HC Deb 07 March 1876 vol 227 cc1603-5

Order for Committee read

Motion made, and Question proposed, That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. Rathbone.)


moved that the Bill be committed that day six months, on the ground that it imposed an additional burden on the ratepayers of the country.

Amendment proposed, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"—(Mr. Fielden,)—instead thereof.


strongly opposed the Bill, on the ground that it was most unfair to impose such a measure on the whole country simply because the corporation of Liverpool wished to deal generously with some of its old servants.


supported the Amendment, and observed that if it were true that the Bill was introduced in consequence of certain municipal arrangements intended at Liverpool, it was a vicious precedent, which the House would do well to avoid.


stated that he had received a letter from Liverpool informing him that the Bill was only supported in the corporation by a majority of 25 to 24, against an amendment proposing that the municipal employés should form a superannuation fund from which they might receive annuities on their retirement either from old age or infirmities. He believed the principle of the Bill to be most vicious.


said, he had been requested by the Mayor and Corporation of Preston to give every opposition to this measure.


said, it would be found by a reference to the Petitions that the Bill was generally desired by the boroughs. The superrannuation it proposed was more limited than was possessed by any other public bodies. He had found, in taking out the calculations for Liverpool in order to ascertain how much would be the extreme amount of superannuation that could be given under the Bill, that if the Town Council were to superannuate every man who could be so dealt with at the highest rate the Bill would allow, the result would be that on a total of salaries amounting to £45,770 they could only superannuate 12 persons, and the total cost would be £1,100, for which they would get 12 active young men in place of 12 men over 65 years of age, or who were incapacitated by illness. He maintained that nothing was more expensive than to retain inefficient servants, especially in borough corporations, where there was much work to do and where there were large sums of money to be disposed of. He appealed to the spirit, fair play, and justice of the county Members, who had such large powers in their own hands, and who could superannuate their servants to a much greater extent than was proposed in the Bill, not to oppose a measure that would only tend to give municipal bodies powers to secure efficient administration which they themselves possessed, and constantly found it desirable to use. He trusted the House would agree to go into Committee on the Bill.


said, he had received a telegram from the corporation of Sheffield asking him to support the Bill. He believed that it would be a measure of economy; because it would enable the municipal corporations to appoint young and efficient officers, instead of retaining old servants who had become unfit for their duties, and whom they did not like to discharge because they could not give them a retiring allowance.


said, he was astonished to hear such a statement from the hon. Member for Sheffield. Why did not corporations do as the counties did with the police, who paid a certain amount in order to get retiring pensions? He should vote for the Amendment.


supported the Bill.


said, the objection to the Bill appeared to be based on the assumption that the municipal corporations of the country could not be trusted to grant pensions to their servants when they were incapable of serving them longer, If the corporations were corrupt, the Government ought to bring in a Bill for their reform; but efficient service could not be obtained without means of superannuation.


said, he could not support the Bill, as he had not heard any intimation that corporations would be discouraged from giving pensions to persons who had all their lives been paid full salaries on the assumption that they would not receive pensions.


believed that the Bill would increase local taxation, but would lead to promote efficiency.


argued that the Bill simply met a demand of humanity.


said, he could not vote for conferring a power of this kind on corporations until they were cleared from suspicion of political jobbery.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 68; Noes 88: Majority 20.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Committee put off for six months.