§ MR. PINKERTON (Galway)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of certain legal difficulties in the interpretation of the Order in Council prescribing compulsory retirement at 65, it has been decided to apply the principle of the Order to the Queen's Colleges and Queen's Letters; whether all officials now in office have been exempted from the operation of the Queen's Letters; will be explain why this exemption has been made, seeing that it is in direct conflict with the recommendation of the Royal Commission, which states that compulsory retirement at a specified age is absolutely necessary; with the Report of the Committee of Public Accounts, which states that such a Rule is absolutely necessary in the case of the Queen's Colleges; and with the opinion of the Treasury expressed in 1891, and then concurred in by the Lord-Lieutenant, that the Rule should be applied to the Colleges; and whether payments out of Parliamentary Votes 1248 have been, or will be, made to those officials disqualified by age?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir J. T. HIBBERT,) Oldham
The Government are anxious to prevent the Presidents and Professors of the Queen's Colleges from continuing to hold office after they have become by age or infirmity less competent for the performance of their important and responsible duties. The Law Officers of the Crown in Ireland have, however, advised that the Presidents and Professors are not within the terms of the Order in Council of August 15, 1890, and that the retirement of the present holders on the ground of age, or the discontinuance of payments from the Vote of Parliament to which they are entitled, cannot be enforced under the terms of the Order. As regards the future, the Irish Government has undertaken to make it a condition of appointment in every case that the appointee shall retire at the age of 65, with an extension of not more than five years in any case in which the Treasury is satisfied that an earlier retirement would be detrimental to the interests of the Public Service.