HC Deb 29 August 1887 vol 320 cc263-4
MR. JENNINGS (Stockport)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, If he can state for what distinguished literary services a pension of £100 a-year was granted to Mr. Mongredien, and what permanent and valuable contributions to English literature that gentleman has made; and, whether he is able to throw any light upon the principle on which £100 a-year was given to Mr. Mongredien, while an eminent and a popular writer, the late Mr. Richard Jefferies, was allowed to die in indigence?

MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the pension referred to was not granted to Mr. Mongredien by a previous Government; and whether it had been the practice of this House, or was competent to a Government, to review pensions granted by a previous Government to which the gracious assent of the Queen had been obtained?

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH)(who replied) (Strand, Westminster)

said: The pension to which my hon. Friend (Mr. Jennings) calls attention was granted by a former Government. I have no information of the grounds on which it was granted. If my hon. Friend is not satisfied with the particulars given in the Parliamentary Return he should ask the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) for fuller information about Mr. Mongredien's literary services. The claim of Mr. Richard Jefferies to one of these pensions was first, brought before me in April last; and as the financial year of these pen- sions ends on the 20th of June, the balance at my disposal was too small to meet many sad claims to which my attention has been drawn. I have, however, continued Mrs. Jefferies' name on the list of applicants, and her claims shall receive my most careful consideration.