§ (21.) £254,011, to complete the sum for Superanuations and Retired Allowances.
§ MR. RYLANDS
called attention to the growing amount of these allowances, expressing his belief that if these heavy charges were allowed to continue, they would give rise to a very considerable amount of public discontent. He complained that under the existing system of retiring and superannuating officials a large number of persons were struck off from duties which they were still quite able to perform, and paid large sums of public money for which they did not continue to render any public service. He thought the time had come when this Vote must be dealt with in a vigorous manner.
§ MR. CHILDERS
remarked upon the enormous amount of retirement from the Survey Department, while there was no diminution of the Vote for the service of the United Kingdom. A large number of those officers were retired, and the charge for their retirement amounted to several thousands of pounds. He found by the Estimate for the Office of Works that 15 or 16 gentlemen had been compensated at a total charge of £3,000 a-year without any reduction at all having been made in the Department.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, he had little control over this Vote for superannuation allowances. He might, however, explain to the Committee that, in the course of time, offices became burdened with an unsuitable class of public servants. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Childers), when First Lord of the Admiralty, had occasion to recommend a reduction in the staff of that Department, and that reduction involved a serious charge upon the superannuation Vote. These changes were requisite for the maintenance of the efficiency of the public service. He might, however, add, that whenever a man was found capable of doing his work, the Treasury recalled him to public service, and if he did not answer to that recall he forfeited his pension. It became necessary to take up a re-organization of the Office of Works, and a sensible decrease would be found of salaries and wages in the Vote for that Office, while he believed there was no deficiency in the work done there. A large number of officers of that Department had to be 1421 retired. The Chairman of the Inland Revenue recommended the alterations.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (22.) £19,600, to complete the sum for the Merchant Seamen's Fund, Pensions, &c., agreed to.
§ (23.) £22,500, to complete the sum for the Relief of Distressed British Seamen Abroad, agreed to.
§ (24.) £11,404, to complete the sum for Hospitals and Infirmaries, Ireland, agreed to.
§ (25.) £2,741, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Charitable Allowances, &c. Great Britain, agreed to.
§ (26.) £2,762, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances, Ireland, agreed to.
§ (27.) £2,700, to complete the sum for Commutation of Annuities, agreed to.