HC Deb 08 September 1893 vol 17 cc664-5
MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland how is it that Mr. Gordon, a Member of the Royal Commission on Deer Forests, is remunerated to the extent of five guineas a day for his services; whether any other Member of the Commission is in receipt of any sum beyond an allowance of one guinea per day for expenses; whether the payment to Mr. Gordon was made at the request of the Commissioners; and is he aware that the exceptional treatment accorded to Mr. Gordon has caused great dissatisfaction both inside and outside of the ranks of the Commission?


Mr. Gordon is a land surveyor and valuator of great experience. As it is a usual custom in the case of professional men who serve on Commissions where their professional knowledge is made use of, the Treasury has granted Mr. Gordon professional remuneration. The other Members receive the usual subsistence allowance with their travelling expenses, and according to the regulations laid down by the Treasury they cannot receive more. The arrangement that Mr. Gordon should receive professional remuneration was made according to the usual practice, and not at the request of the Commissioners. I am aware that some of the Members of the Commission have been dissatisfied with the arrangement.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that of the seven Commissioners four voted against payment, and that the proposal was only adopted by Mr. Gordon voting for the payment for himself, and the Chairman exercising two votes?


I can only take cognisance of the resolutions that are communicated to me by the Secretary of the Commission as coming from the Commission, and I could not make any inquiries as to what passed within the Royal Commission, perfectly independent of the Scotch Office.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether Mr. Gordon attends most regularly on these days on which he receives a fee, and on the other days he seldom puts in an appearance?


I wish to ask whether it is true, as reported, that three Members of the Commission have sent in their resignation?


No; it is not true.


I wish to ask whether it would not be advisable, in cases of this sort, that paid land surveyors should not be allowed to have a vote on the Commission?

[No answer was given.]