the value of their services, which led to the selection of gentlemen for those offices. The desire was that those who had acquired a character in the lower branch of the service should rise by merit to the higher posts, and therefore the Government had adopted in this Bill the principle, not of a continuous, for that was impossible, but of a quasi-continuous service. Some hon. Gentleman complained that the Bill proposed to reward not distinction, but merely length of service, but that was exactly the principle of the Superannuation Act which was in force in this country. No doubt there were special cases, such as that of Sir Fenwick Williams, in which Parliament went out of its way and gave a special reward for special services; but in framing an enactment which was to be carried into execution by a Minister of the Crown, it was desirable as much as possible to lay down clear and intelligible rules, and not to place it in the power of an individual under the colour of an Act of Parliament to favour an individual. Acting upon that principle, the Government had proposed that when a gentleman had served for three Governments, or eighteen years, or for twenty-five years, partly in the civil service and partly as Governor or Lieutenant Governor, he should, on attaining sixty years of age, or if after serving for fifteen years he was permanently disabled by ill-health, immediately be entitled to a full pension. There was also a provision that any gentleman more than forty years of age, who had served twelve years as Governor, or twenty years in the Civil Service, of which he had acted for eight years as Governor, or any one who after serving ten years as Governor was permanently disabled, should be entitled to two-thirds of his full pension. The right hon. Baronet (Sir John Pakington) asked with some incredulity whether there were at present any Governors who would be benefited by this Bill. Now, although the liberality of Parliament would extend to those who had already served as well as those who had only partly served their time, it was the duty of the Government in framing the Bill to act on a principle that would tend to elevate and improve the service rather than give a benefit to those who had completed their service under different engagements. There were eighteen persons who would have vested rights under the Bill as soon as it came into operation, but of these two were already in possession of pensions which would render those rights of no value. [Mr. BAILLIE COCHRANE: How many had served eighteen years r] The Return before him did not show that. [Mr. BAILLIE COCHRANE: I believe two.] There were also fourteen gentlemen who, if they completed the services upon which they were now engaged, would acquire a similar right, which made a total of thirty persons to be benefited, showing clearly that this Bill would confer advantage upon a considerable number of persons. He often concurred with his right hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Ad-derley) upon questions of colonial policy, and had frequently received from him kind and generous support in that House, and he fully ageeed with him that the burden of the payment of Colonial Governors should be thrown upon the colonies and not upon the mother country, but he could not maintain that there was no Imperial service performed and no Imperial duty discharged by the Governor of a colony. He could not deny that there was some claim upon the Imperial Treasury for services rendered by the Governors of colonies under difficult circumstances. Even within a short time we had had experience that firmness in the discharge of his duty to the Crown was a quality in a Governor which ought to be recognized by the Imperial Government. Practically to deny a pension from the funds of the Imperial Treasury was a denial of that principle. The right hon. Gentleman had supposed the case of the Governor of all the North American provinces after eighteen years' service. But that was an impossible case. The rule was to serve six years in each Government, therefore it would be impossible to ask the colony where he had last served to pay. Where men served, as Colonial Governors did, for six years in one colony, and then for six in another, and then for six in a third, all in different parts of the world, it was impossible to come upon any one of these colonies, and ask it to pay the pension. Was not this a reductio ad absurdum? Was it not clear that pensions must be paid in the manner proposed by the Bill, or not at all? Of the Amendments which had been suggested there were two which struck him as important to be noticed now. The point raised by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Moor) had not yet received from him so much consideration as it deserved, and he must defer giving any reply until the Bill went into Committee. The case of Sir Francis Head and the general subject of distinguished services was discussed in the course of last Session, and he then stated that when the House of Commons had established the principle of giving colonial pensions it would be right to consider whether the question of giving pensions for short but distinguished services should or should not be entertained. In preparing this Bill the Government considered whether it was possible to frame a clause authorizing the Secretary of State to give pensions for distinguished services. It, however, appeared to them that it was not desirable to attempt to prepare such a clause. He respectfully suggested to the House that it would not be proper for it to confer upon an individual Minister of the Crown the power which it now wisely reserved to the Crown itself of rewarding individual services—apart from the length of the period during which they had been rendered—on the ground of distinction. He did not see his way to framing a clause, having that object, with such guards and provisions that it might safely be inserted in this Bill. It would be easy enough to have a special clause for any special case; but what had been suggested was that a general power should be granted to the Minister to select individuals and give them pensions for services which he considered distinguished. In Committee he should be prepared to give a fair and dispassionate consideration to any Amendments which might be proposed; but the Bill had been very carefully considered, and he recommended it to the House, not as a retrograde measure, but as a forward step towards elevating the character of one of the most distinguished and important services under the Crown.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°.


said, he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman to name the Committee before the holidays, or he was afraid the Bill would not be passed this Session.


said, he would put the Committee for Thursday, and he would then state what he intended to do with respect to it.

Bill committed for Thursday.