HC Deb 18 February 1867 vol 185 cc479-80

wished to call attention to a Treasury Minute granting a Compassionate Allowance to Mr. Stayner, late Deputy Postmaster General in Canada. He did not at all object to the grant of this allowance, which was no doubt made on grounds that were satisfactory to the Treasury; but to the form and manner of making it. Mr. Stayner's salary had been paid out of the postal revenues of Canada, which in 1851 or 1852 were handed over to the Provincial Governments, without any provision being made at the time that existing public servants holding warrants from the Postmaster General in England should be protected. Changes were afterwards made by the Canadian Government, involving the loss of his office, and Mr. Stayner applied for some compensation. Now, the Treasury had laid the Minute on the table as if the allowance made him were an ordinary pension under the Superannuation Act; whereas, in fact, it was not in any sense a grant under that Act. The proper course would have been for the Government to have specially called the attention of the House to the matter, and proposed that some compensation should be given to this gentleman, not for the loss of an appointment to which the Act referred, but because the Government in 1851 had omitted to provide some protection for him. It was desirable to prevent these things from becoming precedents; and therefore he trusted that the present inaccurate Minute would be withdrawn, and an amended one substituted for it and laid on the table in the usual course, and that a Motion would be made that it should be printed, so that the real facts should be within the knowledge of the House.


said, that the words referring to the Superannuation Act had been inserted purely by inadvertence in the Minute in question in consequence of the gentleman who drew the Minute having been misled by following the precedent of the grant of a pension to the Postmaster General of Jamaica. Mr. Stayner was appointed by the Postmaster General here, and, though paid out of the colonial funds, was virtually an Imperial servant. He had been removed from his position because the Colonial Legislature deemed it expe- dient that it should be filled by a political officer. For the loss thus occasioned Mr. Stayner had not been compensated by the colony, and the Treasury had therefore thought it right to make him a certain allowance. If his hon. Friend was of opinion that it was desirable, he should be happy to withdraw the present Minute and have it amended, and lay another Minute not drawn under the Act on the table.