HC Deb 23 March 1885 vol 296 cc365-6

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of special pensions to Clerks of the Crown and Clerks of the Peace in Ireland, under certain circumstances."—(Mr. Campbell-Bannerman.)


I move the adjournment of the debate.


said, that before that Motion was put the hon. Member should understand what was the character of the Bill which would be founded upon this Resolution. The Bill would relate to the Treasury, and would authorize the pay and pensions of certain officials in Ireland. The offices of Clerks of the Peace and Clerks of the Crown in Ireland were, under a certain Act passed in 1877, to be amalgamated. Cases, however, occurred where when one office became vacant it was not desirable to propose the holder of the other office to fill it, and where, consequently, a temporary appointment was desirable. In these cases there would be a pension and a temporary salary running at the same time, and the Local Authorities would have to bear the burden of a double payment. A case of this kind had recently arisen in Dublin; and what the Government were now seeking to do was to enable the Treasury to undertake the payment of the pensions so long as temporary salaries were paid for these duties. The present was merely a formal stage of the Bill.


Did I understand the hon. Member (Mr. Sexton) to move the adjournment of the debate?


No; I did not, Sir.


said, that, no doubt, Clerks of the Crown and Clerks of the Peace in Ireland were scandalously overpaid; and he would suggest to the right hon. Gentlemen that while he was on the subject he should make inquiries to ascertain what was reasonable compensation to these gentlemen for the amount of service they performed. In many cases they were practising attorneys, who were in receipt of good private incomes, and, whilst receiving official salaries of £1,200 a-year, paid a small amount to clerks who did the bulk of their work for them. Every ease of that kind he looked upon as a scandalous job. The Act had been passed at the instigation of Members who wished to make provision for their election agents. It had been pushed through, and the ratepayers had been saddled with payments for a long period in a most scandalous manner. The matter deserved to be looked into, and, if possible, these payments should be curtailed. If Her Majesty's Government could succeed in curtailing the salaries of the men in possession, the money so saved would make provision for their successors.

Resolution agreed to; to be reported To-morrow.