HC Deb 16 March 1888 vol 323 cc1425-6

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether artizans and labourers in Woolwich Arsenal, prior to 1859, were entitled to superannuation after 15 years' service, under the ordnance scale; on what section of the Superannuation Act, 1859, the War Office relies for any abolition of superannuation to the same class; why, if the War Office thought in 1860 that superannuation was abolished to this class, did they recommend 790 men of this class subsequently for superannuation; on what clause of the Superannuation Act Amendment Act of 1873 do the War Office Authorities rely for any distinction to be made during the period 1861 to 1870; and, what is the reason for any distinction?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

Before 1859 artizans and labourers in Woolwich Arsenal had no right to superannuation; but after 20 years' service they could receive a small pension under Regulations made by the Board of Ordnance. Such persons were excluded from the benefit of the Superannuation Act, 1859, by Clause 17, as not holding certificates from the Civil Service Commission; and they wore specifically excluded under Clause 2 by a Treasury decision, as belonging to a class of persons in receipt of full market rate of wages. The 790 men were recommended for superannuation because the Treasury Regulations had not been issued until 1861, and, until their issue, the men might have had reason to suppose that steps would be taken to qualify them under the Act of 1859. Clause 1 of the Superannuation Act of 1873 rules that there must have been inadvertence on the part of the Heads of the Department in not obtaining the Civil Service certificate. This inadvertence could only have extended to 1861 (when the Treasury Regulations were promulgated) so far as the War Office was concerned. I answer these Questions out of courtesy to my hon. and gallant Friend; but I cannot undertake to discuss in this manner, and in further detail, the subject of a Motion which stands in his name for Tuesday.