HC Deb 03 May 1866 vol 183 cc421-3

Bill, as amended, considered.

SIR COLMAN O'LOGHLEN moved that the clause regulating the salary and superannuation of the Auditor be omitted, this being the course it was necessary for him to pursue in order to secure its being amended. Should his Motion meet with the concurrence of the House, the Government would be able to bring up an amended clause on the third reading of the Bill. He objected to the clause, because by it the officer would be compelled to serve fifteen years before he would be entitled to superannuation allowance. Even should he through illness or any other reason become incapacitated for his office, after having held it for fourteen and a half years, he would not be able to get one shilling as compensation. The Auditor of the Exchequer held office during good behaviour—that was, till removed by the action of both Houses of Parliament, and he ought to be placed on a similar footing to that of Her Majesty's Judges. He did not believe his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would be able to produce a single instance of an officer holding office during good behaviour being subject to such a clause as the one in question. By it an inducement was offered to the officer to continue in office when unfit to discharge its duties, and this, he contended, ought to be avoided.

Amendment proposed, to leave out Clause 4.—(Sir Colman O'Loghlen.)


said, he was sorry that the hon. Baronet was not present when the House fully discussed the provisions of the Bill, and when all the points were held to be satisfactorily disposed of. It was perfectly true that the superannuation clause in question was not exactly the same as other superannuation clauses; but the Auditor did not hold the same position as other officers, seeing that he was subject to certain regulations in the matter of superannuation allowance, which provided for him in a measure the House on a previous occasion deemed sufficient. He, therefore, thought it would be inexpedient to increase the superannuation allowance beyond the sum named in the Bill.


did not think the Secretary to the Treasury had met the argument of the hon. Baronet (Sir Colman O'Loghlen). Under the present clause there would be considerable difficulty in getting rid of an officer who had become incapacitated for his duties by no fault of his own. Parliament would hesitate to commit the cruelty that would be involved in exercising its power to remove from office a man who had served nearly fifteen years merely because sudden infirmity rendered him unable to discharge his duties. In the case of a man of small means such a removal would be sure to be followed by an appeal to the Government to do something for the man so removed. He hoped the Government would reconsider the case under discussion.


appealed to the hon. Secretary to the Treasury to judge the case by his own, seeing that he would be entitled to a pension for five years' services, whether rendered consecutively or at interrupted periods.


said, they ought to consider how far an officer appointed under this Act differed from other officers. A Judge had to go through a laborious and an expensive training; he had to practise as a lawyer, and he was not appointed a Judge until he had attained a high position and was in receipt of a large income from his exertions. He gave up that income to receive a smaller one from the State; knowing that, if he were to resign the latter, he could never re-acquire his former practice. Under these circumstances, it was but fair that he should receive a superannuation allowance. A man also required a considerable training to superintend the financial operations of the country as Secretary of the Treasury; his duties were of a most onerous and burdensome description. In his case a pension was therefore justified. If a member of the Civil Service got appointed under this Act, he could claim a superannuation allowance under the Civil Service Act. The present Controller General was a Member of Parliament; but he had not to serve a Parliamentary apprenticeship in the auditing of accounts. He simply preferred his appointment to being in Parliament; he therefore had no claim to superannuation; and when he could no longer discharge the duties of the office, he would, doubtless, resign it. He would be in the position of an Under Secretary of the Home Department, who went out of office with his Government; and if the one could not claim a superannuation allowance, he did not see why the other should. He was inclined to keep the clause as it stood, and to resist the Amendment proposed.

Question, "That Clause 4 stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed, to.

Other Amendments made.

Bill to be read the third time upon Monday next.