HC Deb 07 March 1887 vol 311 cc1517-9

(6.) £11,254, Supplementary, Super-annuations and Retired Allowances.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I have got a word to say upon this Vote. One item is £1,000 for Royal Parks; and I should like to know which are the Royal Parks and what are the Royal Parks. The other point I wish to say a word about is in regard to the item of £1,500 for Diplomatic Services. Some years ago a Rule was passed—I forget by what Secretary—that every Minister or Ambassador abroad should resign at the age of 70 years, and at that age he had a pension of £2,000 or £1,500, as the case might be. It always seemed to me that that Order was somewhat stupid, because while some are getting old at 70, others are in their prime. No doubt many of our servants abroad do good work, and are anxious to remain; but, against their own wishes, they are superannuated at the age of 70. I draw the attention of the Committee to this, because there is a case in point at present. I believe Lord Lyons, our present Ambassador at Paris, is verging on the age of 70 years. We all know what an excellent Ambassador Lord Lyons has been, how he has watched over the interests of the country, and it would be gene rally to the disadvantage of the country if Lord Lyons were not to remain at Paris.


There is no provision in this Vote for the pension of Lord Lyons; therefore, it is not competent to the hon. Gentleman to go into that.


I know there is no provision—that is to say, I am not sure of it, because there is £ 1,500 down that maybe prospective for Lord Lyons, or given to him instead of the gentleman for whom it is presumably asked. At any rate, I will not go to Lord Lyons; but I hope we shall hear some statement from the Government that this Rule is not a hard-and-fast Rule, but that when a Minister is able and ready to do the work, that he should not be superannuated merely because he had reached the age of 70 years.


I do not think there is any hard-and-fast Rule.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)

I wish to ask the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Jackson) for some explanation, of the item of £2,000 for Public Offices in Ireland, and the item of £700 for the insufficient provision for gratuities. These two items require some explanation; and, unless it is given, I shall have to move the reduction of the Vote.


In Ireland there are two retirements from the Local Government Board, and one from public education. I am able to tell the hon. Member that none of these retirements have been compulsory, and none of them come out of the ordinary course.


Some particulars ought to be given as to the cause of their retirement. There is a sum of £3,700 under the head, "Supreme Court of Judicature," which I am informed is not necessarily confined to Ireland, and therefore is not so enormous as it would otherwise appear; but I would suggest that it should be clearly stated whether it has reference to England, Ireland, or both.


I think the hon. Member is very well aware that some times men upon retirement get pensions, and sometimes gratuities. I am afraid I must plead guilty to the Treasury having, perhaps, failed to make the various matters sufficiently clear, and in future an endeavour will be made to make matters as clear as possible.

Vote agreed, to.

(7.) £157, Supplementary, Pauper Lunatics, Scotland.

DR. CLARK (Caithness)

As the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland (Mr. A. J. Balfour) is not here to night, I will defer the remarks I had intended to make until we have a Secretary for Scotland.

Vote agreed to.