HC Deb 24 May 1867 vol 187 cc1094-6

SUPPLY considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

  1. (1.) £37,600, to complete the sum for the Dublin Metropolitan Police.
  2. (2.) £641,513, to complete the sum for the Constabulary Force, Ireland.
  3. (3.) £1,724, to complete the sum for the Four Courts Marshalsea Prison, Dublin.
  4. (4.) £15,400, to complete the sum for Inspection and General Superintendence) of Prisons, &c.
  5. (5.) £245,677, to complete the sum for Prisons and Convict Establishments at Home.


said, he had to complain of the inadequate pay of the clerks. The clerks had as heavy work to do as any men of their class. They had the bookkeeping to do, correspondence to keep up, returns to make, and all sorts of work to attend to. For all that they had not as good pay as ordinary artizans, for the highest class of the clerks were only paid £130 a year, rising to £160, while the lowest class had only £60 a year. About eighteen months ago the Treasury were recommended by the heads of the department to increase the clerks' salaries by 20 per cent, and he hoped that subject would receive some attention.


said, he wished to call attention to the fact that there was a great difference in the amounts charged for clothes for the prisoners at the various prisons. At one prison the amount was 50s. per man, at another only 40s.; and in Ireland and Scotland it was still lower, ranging from 27s. to 36s.


said, that the difference in the cost of clothing of prisoners in the various prisons arose from the fact that in some of the prisons old material and clothing had been made available, while in others the material had to be renewed and the pattern had been changed. It would, of course, follow that the expense in the case where the material had been renewed would not continue so great as it was now.


said, he had to complain of the low amount of the clerks' salaries, and to urge that some alteration should be made. The clerks in the convict prisons were, compared with clerks in other Government Establishments, placed at a great disadvantage. He hoped the Treasury would take their case into consideration.


said, he thought the Committee should have some positive evidence before them to show that the salaries were really inadequate before they made any change. It really required the support of independent Members of Parliament to strengthen the hands of the Treasury so as to enable them to resist the pressure that might otherwise be brought to bear upon them—by hon. Members on behalf of their constituents—for the increase of salaries.


said, there was nothing more difficult in the arrangements of the service than to settle these questions with regard to salaries, and he hoped his hon. Friend (Mr. Alderman Lusk) would consider all that it involved before he pressed the matter. The salaries of all the officers attached to these prisons were regulated according to a certain scale, and if they increased the pay of one class, they must increase that of all other classes.


said, that the raising of the salaries of one class of servants frequently involved the proportionate raising of the salaries in other classes, and it was a very difficult thing to apportion salaries satisfactorily. When there was a vacancy for a clerkship there was a great scramble to get the place. But when the place was obtained the holder of it before many months came to the Treasury and said his pay was not sufficient. As far as he could, he (Mr. Hunt) had discharged his duty conscientiously with respect to those persons, but the difficulty of the Secretary of the Treasury would be increased if every Member of Parliament acquainted with any clerk would bring forward in Supply the question of raising his salary. Before hon. Members pressed such applications upon the Treasury they should seriously consider what they were doing.

Vote agreed to.

(6.) £215,099, to complete the sum for Maintenance of Prisoners in County Gaols, &c., and Removal of Convicts.

(7.) £15,709, to complete the sum for Transportation of Convicts, &c.


said, he wished explanations of the items for the removal of convicts to Western Australia and to Gibraltar. It had been understood that transportation was to cease. Public works at Chatham and Portsmouth were in arrears because there were not convicts to set to work upon them.


said, that no decision had yet been come to with respect to discontinuing transportation to Gibraltar. No convicts had been sent during the past year, owing to the large number that were wanted upon works at home. Transportation to Western Australia would cease next year.


said, that a correspondence had taken place with regard to the convict establishment at Gibraltar, with a view to a reduction of the expense. The Government had found it impossible to reduce the establishment all at once, but as vacancies occurred the establishment would be reduced as far as was consistent with the security of the convicts.

Vote agreed to.

(8.) £113,886, to complete the sum for Convict Establishments in the Colonies.

(9.) £801,623, Customs, Salaries and Expenses.

(10.) £1,332,707, for the Inland Revenue Departments.

In reply to Mr. Alderman LUSK,


said, that the question of the taxes on locomotion was engaging the attention of the Government.

Vote agreed to.

(11.) £2,438,929, Post Office, Salaries and Expenses, &c.

(12.) 471,741, Superannuations, &c., in the Departments of Customs, Inland Revenue, and Post Office.

(13.) £1,700,000, Exchequer Bonds.


said, that as several hon. Gentlemen who were not present were interested in the Vote to defray the expenses of the Post Office Packet Service, he should move that the Chairman report Progress.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again upon Monday next.