HC Deb 06 June 1878 vol 240 cc1309-12

(8.) £221,961, to complete the sum for Superannuations and Retired Allowances.


said, it was not his intention to say anything with regard to the old classes of superannuation allowances; but, with regard to the new ones, there were two or three questions he should like to put. He found that, on page 447 of the Votes, there was an item in favour of the Rev. E. P. Arnold, and he wished to ask whether the person to whom that was payable was not dead; and, if so, whether he had not died before the beginning of the financial year, in which case the Vote ought not to be granted? Then, again, on page 478, there was a charge for Mr. W. Doria, Secretary to the Embassy at St. Petersburg, and the amount of the retiring allowance bore, in his (Sir Charles W. Dilke's) opinion, an undue proportion to the amount of salary. Mr. Doria, it seemed, had only had 12 years' service; he had been in receipt of a salary of £1,050; and his retiring allowance was £700 a-year. This, in the absence of explanation, also seemed an unduly large sum. The Committee ought to require some explanation of the very large amount of these pensions in proportion to the salaries. Then, on page 480, there was an item for Mr. L. Moore, who, after 15 years' service as second Secretary at Constantinople, retired at the age of 44 with a pension of £500 a-year, which was the full amount of his salary. This, likewise, was a matter that required explanation.


regretted that he was not able to give an immediate answer to his hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea on the two points he had just brought forward with regard to the new service, as the Under Secretary of State was not in the House. With regard to Mr. E. P. Arnold, he was informed that that gentleman was dead; and, of course, the amount would only be paid proportionately up to the date of his death, any surplus going back to the Exchequer.


wished to know, whether Mr. Arnold had not died before the beginning of the financial year?


said, he believed the death did not occur before the preparation of the Estimates.


asked, whether the information he had inquired for as to Mr. Doria and Mr. Moore would be furnished on the Report of Supply?


promised to furnish the information on the Report.


said, he had some remarks to make on the same Vote, and he trusted they would not lose weight in consequence of the advocate who made them. He wished to refer to the case of Mr. J. H. Richardson, Librarian at Queen's College, who, at the age of 46, had been compelled to retire, after 20 years' service, on an allowance of only £50 a-year, his salary as Librarian having been £150 a-year. Mr. Richardson's health had broken down, and he had become almost completely blind. However much the students and graduates of Queen's College might differ from him on other points, they would, he was sure, agree with him in this—that it was the unanimous feeling in the College, and among all who had anything to do with Mr. Richardson in his capacity of Librarian, that it was not right that that unfortunate gentleman, who was in a wretched state of health and afflicted with almost total blindness, should be sent away from his recent sphere of duty with the inadequate provision of £50 a-year. He believed it would not be in Order to suggest any increase in the Estimates; but he hoped it would be possible for the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland, when he had looked into the case, and found that a scholarly gentleman and assiduous public servant, who had always borne the most admirable character, and whose sedentary employment and close confinement had gone a long way towards ruining his sight, was being so greatly overlooked, to take the matter into consideration and apply a remedy. If this were done, it would gratify many persons in Ireland of the most opposite shades of political opinion, and who had no further sympathy with Mr. Richardson, except as to the admirable way in which he had performed his duties, and in regard, also, to the wretched state in which he had been placed.


said, his attention should be given to the matter brought forward by the hon. Member for Dungarvan (Mr. O'Donnell). No one could sympathize more than he (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) with the misfortunes of those who by some infirmity of body were stopped in the middle of a useful career. All he could at present say was, that he believed the case referred to bore the proportion according to which such superannuations or pensions were regulated; but, at the same time, he was aware that in many of these cases there were circumstances which might warrant further consideration. He would certainly look into the case. He regretted that the hon. Baronet (Sir Charles W. Dilke) who had brought forward the cases of Mr. Moore and Mr. Doria, was not present, as he had since ascertained that both those gentlemen were, under the Act of Parliament by which their retiring allowances were regulated, entitled to what was designated a fourth-class pension, which carried with it £700 a-year; the only limitation being that the £700 a-year was not to be in excess of the actual salary received by the person retiring. Mr. Doria retired on a pension of £700 a-year, his salary having been £1,050; but Mr. Moore, who had retired through illness, and who had been in receipt of £500 a-year, had his pension limited to the salary he had received; otherwise, he might have had the same pension as Mr. Doria.

Vote agreed, to.

(9.) £15,650, to complete the sum for the Merchant Seamen's Fund, Pensions, &c.

(10.) £22,400, to complete the sum for the Relief of Distressed British Seamen. Abroad.

(11.) £380,000, for Pauper Lunatics, England.


asked the reason for the increase of the Vote from £340,000 last year?


said, the increase arose from the increase in the number of cases. It was, unfortunately, found that the demands upon the asylums throughout the country were growing far too rapidly; but, of course, the patients must be duly provided for.

Vote agreed to.

(12.) £68,000, for Pauper Lunatics, Scotland.

(13.) £20,900, to complete the sum for Pauper Lunatics, Ireland.

(14). £13,387, to complete the sum for Hospitals and Infirmaries, Ireland.

(15.) £127,617, for Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Deficiency.

(16.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

That a sum, not exceeding £3,144, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879, for certain Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances in Great Britain.


objected to an item of £500 for the Clarges Annuity, and moved its omission from the Vote.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Item of £500, for the Clarges Annuity, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. O'Donnell.)


explained, that this had been a charge upon the coal duties of the Port of London, and on the repeal of those duties, it was found that the Customs Department had lost sight of the annuity, and failed to provide for it. The Law Officers of the Crown at the time advised that the Government were liable for the amount; and, as there was no particular Vote to which it could be charged, it was necessary to propose it in the present form.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 12; Noes 58: Majority 46.—(Div. List, No. 168.)

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(17.) £3,097, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous, Charitable, and other Allowances, Ireland.