HC Deb 12 June 1890 vol 345 cc708-10
MR. R. POWER (Waterford)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the number of Higher Division Clerks is in certain Departments considerably in excess of requirements under the present classification of the Service; and whether, in view of the fact that all re-organisation has been rendered practically impossible by the Resolution adopted on the 12th of June, 1888, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to give the House an opportunity of again considering the matter, with the view of enabling them to fix establishments on a proper scale without further delay?


In June, 1888, a Motion was moved in this House condemnatory of the principle upon which pensions had been awarded to public officers retiring upon re-organisation of office. The Government, admitting the necessity of care on such occasions, asked the House to adopt an Amendment on the Original Resolution to the effect that— This House, whilst of opinion that, when the re-organisation of a Department becomes necessary, full inquiry should he made into the wants of other Departments with a view to the continued 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. The House, however, declined to accept this Amendment, and resolved that the re-organisations in the Accountant General's and Secretary's Department of the Admiralty had been injurious, and that in any further re-organisation 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 on the country. It must, of course, be understood that when the House of Commons takes questions of administration into its own hands, and decides against the advice of the Government, it acts with the intention that effect shall be given to its decision. The Government, in consequence, have been and are loyally carrying out the Resolution, and are insisting on the continued employment of officers while they are able to serve. Further, the Royal Commission on Civil Establishments has reported that the provision in the Superannuation Act, which permits addition to be made to the pension of an officer on the abolition of his office, has given rise to great abuse, and they recommended the immediate repeal of the provision. In presence of the Resolution of the House and the recommendation of the Commissioners, the Government do not consider it their duty to take action in the direction suggested by the hon. Member.