§ MR. WADDY (Lincolnshire, Brigg)
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether medical and other officers appointed by Boards of Guardians are officers for life, and whether the salaries paid to them annually are unalterable, except with the consent of such officers, however greatly their duties may be diminished; whether he is aware that in consequence of the great decrease in the number of paupers (amounting in some cases to about one-half) during the last few years, many of those officers are now receiving salaries out of all proportion to the duties they have to perform; and, whether he would be willing to suggest that the Royal Commission on the Civil Service should extend their inquiries to the question of the Salaries of Poor Law Officers; or whether he will, by a clause in the forthcoming County Government Bill or by some other means, empower Boards of Guardians to regulate the salaries of their officers according to the duties required of them?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
District medical officers and relieving officers are, speaking generally, appointed for life, subject, of course, to the proper performance of their duties, and their salaries cannot be reduced without their consent. It is not the case that there has been, on the whole, "a great decrease in the number of paupers during the last few years," although, no doubt, in particular instances this has been so. Neither is it the case, in my opinion, that many of these officers are receiving salaries "out of proportion" to the duties they have to perform. I could not undertake to suggest that the Royal Commission on the Civil Service should extend their inquiries to the salaries of Poor Law officers, as this would be entirely beyond the scope of their labours; but the question of the powers which should be possessed by Boards of Guardians with respect to their officers will receive 64 consideration in connection with the County Government Bill.