§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he will give the House an opportunity of considering- the proposed scheme of reconstruction in the Probate Registry of Somerset House before it is sanctioned; whether some 20 gentlemen have already received notice of retirement; and, whether he can state their ages, length of service, and the compensation pensions (if any) which they will receive?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I presume that by the Probate Registry the hon. Member means the Probate, Legacy, and Succession Duty Office, the re-organization of which has been for some time under consideration. It is proposed to retire 17 gentlemen; and, as I have already stated in this House, notice has been given to them, Of these gentlemen, six 1156 are over 60; seven between 50 and 60; one 49; and three 47. Four have served over 40 years; 11 between 30 and 40 years; one 29; and one 28. Six of them are entitled to immediate retirement, and have fully earned by service the pensions which they will receive. To the others, in addition to the pensions which their service has earned will be given, as compensation on abolition, amounts varying from £20 to £90 a-year. Even allowing for this compensation, which amounts to rather over £900 a-year, there will be, as I have already stated in the House, a not annual saving of more than £5,500 by the re-organization. It has never been the practice of Her Majesty's Government to submit details of administration, such as schemes of re-organization of Public Departments, to the House, and I see no reason for making an exception to this rule in the present instance.