HC Deb 12 June 1888 vol 326 cc1898-947
MR. JENNINGS (Stockport)

said, the rose to call attention to the abuses connected with frequent and costly re-organizations in various Public Offices; and to move— That the re-organizations in the Accountant General's and Secretary's Departments of the Admiralty have been injurious to the public interests by resulting in increased charges for those Departments, and by needlessly adding to extravagant pensions and bonuses; and that in any future re-organizations, officials who are still able and willing to render service for the public money should be provided with employment in other Departments, instead of being forced to become useless burdens upon the country. The question raised in the Resolution that he submitted was one of great importance to the public, because it involved the expenditure of large sums of money and the abolition of a system which was fraught with great evils to the country. He hoped the House would not be deterred from expressing an opinion upon the matter by the argument that his Resolution related to what had happened in the past. New schemes of this kind were being continually projected, and nothing would put an end to them but the condemnation of that House and the country. He did not suppose there would be any dispute as to the facts upon which his statements were based, as he bad drawn them all from official sources. In the Estimates for the last 20 years, which he had carefully compared and examined; in the Parliamentary Paper which was known as the "Appendix to Class VI.;" in the Return moved for by the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt); and in the Return produced on his (Mr. Jennings') own Motion in February last, were to be found the materials he proposed to lay before the House. Nor did he propose to seek to attach any special blame to any Ministry or any Party. If the Party opposite had been concerned in more re-organizations than the Tory Party, there was good reason to believe that it was because they had been longer in power than had the Tory Party. Now, the game of re-organization was so planned that everybody who took part in it was sure to win, except the British taxpayer. The Head of a Department came into Office, and for one reason or another he thought it desirable to change many of the officials under him. When these officials retired they were all entitled to large bonuses, and to still larger pensions. As they were, as a rule, removed expressly on the ground that their room was worth more than their company, it seemed to follow that they must have been bad bargains for the nation from the first. Well, these officials went out with their pensions, and, after an interval, a new set of officials made their appearance, generally at somewhat lower salaries than their predecessors had received. The Minister who accomplished this operation came down to the House, he was able to show a small saving, he talked very loudly about economy, and the country, ever credulous, congratulated itself upon at last having put the right man in the right place. A few years elapsed and another Head of the Department came in. He, too, saw strong reasons for changing some of the officials under him, and repeated the operation of reorganization. The officials themselves, as a rule, were quite willing to disappear upon abolition terms, which were equivalent to a man coming into a very handsome legacy. Out they went; in come another set; the process was repeated, and after an interval of a few years each Department was found to cost about as much as it did in the first instance, while a very large addition was made to the Pension List. That was the general plan of re-organization, and he would, with the permission of the House, proceed to show in what way it worked. It would be seen that his Resolution laid down the principle that an effort should be made to provide employment for persons who were re-organized, rather than saddle the country with heavy pensions payable to them for the rest of their lives. As this principle was likely to meet with some opposition, he would endeavour as briefly as he could to prove the absolute necessity for adopting it. In 1870, there was a reconstruction of the Court of Bankruptcy, and enormous sums were paid to persons who did not appear to have been in office for more than a few months, or a few years, and who were not entitled upon public grounds to any special recognition by the State. He found that Mr. Holroyd, a Commissioner, received £2,000 a-year for life, and six other Commissioners received £1,800 a-year each, although no entry was made in the column which recorded the length of the service. It must be concluded that these persons had not been long in the service, otherwise the period they had been employed would be given, as there was a special column set aside for that purpose. Whenever a man had been in office for a few years, the period was entered against his name, and where there was a blank it must be assumed and taken for granted that there was no length of service to record. In one case, that of a Registrar, the period of service was mentioned. It was five years, during which the holder of the office had received £1,000 a-year. He was accorded a pension of £666 a-year for the remainder of his life. Another Registrar of two and a-half years' service received the same favourite sum—for everyone who looked over the Returns would be surprised to find how often this sum of £666, with the addition of 13s. 4d. only, appeared against the names of various individuals. One of the persons who received a pension of £1,800 in 1870 was Mr. M. D. Hill. Two years afterwards there was another reconstruction of the Court, and Mr. A. Hill appeared for a pension of £666. This was only one of the numerous cases which might be cited to show the curious tendency of pensions to run in families. It would be frequently observed by anyone who looked over these pensions, that when once a family got hold of a pension it spread out its arms like an octopus. Well, there was another Commissioner who received a pension—and no doubt these officials were deserving officials; he imagined, in fact, that they deserved better treatment than to be placed on the Pension List, and that they ought to have been kept on the active list. Mr. Commissioner Winslow, in 1872, at the age of 49, received £2,000 a-year for life, and there was absolutely no evidence in the Returns to show that he had been even six months in Public Service. If anyone could explain how long Mr. Commissioner Winslow was in the Service in order to qualify him to receive this £2,000 a-year for life, he would make a very valuable addition to the "Appendix to Class VI." and the Estimates bearing upon these subjects. Then, in 1884–85, the Bankruptcy Department was again re-organized, and the British taxpayer was made to smart for it in the usual way. One gentleman received £1,200 a-year, new officials were called in at high salaries, and large pensions accrued—for it must be understood that the cost of a civil servant was not to be measured by the amount of his salary alone, the amount of deferred pay must also be taken into account. What he asked was, why should not all these persons, who retired under this re-orga- nization scheme, have been engaged in the administration of the new Bankruptcy Act? It must not be assumed that they were incompetent to discharge duties which must have been of a very similar character to those they had formerly been in the habit of discharging. These highly paid gentlemen must have been fully competent to administer the new Bankruptcy Act—just as competent as they were to administer the Act in operation up to that period. Most of them retired in the prime of life, and there was no object whatever in getting rid of them, except to comply with that powerful force in public life in England, family and official influence. But even allowing that the Commissioners—these highly paid officials—were incompetent to administer the new Bankruptcy Act, surely the same could not be said of the messengers. Some use might have been made of them under the new arrangement. A man who was capable of delivering a letter or carrying a message under one Bankruptcy Act was surely competent to deliver a message or carry a letter under another Act. But that did not seem to be the official view of the matter. All the messengers had to go, together with the higher officials. He found that in 1870 a man got a pension of over 1200 a-year for life, though he did not appear to have been long in office. A Lord Chancellor's messenger, who was, of course, a very superior kind of messenger, received a pension of £200 a-year for life at the age of 27, and he appeared to still enjoy that pension; for an annuity from the British Government will keep a man alive any length of time. The Board of Trade had undergone several re-organizations. Between 1863 and 1868 a large number of clerks were abolished, some of them not older than 38 or 44. They received pensions of from £291 to £1,200 a-year. He saw that a joint secretary appeared to have had £1,200 a-year, and then in 1869–70 a relation of his received £146 a-year at the age of 34. Nothing would be more touching to the diligent student of these Papers than the numerous instances they afforded of family affection when it could be indulged in at the expense of the British taxpayer. So far as he (Mr. Jennings) could judge, the people who got these pensions, and who got abolished and re-organized, married and intermarried, and formed quite an independent clan by themselves. They were only to be tracked by one who took the Estimates and concurrently studied the history of what were called the "upper classes." It seemed to him that after a time these people set up a sort of claim to a vested interest in the Public Service. They seemed to think they had a kind of title to receive all the good things, because they or their friends had always been taken care of. That principle alone could account for the fact that the country had so many incompetent persons in the Public Offices at the present moment. It was only fair, however, to say that the privileged classes did not always get everything, for under the Board of Trade re-organization, in 1869–70, even a dustman came in for a pension of £7 16s. a-year for life, being thus put on a level with those families who could boast that they had scarcely ever been without a pension or a sinecure. Let him quote one other instance of what he might call the curiosities of re-organization. He found that in 1851 a senior clerk in the Mint received £150 a-year, as a note in the Estimates said, "as compensation for loss of prospect to succeed Mr. Matheson as melter." So that under this beautiful system a man might not only be compensated for the loss of his own office, but also for losing the prospect of getting somebody else's. The Foreign Office had been a mine of gold to the reconstructor and the reconstructed, but he would only give ore or two instances from these Papers with regard to that Department. In 1881–2 a clerk was re-organized to the tune of £601 5s. per annum at the age of 47, an assistant clerk received £390, and another got £400 a-year at the age of 45, and a translator at the age of 38 got £108 a-year. In a reconstruction in 1878 at the War Office 70 clerks, whose average age was 40, got an average pension of £235. In this reconstruction £40,546 a-year was added to the Pension List and £109,980 was paid in bonuses, and since then 20 new clerks had been added to the office, although it was then, as now, disgracefully overmanned. An immense number of persons were at this moment paid liberally for doing nothing, because at some time or other they had held office in Ireland. Opinions differed widely as to whether the British connection was profitable or not to Ireland itself, but there could be no question that it was a mighty good thing for those who got office under it. They had all seen how rapidly Irish officials had passed from obscurity into the peerage, or on to the Judicial Bench, or had received handsome pensions, but anyone who examined the last 11 pages of the "Appendix to Class VI." would find numerous instances of a minor kind of the same description of good luck. There were persons connected with institutions of which many people in England had never even heard receiving handsome pensions—persons, for instance, connected with model farms and so on. Numbers of prison officials were re-organized for what reason no one was able to discover, unless it was that the administration of successive Crimes Acts had imposed too great a strain upon their energies. In the pages of these Papers, from which he was quoting, would be found a nice little assortment of Resident Magistrates who received handsome compensation allowances, amounting in some cases to £675, and in one case a large compensation allowance was received for only two years' service. Altogether, under this heading, £5,165 a-year was paid, and, he must say, whatever might be his opinion of the political aspect of the question, that on the whole the British connection paid some people remarkably well. But if they wanted to see re-organization in all its glory they must look to the Admiralty. Elsewhere it might be an exotic, but at the Admiralty it was a hardy annual, and consequently they were able to study it in all its perfection. The story was somewhat intricate, and it involved the quotation of a few figures. He would make every effort to compress those figures into the shortest space that he could. To deal first with the Accountant General's office. Department of the Accountant General was the happy hunting ground of the reconstructor. It had been reduced and reconstructed and re-organized over and over and over again, and yet at this moment it was more expensive than ever it was. There were more persons employed there in the work of superintendence, and the pension list was larger.[Lord GEORGE HAMILTON: No, no!] if the noble Lord would allow him to make his own statement he (Lord George Hamilton) would have an opportunity—as he was sure he possessed the ability—to give that statement an answer. He would ask to be allowed to give the facts which were to be found in these official documents. The sort of manipulation that went on in this office was illustrated by the post of Deputy Accountant General. In 1854 that office was abolished, and innocent persons thought that there was an end of it, and that they would hear nothing more about it; but in 1861 it was revived with the addition of another official—an Inspector of Yard Accounts—at a salary of £850 a-year; and then in 1868 there was an Assistant Accountant General sent to help those gentlemen at a salary of £1,000, and even that was nothing to what was to follow. The success of those operations soon brought together a hungry crowd of persons who expected offices, and another hungry crowd who expected pensions, and, on the whole, looking at these crowds, it was deemed a most desirable thing to have a new deal all round. The particular class, for there was such a class, which regarded the Admiralty as an institution which was mainly kept up for their benefit and the benefit of their families, and only in a minor degree for looking after the naval defences of this country, found that everything was arranged according to their desire. Twenty-five clerks were sent into retirement, some of them at the ages of 25, 28, 32, 34, and so on. Nearly half of the whole number were under the age of 50. The Department was able to boast that it had saved £14,590 in salaries; but it took care not to say a word about the fact that it had added £8,406 to the Pension List, nor was there any public mention made of the circumstance that three new offices were created, a Deputy Controller of Navy Pay at £1,000 a-year, a Chief Clerk at £850, and an Assistant Inspector of Accounts at £500 a-year. From this point the story rolls on like the tale of the house that Jack built. Some touches of re-organization were tried year after year, but the grand coup was played in 1878–9. Those years will ever be among the most precious recollections of the Admiralty. Pensions and bonuses were distributed as a fairy sister's gifts in a pantomime. The Deputy Accountant General, aged 52, went away smiling with. £489 in his pocket by way of bonus, and a pension of £666 a-year. A Chief Clerk of 49 got £566 a-year, and £495 bonus. A book-keeper, whose salary had been £800 a-year, received a pension of £480 a-year and a bonus of £475 6s. 10d. Senior clerks who were only 42 or 43 years of ago received pensions of £328 a-year each and bonuses of £600 or £700. Some of the clerks thus quartered on the country were only 31 or 32; 46 out of 65 persons on the list were under the age of 50; 15 were under 40. Three only were above the ago of 60. Altogether, this stroke of business cost the country over £20,000 a-year in pensions, and £52,199 in bonuses. Nor was this all. A new set of officials was created at higher salaries—the Accountant General received £1,500 a-year, a Deputy Accountant General £1,200, six Chief Clerks from £700 to £900, and so on. The Deputy Controller of Navy Pay, receiving £1,000 a-year, had his office abolished; but this same gentleman re-appeared under this sweeping re-organization scheme as Deputy Accountant General, only that, instead of getting £1,000 a-year, he got a salary of £1,200 a-year, so that he gained £200 per annum by abolition. He (Mr. Jennings) remembered hearing it said in America that a certain man must be doing pretty well because he had been bankrupt four or five times in as many years, and the test to apply to a Government clerk to find out whether he was prosperous or not was to ask "how many times has he been abolished?" He had traced various individuals who had been abolished and who re-appeared in a marvellous manner, having been benefited by the change and having had their salaries largely increased. Individuals throve under this system, but the nation suffered. It was alleged that the saving in salaries by this re-organization of 1878–80 amounted to £15,500; but not a word was over said, nor would it be said that night, about the addition to the Pension List of over £20,000 a-year or of the £52,000 paid for bonuses. And how long did even this pretended saving last? It lasted for about four or five years, and then, in 1885–6, there was another re-organization, with the result, the truly brilliant result, that two Assistant Accountants General made their appearance on the scene at a salary of £1,000 a-year each, and an Acting Assistant Accountant General at £1,000, and nine Superintending Clerks at salaries from £700 to £800 a-year, the increase being, as usual, most marked in the higher paid offices. Sometimes a poor devil of a copyist was swept away; but he was always replaced by a Superintendent Clerk—say, at £800 a-year, or by an Acting Assistant Deputy Accountant General at £1,000 a-year. The final result of re-organization in the Accountant General's Department was sufficient in itself to prove his case. For many years, and down to 1861, there was only one Accountant General of the Navy at the head of this Office with a salary of £1,300 a-year, who was able to perform all the work of superintendence. This work was now done by the following persons, a list of whom he had copied from the present year's Estimates. There was one Accountant General at £1,500 a-year; there was a Deputy Accountant General at £1,200 a-year; there were two Assistant Accountants General, each at £1,000 a-year; there was one Assistant Accountant General, acting, at £1,000 a-year; there were nine Superintending Clerks, costing £7,019; and there were 16 Assistant Superintending Clerks, costing £9,679, together with one Inspector of Yard Accounts at £700 a-year, and one Assistant Inspector of Yard Accounts at £450, making a total of £22,548 a-year, now being paid by the nation chiefly for the work of superintendence which used to be performed for under £2,000. [cries of "No!"] Well, that was his statement, gathered from the official documents which he had been able to obtain. If there were any other official documents in existence which disproved these facts, he should be glad to hear of them. He repeated that all these persons had been added to the Service since the year when the Accountant General of the Navy was the only person who did the real work of superintendence—that was to say, the year 1861. There was then no Deputy Accountant General; no Acting Assistant Accountant General; no superintendent clerks at these high salaries; no Inspector of Yard Accounts; and no Assistant Inspector of Yard Accounts. He did not see what use it was for any one to dispute these facts, because anyone who would look at the Return produced, on the Motion of the hon. Mem- ber for Morpeth (Mr. Burt), would find all of them set out there beyond the possibility of contradiction. That £22,000 should be spent in the Accountants General's Office at the Admiralty for the mere work of superintendence was, of course, a great abuse. That was the way the money went; and it helped to explain how it was that we were said to have no Navy adequate to our needs, and why we had no guns. The reason was that the money was muddled and jobbed away in this extraordinary and reckless fashion, so that even the offices in which it was spent were really ignored. Here they had Accountants General, and Deputy Accountants General, and Assistant Accountants General, all tumbling over each other, doing no real work, drawing enormous salaries, running up very high pensions, and generally demoralising the Public Service. That was the only result which was produced by their existence. To-night he had not heard from the Admiralty Officials anything but a few exclamations of astonishment. The hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Admiralty had testified before the Royal Commismission now sitting that the money spent upon these persons was an "altogether unnecessary expenditure." Those were his words—and no wonder the hon. Gentleman sat in silence and allowed the First Lord to do all the contradicting. The hon. Gentleman had said more than that even. He had said many things which would appear in the evidence which were quite as strong or stronger than that, and the Assistant Secretary (Mr. Awdry)—and no doubt he was a very competent person—had testified before the Commission that the Staff was out of all proportion to the character of the work they were called upon to do. Could anyone need more conclusive evidence in proof of the statement he (Mr. Jennings) had made than this. The Assistant Secretary, Mr. Awdry, was not there to say "No, no," like the noble Lord; but his words were in print and they could be consulted by Members of the House and the public. The truth was the very officials themselves began to cry out against this shameful extravagance and jobbery. They were like the Roman augurs, they could not meet each other without laughing. That the public had stood it quietly so long was simply owing to the fact that they had known nothing about what was going on. They had been told that the large sums of money voted for the Admiralty all went for ships and machinery and sailors, but the fact was that it did nothing of the kind. He had always maintained, and he maintained now, that if the money voted by this country were spent honestly on the Navy, and not muddled away upon unnecessary officials and jobbed away by useless changes and worse than useless changes, they would have a good Navy that day, and not be subjected to recurrent panics and sudden demands for additional sums of money to place us in a state of defence. To open their eyes to the truth was the first step towards reform. He ventured to hope that something would be accomplished in that direction that night. Now, let them for a moment turn to the Secretary's Department. The facts concerning the Secretary's Department of the Admiralty were shown in the Return produced on his (Mr. Jennings) Motion in February last. He found that the great re-organizations there took place in 1869–70 and in 1879–80. The avowed object he need not say was as usual to promote the great and sacred cause of economy. The result was to produce a temporary diminution in the working expenses of the Office and a very real addition to the pension list. He would cite only a few illustrations. A clerk, aged 50, received a pension of £702 a-year; another of 55 got £833 a-year, which was within £167 of his full salary, for life; another clerk of 35 got £129 16s. 8d. a-year. In 1872, another clerk was "re-organized" successfully for himself; but he (Mr. Jennings) was was not quite sure whether so successfully for the country. He was then turned 50 years of age and had a salary of £750 a-year. He retired with £500 a-year for life, and he (Mr. Jennings) never heard that he made any complaint about it. In 1876, a clerk of 37 retired with a pension of £289 6s. 8d. In 1877, the Office of Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty was abolished, the holder, aged 45, receiving £678 2s. 6d. a-year, until another good berth was provided for him as County Court Judge, when his annuity was reduced to £250 a-year.


Will the hon. Gentleman mention the name?


referred the First Lord to his own Return—he had merely copied all the facts out of that Return.


The hon. Member says the Permanent Secretary retired with a pension, and was made a County Court Judge,—and I want to know his name.


said, he had not stated that that had happened recently—everything he said seemed to be misunderstood by the noble Lord—he was referring to what had happened in 1876–7. After this little interlude he might perhaps now be allowed to go on with his statement. In 1877, the Office of Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty was abolished; that holder of it, aged 45, received as he had said, £678 2s. 6d., and another good berth was provided for him as County Court Judge, when his annuity was reduced to £250 a-year. Was that a fact? ["Yes."] Well, if the noble Lord had allowed him to finish his statement he would have found nothing to contradict. These were the facts, the scandalous facts, of the case, and if half the eagerness displayed in trying to throw doubt upon their accuracy were exhibited in the attempt to avoid such scandals in future, there would be no necessity for anyone to get up and make statements similar to those he (Mr. Jennings) was obliged to make that night. The salary of the Permanent Secretary had been £1,500 a-year, so that with the full pension there was a saving of £822 a-year. But in 1882 another Permanent Secretary was born into the world with a salary of £2,000, instead of :1,500. ["No!"] Well, he said it was so, and he hoped the Return was in the hands of hon. Members, in order that they might refer to it, and see that the statement he made was perfectly correct. The office of Naval Secretary was abolished, but the total expenses of the office—chiefly for superintendence—had steadily and heavily increased. In 1869, before the re-organization, these expenses were £26,019. By 1877 they had gone up to £28,406, without reckoning the large increase in the Pension List, and he believed that the amount was now increasing as it had increased steadily during the last few years. In 1878–80 it was deemed high time to make another large number of persons easy in their circumstances by abolishing their offices. Six clerks under 40 years of age received pensions of from £325 to £615 a-year, and bonuses in addition amounting to £4,206. One clerk of 36 received a pension of £210 a-year and a bonus of £871. The total sum paid for pensions was £7,378 a-year and for bonuses £10,897. In 1881, after this re-organization, the total cost of the office was £23,888. The operation had effected a saving in salaries of about £4,300, which was counterbalanced by an increase in the Pension List of £7,378 a-year. But even this entirely delusive saving soon began to disappear. In 1882 the expenses increased over £1,180, and gradually they went on growing until, in the Estimates of the present year, they reached the sum of about £26,000. If they took into consideration the increase in salaries, pensions, and bonuses which had to be recorded since 1871, when the Secretary's office cost £22,678 all told, they could not reckon that the re-organizations in the Department had cost the country less than £269,000—money he contended utterly thrown away. Upon the most moderate estimate over £500,000 had been recklessly squandered during the last few years in Departmental changes in the Admiralty which ought never to have been made, or ought never to have been made in that particular way. The Pension List connected with the Accountants General's Office now amounted to £32,324 a-year, and of the Secretary's Office to £16,908 a-year; and of course he need not explain to anyone who understood the system of the Office that these amounts must go on increasing. Of course, other re-organizations were being projected, and successive relays of pensioners would be foisted upon the country unless Parliament interfered. Many more facts might be quoted to show the necessity for the interference of Parliament, but he thought probably he had troubled the House with enough of them. What he wanted to show was that the whole system was wrong, and he must my that he came down to the House prepared to find that the Government would admit that it was wrong, and he did not now imagine that the Government would seriously undertake to defend all that had been done under this system in the past, or even seriously to justify the system itself. There could be no question that officers, clerks, and other persons, quite equal in capacity to the present holders of such offices as those to which he had referred, could be obtained for much smaller salaries than those now paid. The holders of such offices ought to be content with their salaries, and should not look for high pensions for a few years' service. They should be considered abundantly recompensed by having salaries 50 per cent. or so higher than those paid for corresponding work in any mercantile office. He would respectfully suggest that it was very little use for any of his hon. Friends or anyone sitting in that House to go round the country at election time raising a great dust about economy, unless they made some effort to give their professions a practical turn in that House. It seemed to him that any Government or any Party which declined to acknowledge that there was great room for reform in this matter would assuredly place itself in a false position. Of course it was not a very pleasant duty to expose these abuses. In the House, Ministers and ex-Ministers met anyone with obstinate denials of the facts, even when, as in this case, they were taken entirely from official documents. Out of the House one was called a Radical, but that epithet would not frighten him. If an anxiety to reform abuses of that kind could stamp a man as a Radical, he was quite willing to receive that stamp, and to avow that he would rather vote for the abolition of these abuses as a Radical than vote for their defence as a Tory. He maintained that the country was sick and tired of this system of providing for what they called good families, and of having offices shuffled round amongst the people who had always been in the habit of receiving them. The public were weary of having costly and useless officials put into their positions because their fathers or mothers or uncles had influence with high officers of State. He thought the mind of the country was bent upon having searching reform in these matters. He ventured to suggest that an opportunity for proving that they on the Ministerial side of the House were in earnest in demanding such a reform was afforded by the Motion he respectfully submitted to the House, and which he now asked the House to adopt.


said, his hon. Friend the Member for Stock- port (Mr. Jennings) had so completely and exhaustively dealt with this subject that he left him (Major Rasch) very little necessity for taking up the time of the House. Every hon. Member who had heard the speech of the Mover of the Motion must have had forced upon him this fact, that re-organization was an extremely pleasant amusement for the re-organized Department, but that it was an extremely expensive one for the taxpayer. He could not help thinking that the result of these re-organizations was by no means commensurate with the expense that it entailed, because, as a matter of fact, these re-organized Departments were the Departments which carried out that system which made this country practically the laughing stock of Europe during the last four years. It was owing to these re-organized Departments that we had guns sent out to the Red Sea, and that we had, as was shown in the Commission asked for by the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), flour sent out which was more like plaster of Paris than anything else; that we had tin bayonets, pewter swords, armour clads with their armour belts below the water, and ships without guns. And worst of all, we found that these Departments occupied themselves in composing reports in duplicate, triplicate, and quadruplicate—reports which were an eyesore to our soldiers and civil servants at home and abroad, and which it took them all their time to understand. With regard to the system of re-organization he could only take one Department which his hon. Friend had alluded to, and that was the Secretarial Department of the Admiralty. He would touch upon one or two points which his hon. Friend had not dealt with. This fortunate Department from a re-organization point of view had been re-organized twice. The first time was in 1869, and it cost the country £26,000 a-year. The number of clerks was reduced by 11, and the result of the reduction was a saving of £3,300 in salaries, but the amount spent in pensions was £5,500 a-year. In 1871 the Department had again crept up to £28,000 a-year, and, besides that, the whole of the pensions had to be paid into the bargain. That, he ventured to think, with all respect to the hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, was rather an Irish way of re-organizing. ["Oh, oh!"] Again, in 1879, the cost was £28,000, and in 1881, in this extremely fortunate Department, 17 clerks were shelved, and the cost was reduced to £24,000 a-year, but plus £7,000 a-year pensions and £10,000 for bonuses. The net result of this re-organization in one Department was an extra expenditure of something like £125,000 between the years 1869 and 1886, which sum was entirely spent on pensions, bonuses, and salaries, which were absolutely unnecessary, and need never have been incurred. He found that there were two sets of officials who benefited by those schemes of re-organization, one set being composed of men who were old and perfectly incompetent, and the other being composed of young, smart officials, who were able to obtain work outside their Department. He would venture to suggest that no Government Department should be allowed to re-organize itself, aided by wire-pullers. Every re-organization should be carried out by an independent Commission, altogether disconnected with the Department and acting outside. He also thought that no reorganization should be carried out—as he believed there was a general tendency on the part of several Government Departments to make hay while the sun shone—until the Report of the Commission now sitting was produced. He hoped the right hon. Gentlemen sitting on the Front Bench on that (the Ministerial) side of the House would pay attention to the observations of his hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings), because he (Major Rasch) knew perfectly well, from his own experience in connection with the electors of his Division, that the electorate of the country were getting tired of seeing these re-organizations carried out, as they were really and truly the merest shuffling about of highly-paid officials from one position to another. He begged to second the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the re-organizations in the Accountant General's and Secretary's Departments of the Admiralty have been injurious to the public interests, by resulting in increased charges for those Departments, and by needlessly adding to extravagant pensions and bonuses; and that in any further re-organizations, officials who are still able and willing to render service for the public money shall be provided with employment in other Departments, instead of being forced to become useless burdens upon the country."—(Mr. Jennings.)

MR CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House that I am not one of those who regret that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings) has brought forward this Resolution, because I think that no one who has had the official experience that has fallen to my lot can do otherwise than rejoice that this most difficult matter of re-organization should be thoroughly well ventilated in the House of Commons. I may say more, that so far from re-organization being, as is supposed—and as I almost thought, from an expression which fell from him, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stockport himself believed—a pleasure and satisfaction to the Head of a Department who has to undertake it, I, who have had one very serious reorganization to undertake, declare most solemnly that there is no duty which can be more odious, more distasteful. If you are re-organizing a large Department—and I am going to give the House some facts about a re-organization which I personally undertook—you will have to meet more heart-burnings, more discontent, more personal feeling than any Minister or Head of a Department can meet with in any other official duty he may have to perform; and I will undertake to say on the part of all those whom I see opposite, and on the part of some of my hon. and right hon. Friends who usually sit on this side of the House, that so far from their regarding re-organization as a source of satisfaction, the very opposite is the case, and though duty may require it to be undertaken, nothing is a greater source of dissatisfaction. I do not propose and it would be impossible for me to go through all the details offered to the House in the speech of the hon. Member. There were, however, some matters outside the particular Resolution he has moved, which, I think, I may refer to, and as to which those who have sat for some time in the House will agree with me in correcting the views of the hon. Gentleman. He not only went into the question of the re-organizations in the Department to which the Resolution referred, but he also spoke of the re-organization of certain Judicial Departments—for instance, the Court of Bankruptcy. Now, it will be in the recollection of hon. Gentlemen who were Members of the House when the former Bills were brought in re-organizing the bankruptcy and other legal departments of the country, that there was nothing on which there was greater controversy at that time than in the demands of those who were interested as members of the Legal Profession in some of the arrangements of the Court of Bankruptcy, to obtain for the officials by Statute, not by voluntary or Departmental arrangements, the largest amount of compensation or superannuation possible; and I, myself, in this House, had more than once to take part in the endeavour to keep down those charges, and I think I speak with the knowledge of the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Jackson) when I say that, as far as some of these compensations in legal Departments are concerned, they were Acts of this House, carried, very often, despite the strenuous opposition of those who wished to see more economical arrangements. That is certainly the case as to the former Bankruptcy Act; and possibly the hon. Member for Stockport, who was not in Parliament when that Act was passed, is not aware that for the organization referred to, those who were responsible were not the officials of the Treasury, but Members of Parliament themselves, who stereotyped the old provisions as to compensation to legal officers, and left the Government no alternative whatever. I say that parenthetically, because I am glad the hon. Gentleman should have brought this subject before Parliament, though, I think, it is desirable some of his facts should be corrected. I said before that I have had some experience in this matter. I am responsible for one great scheme of re-organization to which the hon. Member has referred, and, with the leave of the House, I will now state what that re-organization was, and upon what principles we acted. I refer to the re-organization in 1869 of some departments of the Admiralty, for which I had the good—or bad—fortune to be responsible. When I took office as First Lord of the Admiralty, at the end of the year 1868 it was found that the old Naval Departments, Civil and Naval, were enormously in excess of the public requirements. I will give the House some figures showing how that was. Whether it was in respect of officers on the active list or officers on half-pay or in respect of the Civil Departments of the Admiralty itself, or Civil Departments in other branches of the Service subordinate to the Admiralty, we found, as was well known in Parliament after inquiries by Committees and Commissions during the preceding 10 years, that there was an enormous excess in the number of persons connected with the Admiralty, and we undertook—and communicated our decision at once to Parliament—the revision of those matters. I will now give the House, correctly, the facts, not from conjecture, not from information picked out here and there, but from a complete Return laid before Parliament in the years 1872 and 1874, and I will quote in each case what it was we had to do and how we did it. The House will then see whether, in respect of that reorganization, the description the hon. Gentleman gives of it is deserved. When we took Office at the Admiralty, we found that the total number of naval officers of all ranks on pay, or half-pay, was 5,143. We were of opinion that there were at least 1,500 too many. It was necessary to re-organize with a view to the necessary reduction, and in four years from that time the number had been reduced by 1,200 officers on full pay, and 336 on half-pay, or a total of 1,536 officers. It will be said that that does not include the retired list, and that we put a large number of officers on the retired list, and in that way made up for the economy in the active Service. I find that the total number of officers, including Warrant Officers on pay, half-pay, retired pay, and reserved pay, in 1868 was 10,607, and that step by step they were reduced, including those on the retired and reserve lists, to 9,514, or,in all, a reduction of 1,093 officers. I take these figures from Paper No. 256, of 1872. It may, however, be asked—But did you economize expenditure? It will be said—"When you made this reduction, you probably so increased the non-effective expenditure as to raise the total charge." I refer hon. Members to Paper 321, of 1872, and they will see that in the short space of four years the total number of officers on the ordinary fighting active list was reduced in such a manner as to produce, including retired and reserve pay, an economy of £29,000 a-year, and of all ranks above Warrant Officers an economy of £13,000 a-year.

MR. LALOR (Queen's Co., Leix)

I desire to ask, Mr. Speaker, whether the right hon. Gentleman is speaking to the Question before the House?


Well, I think it is very hard—

MR. GENT-DAVIS (Lambeth, Kennington)

The Question submitted to you, Sir, has not been decided.


I decided it by silence.


I think it is rather hard, seeing that we were in Office during the period which has been referred to by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Jennings) that I should not be allowed to tell the whole story. As a matter of fact, then, I have shown that the charge for pay and retired pay was greatly reduced in respect of what are called naval officers by the amount of no less than £29,000 a-year. But now let me go to the particular Departments to which the hon. Member specially alluded. Let me remind him that those are only two out of a considerable number of Civil Departments of the Admiralty. In the Returns to which he has referred, he has very naturally fallen into an error—not a grievous one in itself, but one which a little more knowledge of the Departments of the Admiralty at that time would have saved him from. I mean he has not taken into account, in bringing before the House the circumstances of the Accountant General's Department, that when the reduction took place, and as an important set-off in his calculations of the small amount of this reduction, a large number of clerks were transferred from other Departments when their business was transferred to the Accountant General's Department. In 1868–9 we found there was an enormous excess in the aggregate number of persons employed in the Civil Departments of the Admiralty. We found that the town departments of the Admiralty—that is to say, the Secretary's Department, the Departments of the Accountant General, the Storekeeper General, the Controller of Victualling, and the other departments in London had 473 salaried officers. These figures are taken from Return 256, of 1872. I do not think the hon. Member for Stockport, in his inquiry, has gone back to these Returns, although he has gone back to the period they represent. They were Returns called for by Parliament at the time when this very subject was discussed—because this question of the re-organization of the Admiralty Departments is not a new one. It was fully discussed in 1870–1–2, and more particularly in 1874, and though the discussions in Committee do not appear very fully in Hansard, the hon. Gentleman will find a good deal on the subject in those debates. If he looks through the Parliamentary Papers he will find the precise information in which his speech was wanting, and which I now take the liberty of bringing before him. In 1868–69, as I have said, we found an enormous excess in the number of persons employed in the Civil Departments of the Admiralty—I am not now speaking of the Naval officers. We found an enormous surplusage in the number of civil officers employed under the Admiralty, and I will give the House these facts—what number we found, what reduction we made, what economy there was in salaries, and what economy there was in pensions; and then I think the hon. Member—who, I am sure, is anxious to know the facts of the case—will admit that I have put before him a statement not entirely in accordance with all the conclusions he has drawn from the Papers to which he referred, and in fact on many points in diametrical opposition to them. We found, I say, that the town Departments of the Admiralty had 473 salaried officers. These were strenuously reduced, and there were a good many transfers made from one Department to another, and the result was that in 1872 the 473 had been reduced to 390—that is to say, 83 Civil servants at work in the Admiralty were employed less than were employed in 1868. At the same time, the number of writers was increased by one-third, and in the result the whole number of official persons, of whatever rank, employed in the Civil Departments of the Admiralty in London, were reduced by 47, producing an economy of £18,000 a-year. But, it will be asked, what was the effect on the Pension List, and what was the net result to the country? I have taken some pains to obtain information from the Returns I have quoted as to the total number of persons employed in the Civil Department of the Admiralty, whether clerks or writers, comparing 1868 and 1872, and also to the total charge for salaries and pensions paid to those clerks. Here, again, I must include the effect of large transfers from one Department to another. In 1868 there were 1,344 civilians, including writers, employed in the Civil Department of the Admiralty in London and elsewhere. In 1872 there were 1,047—that is to say, we reduced the number of civil servants employed under the Admiralty by 297. The salaries were reduced by £74,000 a-year. The pensions, which, of course, diminish year after year, were, at first in the maximum, increased by £26,000 a-year; but in respect of the Civil Department of the Admiralty, as between 1868, when the re-organization began, and 1872, when it was over, there was already a net economy, in salaries and pensions together, to the extent of £48,000 a-year. That, however, would not be a perfectly fair statement, and I wish to correct it in this respect—that a certain number of those servants had commuted their pensions. That commutation was equivalent to £5,000 a-year, so that the net economy in respect of civilians in the Admiralty, as between 1868 and 1872, was 297 persons, costing in salaries and pensions less by £43,000 a-year. I think those facts, which are taken from the Return No. 256 of 1872, ought to be carefully weighed by the House in considering the merit or demerit of the re-organization undertaken in 1869. The hon. Member for Stockport is apparently under the impression that after this re-organization took place patronage went on and that fresh appointments were made. Now, I have taken great pains to get also at these facts from Returns which are at the disposal of all hon. Members, and the number and dates of which I have given. I will take the Departments the hon. Member refers to. In the Secretary's Department of the Admiralty, as between 1869 and 1873, the total net reduction was 13 persons, and the economy in the salaries, after deducting pensions, was £3,000 a-year. In the Accountant General's Department the net reduction was 55 persons. That is to say, that we found the Department redundant by so large a number that we were able in that first re-organization to reduce it by 55 persons. The salaries were reduced by £18,500 a-year and the pensions increased by £9,000, so that the net economy was £9,500 a-year. But it would not be fair to leave it in that way. I must remind the House that at that time, as was well known in Parliament, it was absolutely necessary to re-arrange the salaries of these offices, It fell to our lot to make that re-arrangement, but I cannot find how much ought to be allowed for the re-arrangement of salaries. In the re-organization, however, there was a saving of no less than 68 persons in the Civil employment of the Admiralty, resulting in a gross saving of £12,000 a-year, minus the money allowed for on account of the rearrangement of salaries. And now as to fresh appointments being made after re-organization takes place. Let me tell the hon. Member what I think he will be glad to hear. He is under the impression that after that great re-organization was effected fresh appointments were made, and patronage was again in vogue—went on "merrily," I think was the expression he used. He seems to think that having got rid of a certain number of officers we derived satisfaction from appointing our friends to the vacant places. Now, I will give the House the facts on that point—and they are taken also from the Return, where they are set out in full. In 1867—before the re-organization—22 Civil appointments had been made in the Admiralty; in 1868 the number was 25; in 1869, after and during the re-organization, no clerk was appointed, although at that time those appointments did not take place under the system of competitive examination, but were simply the patronage of the Department. In 1870, 1871, 1872, and 1873 no appointments whatever were made—that is to say, during the whole of these five years the appointment of Civil officers to the Admiralty had ceased altogether. I think it will be seen that we were honest in the reduction we had determined to make, forfeiting for five years the whole of our patronage, which our Predecessors had enjoyed to the tune of above 20 appointments a year. But the great reduction in the number of appointments was not seen in the Civil Department only. In the Naval Department, in 1867, 282 officers of all ranks were appointed; in 1868 the number was 239; in 1869 that number was reduced to 164; in 1870 the number was 135; in 1871 the number was 173; in 1872 it was 163, and in 1873 the number had been reduced to 115 officers of all ranks. We were of opinion that there was an enormous redundancy in the ranks of the Naval Department, whether of naval or Civil officers, and Mr. Baxter and myself having undertaken the most obnoxious and disagreeable operation of vigorous cutting down establishments, we went straight through with the work, and during those five years, under my own administration and that of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Goschen), that policy of steadily reducing the number of officers as well as the charge, and of absolutely giving up the whole of our Civil patronage, all the naval patronage which it was possible to give up—of course we could not altogether stop the entry of cadets—the work was diligently prosecuted, with the effect I have described. I have not, unfortunately, been able to lay my hands on a Return prepared for me by the Admiralty about 10 or 15 years after that great reorganization, but I remember the figures well, and they show that when the Pension List had been depleted by deaths and other causes, the whole economy we had effected amounted to between £150,000 and £200,000 a-year. There may have been individual mistakes as to this officer or that officer, and as to this Civil servant or that Civil servant, but if the House will trust me that I am stating the facts correctly, I think they will allow, at any rate, that the great re-organization which we undertook at that time, and carried through in those years, was a thoroughly honest re-organization in the interests of the public and the taxpayer. No one can be charged with having carried it out from any selfish or personal motive, for our own object was the public good, and we set ourselves to perform the task. We did it honestly, we abandoned the whole of our patronage, we determined that this enormous redundancy of officers should be attacked as vigourously as it could be, and we did so attack it with success. Although we had done so much, I was of opinion when I left Office that we had not gone far enough, but that it ought to rest with those who followed us to carry that reduction still further. I am not sure whether I left it as an official Memorandum, but I certainly left for those who came after me, in an unofficial document, a statement in which I pointed out that, while the Naval Department had been successfully dealt with, there had not been time to attack the number of the Civil Department sufficiently, and we left to our successors certain information to guide them if they should think fit to under take the work. The Government which followed did undertake the operation, and the right hon. Gentleman the present First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) particularly took up the question vigorously, doing me the honour to communicate to me at the time the heads of the re-organization he proposed to take further in hand. He took the matter up where we had left off. The details of this work do not appear in these papers, but the right hon. Gentleman opposite will be able, perhaps, to state them from memory. At any rate the general results can be seen in later Parliamentary returns. While we had reduced the numbers of the Civil Departments of the Admiralty by—as I have shown to the House—83, 68 of them being in the offices of the Secretaries and Accountant General, the new First Lord of the Admiralty took up the matter again, commencing at the point where we had left off. If I am not mistaken—for I have only a partial official Return to refer to—he succeeded in making a further reduction in the number of civilian servants in the Admiralty connected with the different Departments of no less than 101 persons. I may be wrong by one or two, but that was about the reduction made. So far as I can tell from the Return, and it is not very easy to pick out the facts, the saving actually made by that re-arrangement was something between £22,000 and £23,000 a-year. The arrangement was subject, of course, as former re-arrangements had been, to certain increases of salaries, but, on the whole, a very handsome amount was actually saved by the right hon. Gentleman. I hope I have honestly and simply stated to the House what the story of my great re-organization was. Hon. Gentlemen who have not had the misfortune to be concerned in an operation of that kind may think it is very simple, but when you find a Department with 200 officials in it too many, when you find a Service with 1,500 officers in it too many, it is not an easy task to undertake, and undertake promptly, the bringing down of those too over-crowded lists to the amount requisite for the Public Service. Let me assure the House of this, that if on the one hand that operation is a very difficult one and requires great pains and patience, and indifference to abuse, and a determination to do one's duty, however disagreeable it may be, on the other hand the reward is all the greater. You cannot carry on a department efficiently for business if you have in that department people running over each other—if you have three men to do the work of two. It is absolutely necessary for the efficient conduct of a great business—and there is no business greater than that of the Admiralty—that you should bring the number of people employed down to a reasonable figure—to such an amount approximately as a private firm would. But you have to deal with persons who, whether the system is a good or bad one, and that I do not propose to discuss, are members of a permanent Civil Service, with rights given to them by Acts of Parliament, and by decisions of Parliament, with rights which have often been subjected to discussion in Parliament. I venture to say, however, that in nine out of every 10 discussions in Parliament the question has been, not whether these public servants are paid too much, but whether they are paid enough. Constant pressure is put on Ministers from all parts of the House—I do not name any one in particular—to grant these demands for larger remuneration, larger superannuation, larger compensation for Public Services, and it is only when such a debate as this takes place that those who are responsible for the Public Service can find breathing time, and can find support to meet the constant pressure which is put upon them in every direction. Now let me say one word as to the practical suggestion of the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings). The hon. Gentleman suggests in his Resolution that it would be desirable that officials still able to render service should be provided with employment in other Departments. Now, what I think we ought rather to do is, to see that the Public Service has in each Department officers well suited for the work of the Department, and that too many are not employed. It is our primary duty, not to provide officers with employment, but to provide the Public Service with efficient officers, and, therefore, it strikes me that the hon. Member has, in his Resolution, rather put the cart before the horse. He asks us to provide persons with employment. What we ought to do is, to provide the Public Service with officers fitted to do the duty required of them. But if he asks me whether I agree with him as to the principle of his Resolution rather than as to its language, I am bound to say that, as far as his suggestion can be carried out, no one is more anxious, no one has, by official acts, shown greater anxiety that it should be carried out than myself. Every time we undertook—when I say we, I am speaking of the Governments to which I belonged, for, personally, I was concerned in only one re-organization—when we set about re-organization, we did our utmost to obtain employment elsewhere for persons who were redundant in a particular office. It is not an easy operation. If you have been trained all your life, say in a shipbuilder's office, you will not become, at 45 years of age, a good bank clerk by the simple operation of being transferred to a stool in a bank. Of course, it is the duty of the Treasury, and of all those concerned in these operations, to do their utmost to see that if persons superannuated as redundant can be employed elsewhere, they should be, but also that they should have work for which their training fitted them. I have known numerous cases in which men, preferring the full salary of office to the superannuation allowance, have gone to other offices, and have turned out utterly unfitted for the new duty assigned to them. Therefore, I do not think the hon. Member puts the case quite in the right way; for it is not so much our first object to find work for redunntant clerks, but to see that the offices contain none but men fit for their work, always, however, treating the redundant list as a principal source from whence capable men may be drawn. I do not think that in the words used in the Resolution this principle is fittingly expressed, and I cannot support it; but I think the hon. Member, in bringing his Resolution forward, intended to do, and has done, a good service; and while I have done my best to supplement or correct some of the statements he has made, I feel certain of this, that whoever may be in Office, they will not regret that the debate we have had this night has taken place.

ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

said, he did not desire to travel over the ground occupied by previous speakers; but he did wish to say that he, as a humble Representative of the Service to which he was proud to belong, was deeply grateful to the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings) for having made this Motion. He was grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the manner in which he handled the subject, for the light he had brought to bear upon it, and for the deep research he had exhibited in his statesmanlike speech. Whether he agreed with the hon. Member in all he had said was another matter. Now, a word or two in reply to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers). Although he was a political opponent of the right hon. Gentleman, and though, as a naval man, he disapproved of much of the work, or rather of the mischief, the right hon. Gentleman had done, he was always ready to believe that the right hon. Gentleman was actuated by one motive, and that was to do that which he believed to be best for the Public Service. He assented to all the right hon. Gentleman had said with regard to the reduction he found it necessary to make in the Executive branch of the Navy—a reduction of the Staff by 1,500—but that was not the point now before the House. The hon. Member for Stockport did not make that part of his statement, so that the right hon. Gentleman was dragging a red herring across the path, he was taking credit herring that which no one disputed. The real point of the speech of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Jennings) was the misuse of funds for many years past in the retiring of clerks and the increase of the Civil Establishment connected with the Admiralty and other Departments. Therefore, the getting rid of 1,500 naval officers was really beside the question under discussion. He admitted, as every naval man admitted, that when we passed from wooden to iron battle ships the number of men on the Establishment of the Navy was far in excess of the requirements of the Service, and he gave the right hon. Gen- tleman credit for the way in which he handled the question. Though from an economical point of view naval men agreed that the arrangement was not a good thing for the taxpayers, they considered it was a good thing for their brother officers, and he, having the highest opinion of his brother officers, and feeling that they were always underpaid, was much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the vigorous retirement scheme which he introduced and succeeded in passing. But that was quite a different question to the one under discussion. What was the moral to be drawn from this discussion. Why, that it was a monstrous abuse to retire civilian clerks—he cared not what their standing might be in the Admiralty—at the age of 45 or 50 with salaries varying from £678 to £700 a-year. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers), in his brilliant retirement scheme, never proposed to give more than £600 to post-captains with good service pensions at the age of 55. A post-captain had great experience in the command of ships; he had had to take the flag of England everywhere and see that it was honoured. He (Admiral Field) valued such a man at a higher rate than any chief clerk in the Admiralty. The right hon. Gentleman would have done well to see that the retiring allowances of the Civil branch were never in excess of those of the able and distinguished men who retired at the age of 55 with £600, including good service pensions. He thought the House would agree with him that the services of those gentlemen who lived in comfort at home could not be compared with those of naval men who followed the sea from their boyhood to their retirement. An Admiral's half-pay was £450 a-year; he had occasional employment—perhaps once in seven years—when he received full pay. It seemed to him (Admiral Field) that the retiring allowances of the Civil clerks ought to bear some relation to the pay awarded to the officers on active service. As a matter of fact, half of the Civil clerks in the Admiralty and other branches of the Public Service were not wanted, and if the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers), who prided himself on the retirement of 1,500 naval officers, had seen his way to replace some of the civilian element by able and gallant officers who would have been content to serve for their half-pay, plus the extra allowance for extra duty, he would have effected great economy and have obviated a good deal of heart-burning in the Naval Service. It was a monstrous scandal that when they came to deal with the greatest Public Service in the country, for the Navy was the greatest Public Service—the Admiralty were yearly entrusted with over £12,000,000 sterling to expend on the Navy of the greatest maritime power in the would—they should find there were only four naval men who had any voice in the expenditure of the money granted by Parliament. Naval men were powerless, because they were in the hands of the Civil branch; and if this discussion led the First Lord of the Admiralty (Lord George Hamilton) to consider the question of organizing his Board on such a basis that naval men should have a greater voice in the administration of naval affairs, it would be most valuable. There were only three Naval Lords who exercised any executive functions, the fourth being controller; the rest of the administration was in the hands of civilians, who knew nothing about the Naval Service. He knew nothing about the men who had been retired, and he did not care to inquire. He believed what had been said, that many of the men received salaries far beyond their deserts. He hoped more light would be let in upon the question, for the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) was no answer to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings). As usual, the ex-officials on the Opposition Benches supported the officials on the Treasury Bench; it was only they, poor, humble, naval men, who suffered. All that he and his hon. Friends wanted was efficiency in the Naval Service, and they maintained that the only way to administer the Navy efficiently was to get rid of a great many civilians, and replace them by gentlemen of naval experience. It would be much more economical for them all. Naval men desired to serve them for the honour of serving them, and not for the dirty pay they received. [Ironical cheers.] Hon. Members might jeer that sentiment; but he felt warmly upon this point. Inquiry into the system of administration in both the Naval and Military Services would do a great deal of good, if it tended to draw more attention to the doings of the two great spending Departments. He hoped the First Lord would himself look into this question. He knew the noble Lord desired to do his best for the Service, and he honoured him for the manner in which he had brought his intellect to bear on naval matters. He knew no man who had done more for the good of the Service, and who had shown a greater zeal for its efficiency, than the noble Lord. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers) dwelt upon the Civil administration of the Navy in his time. But it was since his time that a great abuse had been carried out. The right hon. Gentleman was the man to introduce the system under which there was a permanent Naval Secretary. That office was abolished, however, by Lord Northbrook in 1882. A civilian was appointed to take the place of the Naval Secretary. He (Admiral Field) did not want to make any reflections on the hon. Gentleman who now occupied the position of Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty (Mr. McGregor); but he invited hon. Gentlemen to see that official in the witness box upstairs, and then say whether they did not think that a naval man would fill the office better than the present occupant. He was confident that the more attention was drawn to the administration of the Admiralty the sooner impartial men would arrive at the conclusion that more naval men were required. Every Naval Lord should have a post-captain as his private secretary, for when a Naval Lord went out of office there should be some men in the Department who understood what had been done. It was quite clear that while there were only three naval men on the Board of Admiralty and all the rest were civilians, the Navy would never be administered from a naval point of view.


I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings) for the very able speech in which he has brought this subject before the House. The great objection which I had to his speech, which caused me to interrupt him, was that he was calling attention to a state of things which existed 100 years ago, but does not exist now. He made the House to understand that these re- organizations were made for the purpose of jobbery. He plainly stated that there were certain families which were especially benefited, and he made use of one expression, that some poor devil of a writer was displaced by a gentleman with £800 a-year. Now, what are the facts? Let me remind the House of the conditions under which gentlemen enter the Civil Service. I have no power to alter them. The conditions are established by Act of Parliament, and are enforced by public opinion. If a vacancy occurs, notice has to be given to the Civil Service Commission, and it will be filled by the gentleman who passes the best competitive examination, and the individual who passes that examination enters into a sort of contract with the Government by which he becomes a higher division clerk, and entitled to permanent employment at a certain salary, with a pension after a certain number of years. The same rule regulates the lower division clerks. The pension is regulated by length of service, and the amount of salary which he receives on his retirement. The longer he serves the greater his pension, until he attains the maximum amount of pension at the age of 60. The Heads of Departments have to deal with a stereotyped system, and have no more power to depart from it than the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to depart from the contracts he enters into with the public creditors. Now, what is the object of these reorganizations? There seems to be an impression that the only object is to retire officials at high pensions in order to fill their places with other officials shortly to be entitled to similar pensions. But the object of every re-organization has been to substitute cheaper clerical labour for dearer. I am absolutely certain that if no re-organization scheme had been carried out during the last 20 years the amount payable in salaries and pensions would be far in excess of that which is now paid, and the Office would be absolutely unworkable. I will go through the various re-organizations, beginning with 1857. Thirteen clerks were then pensioned in the Accountant General's Department, and three in the Secretary's Department. In 1869—for this the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) was responsible, the details of which he has clearly put before the House—39 clerks in the Accountant's Department and 11 in the Secretary's were pensioned. I admit that some of these were young men, six were from 31 to 37. Then my right hon. Friend the present First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) carried out a re-organization in 1878, by which 65 clerks were pensioned in the Accountant's Department and 17 from the Secretary's Department. There seems to be an impression that these schemes are carried out at the mere will of the officials of the Department. I doubt if ever there was a Committee composed of more competent men than that which sat over the re-organization of 1878. The Members of that Committee were, first, Sir Massey Lopes, who was, as all who knew him will admit, an admirable man of business; and next, Lord Lingen, formerly Secretary to the Treasury. Associated with him was Sir Robert Hamilton, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trade, and with these three gentlemen was the then Assistant Secretary to the Admiralty. That re-organization was very large. The only other re-organization to which my hon. Friend alluded was one for which I was responsible in 1885, under which 83 clerks were pensioned. Now, what has been the tendency of these re-organizations? The tendency has been greatly to decrease and not to increase the number of higher division clerks, and to substitute in their places either lower division clerks or copyists who are not entitled to pensions. I will quote figures which will show how great the decrease has been. I may, however, first state to the House that if re-organization at the Admiralty seems somewhat chronic, it is due to the fact that during the last 25 years there has been a concentration of scattered Departments at the Admiralty, the result of which has been that the reserve of working power which every Department has, when concentrated, becomes in proportion greater, and those who have the concentrated Departments under them say that they have an excess of working power which they do not wish to retain, especially if its retention will ultimately add a large increase to the non-effective vote. I will first take the Accountant General's Department. The number of higher division clerks in that Department in 1858 was 123 out of a total establishment of 141. This proportion held good up to the year 1868, when the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers) came in with his scheme of re-organization. The number immediately decreased, and has gone on steadily decreasing, though the total numbers of the Department have not largely diminished. In 1869 the number of higher division clerks was 154 out of 195, and then a number of departments were added to the Accountant General's Department until in the year 1875, out of a total number of 265 on the establishment, 135 only were higher division clerks entitled to pensions. Then my right hon. Friend brought in his re-organization scheme, and there was immediately a heavy fall in the number of higher division clerks, who had been reduced from 135 in 1875 to 48 in 1887. My hon. Friend said that the cost of supervision now is greater than before; but that is not so, because the officers were supervised by the higher division clerks, and their number has decreased and is decreasing, and in place of higher division clerks have been brought in lower division clerks and Admiralty writers. A considerable quantity of writers are not entitled to pensions, and the result of these changes has been not only to diminish the total cost of the establishment, but the claims of those who are entitled to pensions. In the Secretary's Department the change has been more remarkable. In 1854 the Department was composed of 54 higher division clerks. In 1877 my right hon. Friend's re-organization scheme applied to that Department, and there was an immediate reduction in the number of higher division clerks, and they are now 28, as against 54 34 years ago. As vacancies occur in the Department they are filled either by lower division clerks or by Admiralty writers. Therefore it does not admit of argument, but is incontrovertible, that these re-organizations are a benefit to the public; and that they do diminish the expenditure of the Departments and the claim which the officers of the Departments have to pensions. We are now in a transitional period. Much the same change is taking place in the Civil Service that has taken place in the Army. We have to deal with the relics of an old system by which the great majority, if not those who entered under it, were entitled to pensions; we are gradually wiping off these pensions, and in proportion as the men retire who are entitled to pensions we endeavour to bring in a cheaper class of labour which is not entitled to pension. My hon. Friend alluded to the fact that there was a re-organization scheme of the Admiralty in embryo which he was anxious to stop. Like hon. Gentlemen opposite I have undergone all the agonies of re-organizing, and if there is anything more hateful than another it is for anyone to attempt to re-organize a Department under him. No one who has not done it has any idea of the amount of trouble, anxiety, and annoyance such re-organization causes; and no one—unless he thought it absolutely necessary for the efficiency of his Department, or was prompted by a sense of public duty in the desire to diminish the cost of his Department—would ever embark in such a troublesome operation. I will now indicate to the House the nature of the operation which I hope I may be able, if the House assents, to carry out, and by which the annual expenditure on the Admiralty will be very largely reduced. When it was proposed to establish the Intelligence Department in accordance with the wishes of my noble and gallant Friend the Member for East Marylebone (Lord Charles Beresford) I went to the heads of the several Departments, and they one and all told me that they could carry on their work with less men than were under them. I appointed a Committee subsequently, who have carefully gone through the re-organization of each Department. As a result we find we can save something like £40,000 a-year in salaries, which will amount to a reduction of something like £50,000 a-year when the scheme comes into thorough operation. But to do that we must pension those we retire, and that means a temporary increase in the pension list. Hon. Members, when they object to pensions being given in cases of the re-organization of Public Departments forget that those who receive those pensions have already earned them in the Public Service.


Does the noble Lord contend that the men of 32 who are pensioned off have earned heavy pensions?


All the officials who retired on pensions had earned them. In every single instance it was a mere forestalment of a liability which the State must meet. If a number of officials are retained in a Department when there is little work for them, and when their salaries are increasing every three years, the operation is not only costly, but will not conduce to the efficiency of the Department. Every year that men remain in office increases the amount of pension they are entitled to claim; and therefore, when they are compulsorily retired, they merely receive in the form of pensions what they are entitled to from their length of service. The Royal Commission which sat to consider this subject—of which the hon. Baronet the Member for the Blackpool Division of North Lancashire (Sir Matthew White Ridley) was Chairman—reported that the only security against abuses of re-organization with respect to the granting of excessive bonuses and pensions was to associate a Treasury official with each re-organization scheme.


said, that the Commission had reported that in two cases of re-organization abuses had occurred.


Yes; and yet in those very cases high Treasury officials were associated with the re-organization. The fact is that the work of the Admiralty has enormously increased during the last 20 years; and if it can be shown that, notwithstanding that increase in the amount of work, the cost of the Department has not materially increased during that period, the deduction is that the work must be done at a cheaper rate. The cost of the Secretary's Department in 1866. 22 years ago, was £27,200 a-year, and in 1886 the cost was £26,000, showing an actual decrease in the period. Then, again, the cost of the Accountant General's Department, which was £62,100 in 1871, was only £62,000 last year. Therefore the House will see that instead of there having been an increase of cost in those two Departments during recent years, their cost has actually diminished. The figures I have quoted will, I think, entirely dispose of the allegation that there has been any undue extravagance with regard to those Departments. In dealing with this question, the hon. Member has looked at it simply from the pounds, shillings, and pence point of view, without taking into consideration the amount of work which the Departments perform. It is constantly objected against the Government Departments that they do their work in an old-fashioned kind of way, and that they decline to carry out new ideas. But if it be desired to adopt modern ideas the men of the old-fashioned ideas must be compulsorily retired. Those who are responsible for the efficient administration of a Department have, however, to look not merely at the cost of establishments, but also at the work that has to be done. If a man has to carry out great schemes of reform in accordance with modern ideas, he must be allowed some choice of the instruments for carrying out such reforms. Under the scheme of Dockyard re-organization for which I was responsible in 1885, four officials were compulsorily retired; but the result has been that hundreds of thousands of pounds have been saved every year since, whilst the saving in the first year covered three or four times over the capitalized value of the salaries of the new appointments made under the scheme. The hon. Member has referred to-night to the question of pensions. Her Majesty's Government have given their most careful attention to the question of pensions, upon which the Royal Commission was about to report. If we complain now of the large Pension Vote, on the other hand, it is satisfactory to know that the last Superannuation Act diminished the pensions to which officials are entitled. It is admitted on every hand that the present pension system does not work altogether satisfactorily; and I doubt whether it is wise to entitle a man to a triennial increase of his income independent of the work to be performed. But until the system is altered we must make the best of it. My hon. Friend objects to the pensions which have been paid in cases of premature retirement under certain re-organization schemes at the Admiralty. To that I have to reply that if the entry be properly regulated the retirement will take care of itself. In 1885 I was first responsible for the Admiralty, and I found that there was a considerable excess of clerical labour in that Department. I accordingly stopped all entry. Since then there have been 12 vacancies among the clerks of the higher division, three among the lower division, and six among the writers, none of which have been filled up, and the only increase has been in the employment of a few men and boy copyists. I shall continue to stop the entry of the higher division clerks. With regard to the transfer of officers to another Department, Her Majesty's Government have given great attention to this side of the question, and I may inform the House that we have already transferred no less than eight clerks from one Department where they were not required to another Department. That number may not seem very great; but to anyone who understands the difficulty of making these changes this fact will show that we are working with sincerity and with a certain amount of success. I hope that the House will not accept the Resolution of my hon. Friend. We certainly cannot agree to it. The Resolution censures previous re-organizations at the Admiralty, and I have endeavoured to show the House that such re-organizations were, on the whole, for the public interest. But a more vital objection which I have to the Resolution is that it speaks of officials being "provided with employment." I altogether object to those words. If there is work to be done it must be done, and persons must be employed to do it; but the money under our control is not given to us for charitable purposes, and it is a most dangerous doctrine that because a man is once on the establishment he is to be provided for life with employment. I accept, however, to a great extent the principle for which my hon. Friend contends, and I hope he may see his way to withdraw his Resolution and accept the Resolution which I will now propose instead.


Is the hon. Member for Stockport prepared to withdraw his Resolution in favour of that of the noble Lord?


said, he was not prepared to reply to the statement of the noble Lord at that moment, because other members wished to address the House; but he was certainly not prepared to withdraw his Resolution.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "this House, whilst of opinion that when the re-organization of a Department becomes neces- sary, full inquiry should be made into the wants of other Departments with a view to the continued public employment of redundant officers, is not prepared, pending the inquiry of the Royal Commission upon Civil Service Establishments, to anticipate its report by laying down any absolute rule as to the provision of employment for persons not required in the Department to which they have been originally appointed."—(Lord George Hamilton.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he thought the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings) deserved the thanks of the country for bringing forward this Motion. His noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty (Lord George Hamilton) had asked the House to look at this question from a common-sense point of view. He agreed to that proposal. They had had re-organization after reorganization, the same thing had been done over and over again, and what had been the result? At that moment they had ships without guns, and no one was responsible. The noble Lord the First Lord of the Admiralty stated that the Navy was not strong enough; but he did not say by what amount it was not strong enough. They had a system at the Admiralty under which no one was responsible, and they might go on re-organizing as long as they liked under that system, and the result would be always the same—they would still have the same unsatisfactory condition of affairs. He gave his noble Friend great credit for his reforms in the Dockyards; he had undertaken those reforms in a business-like spirit; he had saved the country large sums of money; and, if he continued the same course, he had no doubt that the country would get greater value for its money than it did at present. But he wanted to point out that, although the reforms were good, they had nothing whatever to do with the efficiency of the Fleet, and as long as the present system lasted he might reorganize again, as he believed his noble Friend intended to do very shortly; but, the same unsatisfactory state of affairs would continue, and they would have naval officers getting up in their places in that House to make statements, which could not be contradicted, to show that the Fleet was not as efficient as it ought to be for the national defence in time of war. Therefore, he objected to any Departmental re-organizations. They had had them, as he had said, repeatedly, and with the usual result of increasing the salaries of some of the people whom they were re-organizing. His hon. Friend the Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett) had just presided over a Committee which was mainly composed of Departmental officials; and although he had not seen the Report, he would lay a large wager that it proposed to increase the salary of some Member of the Committee.


There is not a word of truth in that suggestion.


said, he was glad to hear it; but, in that case, it would be a most unusual Departmental Committee Report. They must deal fairly in the matter of pensions. He pointed out that the system of pensions had been arranged by their ancestors. It was a contract entered into with the Service that certain offices should be taken, and that certain pensions should be received, although it seemed an extravagrant thing that a man should retire at between the ages of 30 and 40. But he objected altogether to bonuses being given in addition to pensions. Why a man should get a pension, and, when there was re organization, get a bonus into the bargain, he did not see at all. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) and his noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty had spoken of re-organization as being a distasteful duty. He could not understand why the right hon. Gentleman and his noble Friend should describe it in that way. They were paid to do that work, and if they were all to begin making a song about what was distasteful to them in the discharge of their duty they would leave a large part of their duty unperformed. Therefore, he most strongly objected to either the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh or his noble Friend taking any credit to themselves for doing what was simply their duty in the way of making reforms. There had been a good deal said on the question of clerks at the Admiralty. He had said before, and he repeated it then, that there was a large number of very highly-paid clerks in the Admiralty who received, besides, large pensions. He had not a word to say about them personally, but he wished to point out that they knew very little of the duty they were called upon to perform; their responsibility was very small, and he said that naval officers could be got to do the work far better and cheaper, by which means they would be able to fill up a very large gap that existed at the present time between the Admiralty and the Service. It was that gap which had a great deal to do with the mismanagement and maladministration of the Admiralty, and which, as long as it continued, would prevent the country from obtaining the necessary efficiency in the Navy. He had always observed that few Members of Governments wanted Departmental reform either at the Admiralty or the War Office, or at any great spending Department; and it was curious to notice that whenever reforms were demanded in the Services the occupants of the two Front Benches got up and expressed approval of what had been done; they supported each other, and that he conceived to be the great difficulty which men who desired reform had to contend with. That was a constant occurrence in the House, and there was no doubt that lately that method of controversy had been employed more than was usually the case. But he hoped his noble Friend would help, to the very best of his ability, the noble Lord the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington) when he came to the examination of witnesses before the Commission on the system of Admiralty administration. He was convinced that if his noble Friend did that the system would be altered; but until that was done they might go on re-organizing and spending money until they were blue in the face. For those reasons he hoped his hon. Friend the Member for Stockport would not accept the Amendment of his noble Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty.

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

said, he desired to give the reason why he should vote against the Amendment of the noble Lord and in favour of the original Motion of the hon. Member for Stockport. He understood the position of the noble Lord to be that, as the Royal Commission was now dealing with the matter in question, it would not be consistent with decorum to anticipate the decision at which the Committee might arrive. But he pointed out to the noble Lord that the Royal Commission had already reported upon the subject covered by the Motion of the hon. Member for Stockport, that it had already admitted the fact that men had been forced to become useless burdens on the State, and expressed their opinion against the practice. They were, therefore, in no sense anticipating the labours of this very useful Commission; on the contrary, the Chairman in that House had said that they would be strengthening the hands of the Commission by showing that, as far as possible, the House would support them in their decision. He did not intend to go into details which had been carefully avoided by the noble Lord. Every one of the statements made by the noble Lord was perfectly true no doubt, but they did not touch the point; the general statements which had been made left the matters of fact entirely untouched before the House. He thought, therefore, they would do well to strengthen the hands of the Royal Commission and the hands of the Government, who had declared, in acceding to a Resolution on the same lines as that now before the House, that they desired to carry out reforms in the Public Departments. What the House was asked to do by the Motion of the hon. Member for Stockport was to declare that men between the ages of 30 and 40 years should not be put on the Pension List, at sums nearly equivalent to the salaries which they are receiving, in consequence of the enforced abolition of their offices. The desire was that these persons should not continue to live without work at the expense of the State while they were still able to do good service; and, if their offices were abolished, their pensions should be abolished also.

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

Sir, the desire of Her Majesty's Government is exactly in accordance with the view which has been expressed by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bradlaugh). The hon. Gentleman desires that, if it is necessary to reduce the establishment of a Department, the services of those clerks who may be retired should be availed of in other Departments instead of being lost to the Public Service. That is the course which Her Majesty's Government have followed during the time they have been in Office. There have been no fresh examinations for first-class clerkships in either the higher or lower divisions of the Service in the past two years; these have been entirely stopped, and the redundant officers are really on lower salaries since the re-organization took place. I wish to point out to my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Jennings)—who, I know, is actuated by a sincere desire to effect economy in the Public Service—that if the Resolution he has moved were accepted by the Government, the immediate effect would be that a number of redundant officers must be retained and paid for their services; that changes, which might be for the good of the Public Service, must be stopped, and, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) has expressed it, there would be in some Offices clerks and other officials absolutely "over-running each other;" because the voice of Parliament had declared that there should be no re-organization in the matter of pensions on retirement, and that officers who are still able and willing to render service for the public money shall be provided with employment in other Departments, instead of being forced to become useless burdens upon the country. I can only say, with very considerable experience of other than Public Business, that if the director of any great establishment were told that he is not to part with an officer unless he is able to find employment for him in some other branch, such a state of things would be absolutely fatal to efficiency of administration. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh has spoken of the difficulty of re-organization. There is in that work enormous difficulty, and I can speak for myself with reference to the re-organization which took place when I was at the Admiralty in 1878, and say that nothing but the actual necessity of substituting younger and more efficient men—in other words, much cheaper labour—justified me in proposing the changes which took place. A great many of those changes were approved by Sir Massey Lopes, and by Sir Robert Hamilton, who, I believe, is recognized as one of the most competent public servants—they were absolutely satisfied with the changes brought about. But that is not the ground on which alone a scheme of re-organization can be defended. Re-organizations can only be defended when they conduce to the efficiency of the Public Service, and it is on the ground of efficiency that for my part, have always recognized the necessity for change in Public Departments. I entertain all the objections which can be urged against putting men on the pension list who are young, and from whom further service may be expected in the public interest; but, Sir, some of these men are incapable of performing that service, and the conditions upon which they entered the Service are such that it is not in the power of the Head of any Public Department to deprive them of the right to continue employment unless they are pensioned, or to reduce or stop the increment of their salary. It was supposed by some that right hon. Gentlemen who hold Office have authority or power by which they can say to a clerk in a Public Office—"We no longer require your services; you can go," or, "You are no longer entitled to an increment of salary, and we discontinue it." But they have no power to do that. The clerk in a Public Office has obtained his appointment under the Public Service Acts on conditions which entitle him to remain there so long as he performs his duty without fault. My noble Friend has spoken of the maladministration of the Admiralty; but by the terms of the Resolution of the hon. Member for Stockport he condemns us to go on with precisely the same staff, the same material, and precisely the same machinery as we have now—we are not to change or retire a single man; we are not to change a single civilian, because if we were to do so the civilian would have to be pensioned, and no alteration is possible, although we desire to make every possible improvement in the Public Service. As I have said, we have not had any examinations for first-class clerkships during the last two years. I have myself been responsible for the transfer of several first-class clerks to the Treasury, and for the cessation of several offices, because it was not, in my opinion, necessary that they should be filled up. We are prepared to continue in the course we have taken; we are prepared to make the greatest economies we can in using every redundant officer in the Service by appointing him to such work as he may be fit for; and we shall continue to abstain from making fresh appointments to certain divisions in the Public Service by withholding from the Commissioners instructions to hold the examinations. More than that we think it would be contrary to the interests of the Public Service that we should do, and, therefore, I hope my hon. Friend will not ask the House to come to a Division on his Motion, which, I say, would most injuriously tie our hands and prevent reform in any Public Department for some time to come; whilst, on the other hand, if he accepts the Amendment which my noble Friend has proposed, he will greatly strengthen our hands in employing redundant officers in any Department for which they are fitted, and where they may be useful, and will also contribute to the efficiency of the Public Service.


, rising in his place, said: Mr. Speaker, I claim to move, "That the Question be now put."


I would point out that the hon. Member for Stockport has the right of reply.


said, he was asked not to press the Motion he had moved, but he failed to see that any reason had been assigned for its withdrawal. He had with great care and considerable industry examined this subject, and had brought together a mass of facts which fully justified the Resolution, and he was now asked to say before the country that those facts did not justify the Resolution, and that he had been trifling with the time of the House and with the great subject he had in hand. It appeared to him that that would be a ridiculous position for him to take up. He was not at all surprised at the fact that an ex-Minister should have come to the aid of Ministers—it was a game of Parliamentary Box and Cox, with which they were familiar. He called the attention of the House to the way in which he had been treated, when, quoting from a Paper every statement and every word of which was official, he was met with cries of dissent from the Treasury Bench by an official who had not read his own Return. He had cited the case of a permanent official whose office had been created for him, and he was challenged to give the name of that official. But why had not the Department given the name?


I rise simply to correct a misapprehension under which I am sure my hon. Friend has unwittingly fallen. He refers to the case of a Permanent Secretary at the Admiralty. The officer in question was Mr. Vernon Lushington. There were at the time two Permanent Secretaries at the Admiralty; and as, in my judgment, two Permanent Secretaries were not required, I requested Mr. Vernon Lushington to retire, and he was retired, a County Court Judgeship being found for him, but on the condition that he would not draw his pension, except to the extent necessary to make up his emoluments to the amount which he previously received. Lord Northbrook, on the death of the Naval Secretary, having appointed the Permanent Secretary to take his place, there has been effected a saving to the country of £1,500 a-year.


said, the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman did not affect his original statement, that an officer having been abolished, after a few years another officer was appointed to fill his place; and there were many other similar cases. The way in which his statements had been met was not a sufficient inducement to him to withdraw his Motion. The Resolution simply stated that certain re-organizations had increased the Pension List, and recommended that, in any further re-organizations, officials who were still able to render service for the public money should be provided with employment. But that was the very thing which the First Lord of the Admiralty was willing should be done—he had said he was quite willing, if he could, to find employment for officials who were retired. That being so, he asked the House to adopt the Resolution—altered by a few words if necessary, to cover the point of the First Lord. "Wherever practicable," or "as few as possible," added after the word employment, would meet the case. He called attention to the fact that they had been told that the Royal Commission then sitting was all important, and that its opinion was to be treated with the greatest deference. He wished to do that, and this was the opinion of the Commissioners upon the very subject to which he called attention. They said, in paragraph 110 of the first Report, that it had often been the case that places rendered vacant had been filled up, that men had been allowed to retire who should not have been retired, and that others had been retained whose services should have been dispensed with. Finally, he called attention to the fact that the First Lord, in his statement, entirely omitted to state the heavy charges placed on the Pension List for bonuses. Looking at the facts as he had stated them, he could not consent to say that he was wrong in moving this Resolution, or that any part of the Resolution was erroneous. Ho believed the course recommended was advantageous to the Public Service, and to the strict accuracy of the statements in support of it he was ready to bind himself.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question, "That the Question be now put," put, and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes 113; Noes 94: Majority 19.

Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) Duncan, Colonel F.
Ellis, J.
Asquith, H. H. Ellis, J. E.
Bartley, G. C. T. Ellis, T. E.
Baumann, A. A. Esslemont, P.
Beckett, E. W. Evershed, S.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer Fenwick, C.
Finucane, J.
Biggar, J. G. Fitzwilliam, hon. W. J. W.
Bolton, T. D.
Bradlaugh, C. Flynn, J. C.
Bright, Jacob Foster, Sir W. B.
Bruce, hon. R. P. Fox, Dr. J. F.
Bryce, J. Gent-Davis, R.
Burt, T. Goldsworthy, Major-General W. T.
Byrne, G. M.
Carew, J. L. Graham, R. C.
Channing, F. A. Haldane, R. B.
Clancy, J. J. Hamilton, Col. C. E.
Conway, M. Harrington, E.
Conybeare, C. A. V. Harris, M.
Corbet, W. J. Hayne, C. Seale-
Cossham, H. Heaton, J. H.
Cox, J. R. Hingley, B.
Cozens-Hardy, H. H. Hooper, J.
Crilly, D. Hughes - Hallett, Col F. C.
Cross, H. S.
Deasy, J. Hunter, W. A.
Dillon, J. Joicey, J.
Dimsdale, Baron R. Jordan, J.
Lalor, R. Randell, D.
Lawson, Sir W. Redmond, W. H. K.
Lawson, H. L. W. Reid, H. B.
Leahy, J. Roberts, J.
M'Donald, P. Roe, T.
M'Lagan, P. Roscoe, Sir H. E.
Marjoribanks, rt. hon. E. Rowlands, J.
Rowntree, J.
Mattinson, M. W. Royden, T. B.
Mayne, T. Russell, T. W.
Molloy, B. C. Sexton, T.
Morley, A. Sheehan, J. D.
Morrison, W. Sidebottom, T. H.
Murphy, W. M. Sidebottom, W.
Nolan, Colonel J. P. Stack, J.
Nolan, J. Stuart, J.
Norris, E. S. Sullivan, D.
O'Brien, J. F. X. Summers, W.
O'Brien, P. J. Tanner, C. K.
O'Connor, A. Thomas, D. A.
O'Hanlon, T. Tuite, J.
O'Hea, P. Waddy, S. D.
O'Keeffe, F. A. Wayman, T.
Parnell, C. S. Williams, A. J.
Pease, A. E. Wilson, H. J.
Penton, Captain F. T. Winterbotham, A. B.
Pinkerton, J. Woodhead, J.
Plowden, Sir W. C.
Powell, W. R. H. TELLERS.
Power, P. J. Jennings, L. J.
Priestley, B. Rasch, Major F. C.
Quinn, T.
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Fisher, W. H.
Ambrose, W. Fitzgerald, R. U. P.
Amherst, W. A. T. Fitzwilliam, hon. W. H. W.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L.
Folkestone, right hon. Viscount
Ashmead-Bartlett, E.
Baden-Powell, Sir G. S. Forwood, A. B.
Fowler, Sir R. N.
Baird, J. G. A. Gorst, Sir J. E.
Balfour, rt. hon. A. J. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Baring, T. C. Gray, C. W.
Barry, A. H. Smith- Grimston, Viscount
Beach, right hon. Sir M. E. Hicks- Halsey, T. F.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.
Beckett, W.
Bigwood, J. Heathcote, Capt. J. H. Edwards-
Blundell, Colonel H. B. H.
Herbert, hon. S.
Bond, G. H. Hill, right hon. Lord A. W.
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F.
Hill, Colonel E. S.
Campbell, Sir A. Hunt, F. S.
Carmarthen, Marq. of Isaacson, F. W.
Chamberlain, R. Jackson, W. L.
Childers, right hon. H. C. E. Kelly, J. R.
Knowles, L.
Clarke, Sir E. G. Lafone, A.
Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N. Lawrance, J. C.
Lawrence, W. F.
Colomb, Sir J. C. R. Lennox, Lord W. C. G.
Darling, C. J.
De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P. Lewisham, right hon. Viscount
De Worms, Baron H.
Dorington, Sir J. E. Llewellyn, E. H.
Dyke, rt. hn. Sir W. H. Long, W. H.
Egerton, hon. A. de T. Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A.
Farquharson, H. R.
Field, Admiral E. Madden, D. H.
Finch, G. H. Matthews, rt. hn. H.
Maxwell, Sir H. E. Sinclair, W. P.
More, R. J. Smith, rt. hon. W. H.
Morgan, hon. F. Smith, A.
Moss, R. Stanhope, rt. hon. E.
Mount, W. G. Stewart, M. J.
Murdoch, C. T. Talbot, J. G.
Noble, W. Tapling, T. K.
Northcote, hon. Sir H. S. Temple, Sir R.
Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Norton, R. Townsend, F.
Parker, hon. F. Vernon, hon. G. R.
Plunket, rt. hon. D. R. Webster, Sir R. E.
Powell, F. S. Wilson, Sir S.
Raikes, rt. hon. H. C. Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T.
Robertson, Sir W. T. TELLERS.
Robertson, J. P. B. Douglas, A. Akers-
Sandys, Lieut-Col. T. M. Walrond, Col. W. H.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Wednesday 20th June.

Main Question put, and agreed to. Resolved, That the re-organizations in the Accountant General's and Secretary's Departments of the Admiralty have been injurious to the public interests, by resulting in increased charges for those Departments, and by needlessly adding to extravagant pensions and bonuses; and that in any further re-organizations, officials who are still able and willing to render service for the public money shall be provided with employment in other Departments, instead of being forced to become useless burdens upon the Country.

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