HC Deb 06 August 1878 vol 242 cc1396-7

called attention to the inadequacy of the salaries paid to the under officials of the House of Commons in regard to the amount of work done in comparison with the salaries enjoyed by the officials holding corresponding positions in the House of Lords. On looking at the Estimates, he found that there were men employed as fire-lighters at £58 a-year, and it was unreasonable to suppose that they could do their duty to the House and maintain wives and families on about £1 2s. 6d. a-week. Such salaries ought to be given to these people as would prevent them from having to seek employment from people while Parliament was not in Session. He trusted that the Treasury would take into account the increased cost of living, and consider whether larger salaries ought not be given.


said, the object of the hon. Member was that the case of the officials who attended that House in minor capacities should be taken into consideration, with a view to the increase of their salaries. This House had no control over the other House of Parliament with regard to the services and salaries of the officials employed there; and it was, therefore, hardly possible to make any comparison between the two Houses in that respect. The question was simply whether the amount of salary of the subordinate officers in the House of Commons was equivalent to the work done. As far as he was aware, there had been no resignations by the subordinate officials of the House, who, it might be inferred, did not wish to leave the Service. One reason why the places were sought for was, that those officials were employed only during a certain portion of the year, and, therefore, the best of their time was available for any other employment which they might obtain elsewhere. In 1874, there was a general rise in wages of some of the officials in that House, to bring them up to the standard of the same class of officials employed in other Government Departments, and they were in receipt of those salaries now. After considering the advantages which those officials possessed over others, in having a considerable portion of the year to themselves which they could devote to their own uses, and in view of the fact that there was no want of applicants, and that there were no complaints among the men themselves—those who had the real regulation and management of affairs of the House saw no reason why any alteration should be made, and he (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) did not, therefore, think it necessary for the House to consider the question in the way suggested by the hon. Member.