HC Deb 30 April 1872 vol 210 cc2019-41

rose to call attention to the inequality now existing between the salaries of members of the Civil Service of the Crown serving in Ireland and those filling corresponding offices in England, and to move— That, having regard to the great increase that has in late years occurred in the cost of living in Ireland, the scale of salaries applied to offices of the Civil Service there should be re-considered, with a view to placing the servants employed in such offices on an equality as to remuneration with those performing corresponding duties in England. The hon. and learned Member said, though the Irish grievance to which he had to call attention was one connected with the national finances, it was in no sense a begging grievance, for they asked from the Government no gift or loan of money, but simply that the Civil servants of the Crown stationed in Ireland should be placed upon an equality with the Civil servants of the Crown stationed in England, to perform duties exactly corresponding in quality, quantity, and responsibility. Of late years this grievance had become intolerable, because while the cost of living in Dublin 20 years since was much cheaper than it was at that time in London, latterly the cost of living in Dublin had so rapidly increased that there was now no inequality in that respect between the two places. But there was an average difference of 30 per cent between the salaries paid to the Civil servants in Dublin and the amount received by those holding corresponding positions in London. He trusted, therefore, that the House would admit that though the present grievance was smaller than some of the others which had been brought before Parliament, it was still a grievance which called for redress. Another very peculiar circumstance connected with this question was that it had nothing whatever to do with party politics, and, stranger still, that it was the first proposal which had been brought forward in that House since the Union upon which Irish Members of every creed and party, and Irish newspapers of every shade of opinion, were absolutely agreed. The London Civilian—a recognized organ, as he believed, of the English Civil Service—acknowledged that the evils under which the officers in Ireland suffered were real and not imaginary; that their pay was small, their promotion notoriously slow, and that the good things fell, in too many instances, to the favoured officials in Dublin. The grievance of which he especially complained arose from the fact that the cost of living in Ireland had increased so rapidly during the last 20 years as to close in upon the Irish Civil servants in a way that made their narrow salaries intolerably small. In 1868 the Civil servants of the Crown situated in Dublin decided to take common action in the matter, and appointed a committee, including the most respected and distinguished officers of their several departments, who proceeded to draw up a statement of their grievances. That statement, which had been published in the form of a pamphlet, contained, in the first place, a series of carefully prepared tables of figures, showing in what respect the salaries of the Irish Civil servants were inferior to those of the English Civil servants, and the second part was prepared with the view of exhibiting the extraordinary increase in the cost of living in Ireland. In the spring of 1869 that statement was forwarded to the then Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. C. Fortescue) and to the Prime Minister. In the autumn of that year a deputation from the Civil servants waited upon the Chief Secretary, who received them very courteously, and undertook that no effort of his should be wanting to obtain for their case the favourable consideration of Her Majesty's Government. Nothing, however, came of that promise, and in 1870 he (Mr. Plunket) asked a Question on the subject in the House. In accordance with a hint to that effect, conveyed in the answer to his Question, memorials were forwarded to the Treasury showing, by carefully compiled figures, the grounds of complaint. What had become of those memorials he did not know. To the majority of them no answer had been returned; to others answers had been returned flatly refusing to entertain the claims of the memorialists; while in some one or two instances, perhaps, something had been done. After asking last year another Question on the same subject, to which he received a somewhat general answer, he placed a Notice of Motion on the Paper similar in its character to that which he now proposed. It was to come on on one of those hot evenings in the summer when the House had been suffering imprisonment, with hard labour, night and day, for a long time, and if the House was counted out—as it was counted out—the misfortune was one which better men had shared, and which had attended more important subjects. He would not, therefore, now refer to that as a grievance. The first portion of the statement to which he had alluded instituted a comparison between the duties of the Civil servants in the two countries. He did not propose wearying the House with figures; but he might take the case of the Probate Court as an example of what was complained of. The Probate Courts both in England and Ireland were reconstructed in 1857, and under the Acts of Parliament by which this re-construction was established exactly similar duties and responsibilities were allotted to the Civil servants in each. It was quite true that in the English offices there was about seven times as much work to be done, but then there were also about seven times as many employés; and he might here add that the Irish officers made no claim to increased remuneration where it could be shown that their English brethren incurred heavier work or graver responsibility. The salaries, however, were, on the average, 35 per cent higher in the London Court than in that of Dublin, and the result of the comparison on this point generally might be said to show that the average remuneration to the officers of the English Civil Service was 32 per cent higher than that of those who in Ireland performed corresponding duties. As an instance of the inequality of which those he represented complained, he might refer to the case of the office of the Paymaster of the Civil Service. In 1864 the Dublin office of that name was abolished, and of 14 employés 8 were transferred to the Board of Works, another Irish office, where they received salaries regulated by the Irish scale. The other six employés were transferred to the Paymaster General's Office, which, though existing in Dublin, was regarded as a branch of the English Civil Service. In their new office they performed the same duties as before, but received the higher pay given to the Civil servants in England. Surely some explanation was needed of that extraordinary state of things. There was a reason for the difference in salaries when the price of food and clothing, and other necessaries, was much lower in Ireland than in England; but the difference in prices had ceased. The Reports of the Poor Law Commissioners showed this. The Commissioners stated that the average weekly cost per head in the workhouse had risen from 1s. in September, 1851, to 1s. 9d. in April, 1854, and to 1s. 11d. in 1858. The price of food rose from 2s. in 1864 to 2s.d. in 1867, and 2s.d. in 1868; and the Commissioners, after commenting upon this, were so impressed with the rise in prices, that they recommended an increase in the pay of their clerks. Lest it should be said that the cost of maintaining paupers could not be compared with the cost of maintaining gentlemen in the Civil Service, he submitted that the claim for an increase of salary could be supported by a comparison of the prices in London and Dublin of articles which might be regarded as necessaries to members of the Civil Service. The cost of such articles had increased in London 28 per cent between 1851 and 1869, and in Dublin 61 per cent. Mutton had increased 15 per cent in London and 59 in Dublin, and coal, which had not materially advanced in London, had risen 44 per cent in Dublin. The average increase in the price of commodities in London was 12 per cent, and in Dublin 60. Some might say that all this was owing to the decrease in the value of money, with which the Treasury had nothing to do. That reply was all very well in the case of men in trade or of men receiving their money from investments; but members of the Civil Service had no means of increasing their salaries, and gentlemen who entered the service expecting their salaries would rise to £200, £300, or £400 a-year, perhaps with families growing up around them, found that £300 a-year which they expected was practically worth only £200 a-year. And what brought their position home to them most forcibly was the fact that many of them had to employ others on the part of the Government, and when acting in this capacity they found that every year the price of the labour they employed for the Government rose, and that while they paid more year by year to those whom they employed their own pay alone remained unincreased. In other cases such a state of things culminated in a strike; but everyone knew what a delicate thing it was for members of the Civil Service to make even a complaint. He earnestly asked the consideration of the House for this question. It might be said the men were at liberty to compete for positions on this side of the Channel, and that the Treasury was not to blame if it got its work done at the market price. But that was not a good reply; it was not enough to say to the young Irishman—"Here is certain work for you to do; in Dublin the price for doing that work is so much, in London it is so much more, and if you want the higher price you must cross the Channel." The result of such a course would be the employment of inferior men. He hoped he had proved that the case he had put forward was one of considerable hardship. The Government had been appealed to in the matter for three years past without any satisfactory result; he therefore came to Parliament, being sure hon. Members would not allow industrious officials, whose work was praised in every official Report, to remain under such an unjust disadvantage. What he had always asked for, and what he now demanded, was inquiry. He wished to have the present scale of these salaries considered with a view of substituting a fair and just scale. If it should turn out that those whom he represented had no just claim, then the sense of injustice would be removed. He believed that this proposal would be supported by every Irishman who would speak on the question. They did not want a Treasury inquiry; they wanted an impartial and independent inquiry. The hon. and learned Gentleman concluded by moving his Resolution.


seconded the Motion. He rejoiced that hon. Members could approach the question without party feeling and without sectarian prejudice. After the very clear and able statement of the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin, it was unnecessary for him to say much to show the injustice which had been done for a long series of years to a deserving class of public servants. The question before the House was, whether the same treatment should be extended to Irishmen as was applied to Englishmen. When a deputation of Irish Civil servants waited upon the late Chief Secretary for Ireland (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) to complain of the unfair way in which they were dealt with, the right hon. Gentleman told them in effect that, whether from apprehension of the Chancellor of the Exchequer or from any other cause he knew not, he received them as a matter of courtesy, and that it was his duty to listen attentively to them; but that he could say little, because he had nothing to do with the finances of the country. That was, he thought, a very extraordinary statement to come from the Minister who was responsible for Irish affairs on such a matter. He wished to advert to what had been done in this matter in connection with the First Lord of the Treasury. In reply to a Question that was put to the right hon. Gentleman on July 7, 1870, he said he could not deal with this question as a whole, and he intimated that it was a matter into which the Treasury would inquire. On March 30, 1871, the right hon. Gentleman was again interrogated, and he said that certain memorials had been presented to the Treasury, and that the Treasury would have to decide each case upon its own merits. That was the answer that was given to the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin. On a former occasion he (Mr. Downing) had been counted out at three minutes past 9 o'clock when bringing forward a question relating to the removal of Irish paupers. On that occasion he saw two of Her Majesty's Ministers go behind the Speaker's Chair to prevent a House from being made. That was the way in which Irish matters were treated. He would give a few instances to illustrate the injustice done to the Irish Civil servants as compared with their English brethren. In one branch of the Inland Revenue Department in London there were 18 second-class clerks, who entered at a minimum salary of £300, which was increased at the rate of £15 each year until it reached £380. In Ireland, on the other hand, in the corresponding department, there were only three senior clerks, who commenced at £250 per annum, and their salaries were increased only by £10 each year. The difference in the cost of living could not justify that difference in the scale of pay; because, whatever might have been the case in former periods, the cost of living at present was not less in Ireland than in England. He would go to the Department of Public Works for another example of that inequality. In Ireland the first-class clerk received £500 a-year; whereas in England £600 was paid for the discharge of the self-same duties. A first-class clerk in the General Registry Office in Ireland received only £300 per annum, while a person holding a similar office in England received £420 per annum, or 40 per cent more. In the Solicitor's Department of the Inland Revenue of Ireland a first-class clerk received only £400; whereas in England the salary attached to that office was £550. Could such a difference be defended? It could not, except on this ground—that Irishmen were inferior to Englishmen, which he denied. About 12 months ago the Irish newspapers had pointed out what they believed to be a gross job and an insult to the Irish people in relation to the offices of controller and of assistant-controller in Dublin—namely, the appointment of a Scotchman to the former and of an Englishman to the latter, although there were at the time two Irish gentlemen in the office well qualified by knowledge and seniority for the appointments. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government would give some explanation of this fact. He had no expectation of assistance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in reference to the Motion of the hon. and learned Member, because it was owing to that right hon. Gentleman's fixed determination to give no money to Ireland that the Bill he had prepared with the view of a public loan of £5,000 annually to the fishermen of Ireland to enable them to obtain boats was not passed, although it had received the approval of the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland (the Marquess of Hartington) and would, have given satisfaction to the people of that country, and that the Bill for the division of the county of Cork had dropped through because the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not provide the £200 a-year necessary to carry it into effect. [The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER said, he had never heard of such a Bill.] He (Mr. Downing) supposed that the right hon. Gentleman must have forgotten the circumstance. He had no objection to any inquiry into the subject of the Motion being left in the hands of the noble Lord the Chief Secretary; but he protested against anything like a departmental inquiry being had, because it would turn out, as every other such inquiry had done, a mere official sham. There had been a departmental inquiry two years ago into the Valuation Office in Ireland, and lately another had been held on the Irish Board of Works, which had resulted in a number of deserving clerks being turned out of their office, and nothing whatever had been heard of the inquiry which had been held some time since into Irish Lunatic Asylums. This was the first time Irish Members had agreed among themselves for a great number of years, and he hoped their appeal would be attended with effect. He begged, in conclusion, to second the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Plunket.)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, in the opinion of this House, having regard to the great increase that has in late years occurred in the cost of living in Ireland, the scale of salaries applied to offices of the Civil Service there should be reconsidered, with a view to placing the servants employed in such offices on an equality as to remuneration with those performing corresponding duties in England."—(Mr. Plunket.)


said, his principal difficulty arose, not from any want of goodwill on the part of the Government, or of inclination to do what was just and fair to Ireland, but from his inability to understand what was demanded by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Plunket), because he really did not know what the hon. and learned Gentleman wanted Government to do. Did the Motion imply that because a person held an office in Ireland, and if there was an office of a similar character in England, they were to be paid at the same rate? Take the case of the Registrar General, for instance. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean that the Registrar General in Ireland and the Registrar General in England were to be paid the same salary? He appealed to the hon. and learned Gentleman to say what his Motion did mean.


said, that the construction put upon his Motion by the right hon. Gentleman did not convey his meaning. He had distinctly stated that full allowance should be made for differences in the duties and labours of officials in the two countries.


hoped, then, that the Motion would not be pressed in its present shape, for he could place no other construction upon it than that the Lord Chancellor, Chief Justice, Puisne Judges, and County Court Judges in the two countries should receive the same salaries. It was therefore necessary to amend the Motion in some way. But as the hon. and learned Gentleman did not mean that corresponding offices were to be remunerated at the same rate, the difficulty still remained of knowing what he really did mean. He would do the best he could, however, to answer the Motion so far as he understood it. He utterly disclaimed, on behalf of the Government, the notion that they entertained the idea that a man was to be paid less, because he was an Irishman, than he would be paid if he had been an Englishman. It was perfectly preposterous to imagine anything of the kind, and no Government could put forward such a doctrine for a moment. Whatever were the grounds upon which the difference in the salaries paid in England and Ireland was to be justified, they must be grounds that would apply vice versâ, just as much to Englishmen as to Irishmen. Therefore, he hoped that invidious notion would be banished from the minds of hon. Gentlemen. The House had to look at this question as practical men of business. The Government had not a large sum of money for equal distribution among a number of claimants, like an estate among the next of kin, nor did they act in a judicial manner in fixing salaries. They required a certain amount of assistance and intelligence, and like other employers they obtained it, not on any abstract standard, but according to the various circumstances of the case. If there were differences between Ireland and England, it was not because Ireland was Ireland and England England, but because the Government had hitherto and still believed there were different circumstances which made reasonable a difference in remuneration. If the differences could not be justified on this ground, they could not be justified on any other. As far as he had been able to ascertain, the cost of food and clothing was much the same in Dublin as in large English towns. Rent, however, was very much lower. ["No, no!"] Such was the information elicited by his inquiries, that rent was much lower in Dublin than in London. There were, moreover, no house or assessed taxes in Ireland. He did not say that these differences amounted to much, but merely mentioned them as points which must be taken into consideration in acting impartially. To put the question as one between England and Ireland was unduly narrowing it, for it arose between England and Scotland, and as between different parts of England. The salaries varied, not because the Government paid more respect to large towns than to small ones, or more to the town than to the country, but because the facility of obtaining the comforts and necessaries of life differed. These differences, however, were small compared with a consideration which the hon. and learned Gentleman had apparently lost sight of. The main cause of the difference in salaries in England and Ireland was that the duties in England were much heavier, the departments much more numerous, the number of persons to be dealt with much larger, and all the figures, in short, on a much larger scale. The Registrar General for England, for example, had to register the births, deaths, and marriages, and to answer questions respecting them, of 22,000,000 persons, while in Ireland the Registrar General had only to deal with between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000. It would manifestly be unfair for the two salaries to be equal. Again, no two postmasters received the same salary, for though their duties were of much the same kind, the number of letters and of clerks and the amount of business was infinitely different. These were the principles on which the salaries of the Civil Service must be regulated, and it was owing to the application of these principles that the difference in the salaries was mainly due. Another cause of the difference lay in the amount of work to be done. He might be contradicted in saying that there was more work in the English offices than in the Irish. The Irish offices, though not overpaid, were very much overmanned, and thus, though Irish salaries might not be high, Ireland still received a considerable portion of the public money from that cause. Another reason lay in the nature of the work which was to be done. A very large establishment meant an immense number of departments, and every department became more complex and difficult to administer, the greater the number of other departments with which it came into contact. There was likewise a difference between old and new offices. The latter were generally less paid, because offices which had existed some time, and had been found to transact their business satisfactorily, frequently had additional duties allotted to them from time to time by Parliament, it being customary to increase the remuneration on those occasions. When, on the other hand, the duties were foreseen and assigned from the first, the remuneration remained often unaltered. These circumstances must not be lost sight of in comparing one set of Civil servants with the other. There was force, too, in the argument met by anticipation by the hon. and learned Gentleman—that there was no Irish Civil Service or English Civil Service. Whatever was formerly the ease, offices were now as open to Irishmen as to Englishmen, and as the hon. and learned Gentleman had remarked, Irishmen, thanks to the ability with which nature had peculiarly endowed them, had obtained a number of offices in England. He understood that offices in the Treasury, the Local Government Board, and three out of the five Secretary ships of State, were open to competition, the exceptions being the Home and Foreign Offices. His right hon. Friend (Mr. Bruce) had just informed him that 9–10ths of the Home Office was open to competition. The War Office and the Admiralty were also open, so that nearly all the great Departments of the State were as accessible to Irishmen as to Englishmen. It was wrong, therefore, to make this a national grievance, for successful candidates had their choice in order of merit. If an Irishman had the first choice he would naturally take an office in England if it was better paid, and an Englishman choosing after him would go to Ireland to an office with a smaller salary. There was thus no unfairness as between the two countries. It was alleged that those salaries were fixed at a time when living was much cheaper in Ireland than at present, and this he admitted. It was further alleged that Civil servants did not receive that adequate remuneration which it was the desire of the Government that every public servant should receive, and this, he presumed, was the question which the hon. and learned Gentleman wished to raise. He had spoken of the unfair scale of salaries; but there was really no invidious distinction between the two countries. He left the House to judge of the validity of the objection to himself that he was unwilling to lend the money of the Government on personal security. He was willing to accept the proposal which had been made by the hon. and learned Gentleman, if it were clearly understood that the inquiry was not to be how to make services in the two countries that were essentially different equal to each other in payment, but only to ascertain how to give a fair remuneration to Civil servants in Ireland as in England. If that was clearly understood, he had not the least objection to go into the inquiry. He warned the hon. and learned Gentleman, however, that this would involve another inquiry. If they entered upon an inquiry whether they should impose upon the people of the country higher salaries for the Civil servants, then that inquiry should embrace the further question whether the Civil Service was not over-manned. If the hon. and learned Gentleman would accept this offer—it being clearly understood that it should be entered upon with the intention of giving simply fair remuneration to Civil servants in Ireland, and not with the view of attempting to set up an equality where there was really no equality at all, where the offices were entirely different—then he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would consent to the inquiry being instituted. He would also consent that the persons who were to conduct the inquiry should be named not by any person who had been guilty of the inconsistency of refusing to lend public money upon personal security, but that they should be named by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who he was sure had never been guilty of anything of the kind. He hoped this concession would save them from the necessity of dividing on this Motion, which he should regret to do, because it would seem as if the hon. and learned Gentleman were pressing a claim which the Government considered utterly unreasonable, and because it would seem to amount to a declaration on the part of the House that there really was a disposition on the part of the Government of this country to treat Irishmen in a way different from that in which they treated Englishmen. We had no "favoured nation," and no favoured nation class, and in the matter of the saving and the spending of public money, not the slightest difference between English and Irish was recognized.


said, he had not been convinced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and, differing from the hon. and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Plunket), he sought for equality in the higher branches of the Civil Service as well as in the lower. There ought to be no difference between a Puisne Judge in Ireland and one in England; the cost of maintaining a position in Ireland was, if anything, greater than it was in London. He held the same view as to the two Registrars General, for the difference between the population of England and that of Ireland was represented by the staff of the Registrar General for England, which was ten times as large and cost five times as much as that of the Registrar General for Ireland. To say that their pay should differ in proportion to the population of the two countries would be like saying that the captain of a man-of-war should have one-tenth of the salary of a captain whose ship had ten times as many guns. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had skilfully evaded the broad issue raised, which was not that Irishmen who entered into competitive examinations were paid less than Englishmen, but that young men who had entered and passed were sent into Ireland and were paid less than young men located in England. Rents were not lower in Ireland than in England. It might be that rents were higher in the West of London in the height of the season; but that rule did not apply to the class of houses occupied by Civil servants. In general, rents were higher in Ireland than in England, and they were very much higher in Galway than they were in Dublin. The truth was the absence of competition for small middle-class houses did not encourage persons to build them; and that made rents higher in Ireland than in England. If Ireland paid no assessed taxes, it was because there was nothing on which they could be levied. As soon as ever it was found that the Irish could pay income tax the Chancellor of the Exchequer put it on them. This was a matter in which neither politics nor religion should influence them. He was sorry that the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Downing) had introduced into the discussion an element that ought to have been kept out of it, and that was the relative merits of the men appointed to different offices in Ireland. Men holding similar positions in England and Ireland ought to be equally paid, for the work was as difficult in the one country as in the other. If the offices were overmanned, let the superfluity of officers be removed. The Government was responsible for the appointment of them, and no greater evil could happen to a service than that it should be overmanned. As an instance of the cruelty with which Irish Civil servants were sometimes treated, he would mention the case of an Irishman who, for domestic reasons, asked that he might be removed from the London General Post Office, where he had been eight years in the service, to that of Dublin, and the consent of the authorities was coupled with the condition that he must accept the minimum salary in Ireland. Everybody employed in the Civil Service in Ireland was discontented, and particularly the Poor Law medical officers. In England, whenever a medical man was called in to certify that a person was a dangerous lunatic, he was paid out of the rates, and this rule also obtained in Ireland until 1867, when an Act was passed providing that the officers should give such certificates "without fee or reward. This was an injustice, and there was no reason why the medical officers in Ireland should not be placed on an equality as regards work and pay with their English brethren.


accepted the canons of criticism laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said it was justifiable to pay Civil officers less in Ireland than in England if their labour and responsibility were less, or if the offices they held were of more recent date than the corresponding offices in England. He proposed to show that the duties and responsibilities of the persons employed in superintending criminal lunatics in Ireland were more onerous than those imposed on persons occupying similar positions in this country. The first institution founded in the kingdom for the treatment of criminal lunatics was established at Dundrum, in Ireland, in 1849, and the system adopted there worked so admirably that about 1860 the Government determined to establish a similar institution in England. The result was the establishment, in 1862, of the Broadmoor Asylum, in Berkshire. Now, let the House compare the expenses of the two establishments, and the results that were produced by them. The Asylum at Broadmoor contained on the average 471 patients, while the number at Dundrum was 167. The House would, however, be astonished to learn that at Broadmoor the annual expenditure was £29,545, as against £5,579 for Dundrum. This was owing in a large degree to the difference in the salaries of the officials. Again, every patient at Broadmoor cost the country upwards of £60 a-year; whereas a criminal lunatic in Ireland cost the country only £33 a-year. Her Majesty's Treasury allowed for the support of an Irish criminal lunatic £13 6s. a-year; but the allowance for an English criminal lunatic was upwards of £20 a-year. He would ask the House whether anything could justify such a state of affairs? Again, 101 attendants were employed at Broadmoor as compared with 22 at Dundrum, so that an Irish keeper had to do twice as much work as a similar officer in England, while he only received half the amount of pay. In like manner, the superintendent in England got £900 a-year, while the superintendent in Ireland received only £400. It was also more expensive to attend to the souls as well as the bodies of Englishmen. The chaplain at Broadmoor was paid £400 a-year, besides £18 to provide a substitute when he took his summer holiday; and there was an assistant chaplain in receipt of an annual salary of £50. But at Dundrum the Catholic chaplain received only £60, and the Protestant chaplain only £40 a-year. Again, the steward at Broadmoor received £290, as compared with £110 paid to the corresponding officer at Dundrum. The matron and the chief attendant received respectively £175 and £150 at Broadmoor; and £90 and £40 at Dundrum. Yet the House might perhaps be surprised to learn that while the working of the Broadmoor Asylum was wholly unsatisfactory, that of the establishment at Dundrum was just the reverse. The Broadmoor Asylum was crippled at its birth, and had never got into a healthy condition to the present day. It was only in 1860 that the Asylum was erected; but it was built so badly that large sums of money had from time to time been voted in order to make good the defects. This year there was a sum of between £2,000 and £3,000 included in the Estimates for this very purpose. The treatment of the lunatics confined at Broadmoor was about as bad as it could well be. The Commissioners, in their Report for the years 1868–9, stated that there were seven men confined in separate cages or cells which some of them had not quitted for many months, and one man had not since the last visit of the Commissioners left his cell, in which he had neither chair nor table for his use. The Commissioners admitted that the management of the Asylum was far from being what it ought to be; but they had no immediate expectation of an improved state of things. Owing to the deficient drainage and generally defective construction of the Asylum, the mortality among the patients was greater than in any other similar institution in the three kingdoms. These were some of the strongest facts that could be adduced in condemnation of the system followed at Broadmoor. The Reports with reference to the Asylum at Dundrum were, on the other hand, most satisfactory; and, therefore, they had a right to demand that the officials in that institution should be placed at least on a level with those in the English Asylum. One reason why the Dundrum Asylum was so well-conducted an institution was that the Irish were a far milder race than the English, even when criminally lunatic. If the Irish people generally were treated with fair play, the Imperial Government would find it as easy to manage them as the Dundrum attendants found it easy to manage the criminal lunatics committed to their charge.


wished to know, if it were the intention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the future to place the Civil servants who changed their position from one part of the United Kingdom to another on the same footing as that which they had occupied before they had made the change?


said, he cordially approved of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Dublin University; but he objected to its being restricted to Ireland, and ventured to ask that it be extended to Scotland also. There were, in his opinion, much stronger reasons for including Scotland within the scope of the inquiry than there were for leaving it out. They had heard a great deal of the difference between the Irish criminal lunatic asylum at Dundrum, and the similar institution at Broadmoor in England. They had been told that the pauper lunatics at Dundrum were skilfully looked after by ill-paid attendants, while at Broadmoor a much better paid body of officials looked but indifferently well to a number of unfortunate human beings. But Scotland, so far from getting £900 or £400 a-year for its chief officers in criminal lunatic asylums, or £13 per annum for the maintenance of patients, got nothing at all either for lunatics, or attendants, or chief officers, or anything whatever of the kind. There was no proper Government criminal lunatic asylum in Scotland, all criminal lunatics being sent to private asylums, and boarded there as ordinary patients. Last year a Bill passed that House, but was rejected in the House of Lords, the effect of which would have been to enable the authorities in Scotland to force criminal lunatics to such private lunatic asylums as they chose. He was not about to deny that there might be grievances in Ireland in respect to the subject-matter of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member; but he would call attention to the fact that Scotland contributed to the Exchequer one-fourth more than Ireland, and therefore he could scarcely see why Dundrum should be so much elevated, and Scotland left at the bottom of the ditch without anything whatever. Then, with regard to the general expenditure of the country, he thought that Ireland and Scotland alike had great reason to complain. In Ireland and Scotland the salaries in the Civil Service were much lower compared with England; and he could not but regard that as very unjust, because, except in London, living was as cheap in any part of England as it was in Scotland or Ireland, and he did not see why there should he any difference between the salaries paid to Civil servants in the three countries. Take the case of the poorer class of civil employés, such as letter-carriers, and junior clerks in the Government offices. The letter-carriers were entrusted with jewels and valuable property of different kinds; yet in Dublin and Edinburgh they were paid no more than 18s. a-week—an altogether inadequate remuneration for men holding so laborious and responsible a position. He could not therefore allow that the grievance was peculiar to Ireland, but must maintain that Scotland suffered equally—if, indeed, her complaint was not more sound, by reason of the fact that she contributed so much more than Ireland to the Imperial Exchequer. According to the Civil Service Estimates for this year, the postal service in Dublin would cost £48,650, while that of Edinburgh reached £35,532 only; but the revenue derived from the service in Scotland was at least one-third more than was obtained from Ireland. Therefore, it must be clear that, judged by results, the Post Office employés in Scotland were much underpaid as compared with those in Ireland.


, in supporting the Motion, instanced as a case of discrepancy between the two branches of the service, that while one officer was employed to every five prisoners in England, the proportion in Ireland was one to seven; and that while in England the cost of the prison staff was £15 18s. 8d. per prisoner, it amounted in Ireland to only £9 3s. 5d. That showed that the officers in the Irish prisons were worse paid, while they did more work than in England. He quite agreed in the opinion that the inquiry ought also to ascertain whether any branches of the service were overmanned, and he trusted that the result would be to place the officers in England. Scotland, and Ireland, all on the same footing, so that the same salary should be paid for the same work wherever that work may be done.


had no desire to enter into any discussion of the rival merits of the English or Irish modes of feeding lunatics. In consequence, however, of the strong remarks which had been made by the hon. Member for Galway with reference to the treatment of criminal lunatics at Broadmoor Asylum, he wished, as one of the visitors of that institution, to put the House in possession of one or two facts. It was perfectly true, as the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Mitchell Henry) had stated, that Broadmoor Asylum, as originally constructed, was one of the worst buildings in England. The work was scamped and done as badly as possible. It was perfectly true that the drainage was in so defective a state that it produced a considerable amount of illness; but he begged to inform the hon. Member that all this had now been remedied. The sewers had been taken up and relaid, and if the work was not at this moment actually completed, it would be so shortly. As regarded the position of Broadmoor, however, there could be little doubt that no more magnificent or healthy site could have been selected for the reception of the particular class of persons the institution accommodated. With regard to the treatment of the inmates, he could from personal knowledge testify to the fact that there was not the slightest foundation for the assertion that they were badly cared for. It was true that there were particular cases where it was found necessary to keep desperate lunatics in separate confinement. The late superintendent died from the effects of a blow which he received in the chapel of the institution, and no doubt there were characters so dangerous that he should be sorry to visit them even in the company of one of the warders. Such cases, however, were very exceptional, and nothing could be more humane or kind than the general treatment of the inmates. To such an extent was this course pursued that any stray visitor to the institution might well be pardoned if he entertained the idea that entrance within its walls was the reward of meritorious behaviour. It was only a short time since that he was present at a party at Broadmoor where 29 persons, each of whom had committed murder, sat down to tea. At certain times theatricals were permitted, and, in addition to billiards, there were magnificent grounds to walk in. In 1869, the period which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Mitchell Henry) spoke of Broadmoor, he (Mr. Walter) was not connected with it. During the last two years, the time he had been connected with it, he was sure that all his colleagues would bear him out when he said that nothing could be more considerate, more humane, or more kind than the treatment which those prisoners received. He was, therefore, surprised to hear the charges that had been made that evening, and could only attribute their being made to the fact that the hon. Member had not made himself conversant with the nature and management of the institution.


explained that he had not quoted from the Reports, and that he had referred to Broadmoor only by way of contrast to Dundrum.


expressed a hope that the hon. and learned Member who had brought forward the Motion (Mr. Plunket) would accept the terms proposed by the Government. All that was wanted was a full and honest inquiry, and then much more would come out than the Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to think. The remuneration given to the postmaster and postmistress in rural districts and small towns was a matter that required investigation as much for the benefit of the public service as for the interest of the holder of the office. They wore, in fact, scandalously paid. In the district in which he resided, which contained a population of 3,000, and in which were established large works, the postmistress was only paid the small salary of £8 or £10 per annum. The state of things that existed at one time which made a difference between England and Ireland had passed away, and the public servant in Ireland had now as much to pay for his food, clothing, and the education of his children, as the Civil servant of a corresponding grade had to pay in England. He was glad the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren) had put in a claim for Scotland; and, although hon. Members for Scotland sometimes gave Irish Members hard hits, there was no jealousy on their part against Scotland.


said, that as the inquiry was to be conducted by persons who were to be appointed by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and as the noble Lord was to preside over its deliberations, he assented to the inquiry.


said, he rose for the purpose of supporting the suggestion just made by his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren), that the inquiry for which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. Plunket) had moved, and to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had assented, should be extended to Scotland. He did not think that the inquiry would be complete if it were not so extended. It would demonstrate, he thought, that the officials in Scotland were as much underpaid as wore the officials in Ireland, and that observation particularly referred to those connected with the Post Office, who were, he must say, shamefully underpaid. So much so, that it was difficult to get respectable persons to fill those offices. With respect to letter-carriers, it was a shame to have men paid 10s. or 12s. a-week, to whom, valuable property was committed. He trusted that the inquiry would be extended to Scotland.


said, that the postmasters and postmistresses were paid on exactly the same scale in England. Ireland, and Scotland, and therefore there could be no inequality as between the three kingdoms. No doubt they received small pay for the onerous duties they had to discharge; but the advantages which the possession of the office gave to small shopkeepers was such that many would gladly discharge the duties without pay for the appointment. As to payments to the Post Office officials in Dublin, one of the most experienced officers of the Department had recently been to inquire into the matter, and had just made his Report; and if it turned out that any injustice was committed, it certainly should be remedied. He might state that, under the Post Office system, revision of salaries was constantly going on, and hardly a day passed without his raising the salaries of some of the Post Office employés in Dublin.


said, he did not gather from what had fallen from his right hon. Friend (Mr. Monsell) that it was the intention of the Government to extend the inquiry as suggested by his hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren). It had been shown that a grievance existed in Scotland as well as in Ireland, and a similar one, and as an inquiry had been granted in the one case, he (Mr. Kinnaird) did not see why Scotland should not have the benefit of it.


said, the right hon, and learned Member for the University of Dublin (Dr. Ball) was mistaken in supposing the inquiry offered by the Government would be presided over by himself. His right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had promised merely that those conducting the inquiry should be appointed by him as Chief Secretary. The Government did not think it desirable to extend the inquiry to Scotland, because the inquiry would be made into each department separately, to see whether the officers of that department were adequately paid for the work they did, and it would not be convenient to mix up the case of Scotch officials with the case of the Irish. The Government could not accept the proposition that a comparison between the salaries paid in London and in Dublin was the only test to go by, though such a comparison should, no doubt, form part of the case. The difference between the cost of living in England and in Ireland should also form one of the considerations in the case. The object should be to see that the officers of the Civil Service wore paid a fair price, but not a higher price than the Government could get the work done for, because it was obviously improper that the Government should be in a worse position than any other employer of labour.


said, he thought the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer a very fair one, and with reference to his suggestion that the inquiry might prove the men were overpaid, he had to say that the men themselves were quite ready to await the consequences. He understood that the Chief Secretary for Ireland was to nominate certain persons who should inquire into that matter. He felt sure that the noble Marquess would nominate persons who would possess the confidence of the Civil servants as well as of the Government. He gladly accepted that offer, and begged to withdraw his Resolution.


said, he regretted to hear that the inquiry was not to be extended, because he thought there was much need for it, and more especially with respect to the Post Office. The remuneration of the officials of that establishment was most inadequate. The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster General had spoken of the advantages of having a post office connected with a shop; but the right hon. Gentleman should bear in mind that there were many persons who gave their whole time to the service—he alluded to the country runners, who received about 15s. a-week, and who had to pay a considerable proportion of their salary for the shoes they wore. He hoped the Government would reconsider their decision, at least so far as regarded the Post Office, and allow the inquiry to apply to Scotland.


said, it would be extremely inconvenient to extend the inquiry to Scotland, and very unsatisfactory that gentlemen qualified to conduct an inquiry in Ireland should be sent to discharge similar duties in Scotland. He had heard no complaints from the Civil servants of the Crown in Scotland.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Forward to