HC Deb 03 June 1880 vol 252 c1081

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, What are the conditions under which any new appointment to the office of Ulster King of Arms is to be made; and, whether he can assure the House that it is not the intention of Her Majesty's Government to abolish this ancient office?


Sir, I am obliged to my hon. Friend for the Question which he has put to me, as it may enable me to remove some misapprehension caused by the brief report which appeared in the newspapers of what occurred with reference to the appointment of Ulster King of Arms in Committee of Supply on Thursday last. After reference to the fact that Sir Bernard Burke holds his office under patent, and that an arrangement had been made in 1872 whereby he was to be paid by salary, instead of by fees, which had proved beneficial to the Exchequer, I stated that by a Treasury Minute passed in 1872 it was decided that on the next vacancy the office is not to be filled up without Treasury consent. The present arrangement being personal to the present holder of the office, the Treasury wished to reserve to themselves the power of reviewing its position and emoluments. As, I am glad to say, there is no present prospect of a vacancy, the question has not been under consideration, and as the fees and stamp duties appear to more than cover the charge of the office, I do not see, from a Treasury point of view, any reason to desire its abolition.