HC Deb 09 March 1886 vol 303 cc296-8
MR W. J. CORBET (Wicklow, E.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Boards of Visitors of Public Lunatic Asylums in England are empowered to grant to the officials and servants of those institutions who have served twenty years, and attained the age of fifty, pensions amounting to two-thirds the annual value of the salary and emoluments of such officials and servants; whether officials and servants of similar institutions in Ireland enjoy considerably smaller salaries and emoluments, and cannot, under similar circumstances, be awarded pensions exceeding one-third of the value of their salaries and emoluments unless the Treasury, by warrant under sec. 4 of 22 Vic. c. 26, declares that the service requires professional or peculiar qualifications, and that a number of years, not exceeding twenty, for the purposes of estimating pension, be added to the period of service of such officials and servants; whether the contribution of the Treasury to the Irish Public Asylum Service is now limited to the annual sum of four shillings for each lunatic; whether all other expenses are borne by the Irish Counties; and, whether it is intended to use the powers vested in the Treasury by sec. 4 of 22 Vic. c. 26, or to confer on Boards of Governors of District Lunatic Asylums in Ireland the discretionary powers as to pensions possessed by similar Boards in England?


The liberality of the scale of pensions for officers and servants in lunatic asylums in England is rather understated in the first paragraph of my hon. Friend's Question. I believe that, as a matter of fact, these fortunate persons are treated in respect of pension pretty much on the same footing as Her Majesty's Judges, and far better than permanent Under Secretaries of State. In Ireland these officers and servants are pensioned on the lines of the Civil Service Superannuation Act. In Scotland, I understand, they have no pensions at all. I do not think it would be possible to induce Parliament to sanction again such terms as have been given in England. My hon. Friend further asks that all appointments in lunatic asylums in Ireland should be treated exceptionally under the provisions of Clause 4 of the Superannuation Act. Looking, however, to the analogy of the Public Service generally, I fear it would be difficult to make a case that would satisfy the Treasury of the sufficiency of the claim. I should explain that the Treasury contribution to public lunatic asylums both in England and Ireland is at the rate of 4s. per head per week, and not per annum.