HC Deb 26 May 1881 vol 261 c1318

asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether he can state the grounds, actuarial or other, on which a sum of £12,500 was given to Sir Donald Stewart and Sir Frederick Roberts, in commutation of an annuity of £1,000 a-year respectively awarded to these two officers, it being the fact, as stated in recognised works of reference, that Sir Donald Stewart is about eight years older than Sir Frederick Roberts?


Sir, I did not state that the sum of £12,500 had been given to Sir Frederick Roberts and Sir Donald Stewart as the exact commutation of the pension of £1,000 a-year granted to them. What I stated, I believe, was that legal difficulties having arisen with regard to these officers' pensions of £1,000'a-year, pending their tenure of commands in India, it was decided to make an alternative offer to them, and that they had been finally offered either £1,000 a-year at the expiration of their term of service, or a lump sum, which I said was in both cases in excess of what the actuarial value of £1,000 a-year, if now calculated, would have been. When pensions from the India Office are commuted the interest is calculated at 5 per cent, and at that rate of interest the actuarial equivalent of the pension of £1,000 a-year to a person of Sir Frederick Roberts' age would have been £11,892. At 4 per cent it would have been £13,153. It was considered, on the whole, desirable to offer these officers a lump sum intermediate between the value on these two calculations. Of course I am perfectly aware that Sir Donald Stewart, being older than Sir Frederick Roberts, the sum he received is more largely in excess of the commuted value of the pension than that received by Sir Frederick Roberts.


Perhaps the noble Lord will inform the House what was the actuarial value of the pension of Sir Donald Stewart?


I cannot now say.