ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether it is a fact that Mr. Pudan, a district railway traffic superintendent of 15 years' service on the permanent establishment under the Government of India, when on furlough in this country, was ordered not to return to India on expiration of his leave, and was subsequently served with six weeks' notice to quit the service on the plea of "reduction of establishment"; whether it is a fact that no bona fide reduction was taking place at all, and that there were 48 officers in the Department junior to Mr. Pudan who should have been removed before him if reductions were determined upon; whether Mr. Pudan was subsequently informed, in reply to his remonstrance at such treatment, that unfavourable Reports had been made against him by the Director General of Railway Department in India; whether the Secretary of State declined to furnish Mr. Pudan with particulars of the charges 1029 brought against him, whereby alone ho could defend himself: whether Mr. Pudan's request to be allowed to return to India in order to meet the charges thus brought against him was refused; whether it is a fact that Mr. Pudan was year after year very favourably reported on by all his superiors until the Report in question: whether it is true that Mr. Pudan brought an action against the Secretary of State for wrongful dismissal, and on the eve of the case coming on was paid £1,500 and taxed costs to withdraw the action without prejudice to his claim for increase of pension; whether, on applying in December last for equitable adjustment of his pension, he was informed by letter that he should make his claim upon the Government of India; whether the Secretary of State will direct that the claim of this Civil servant for pension he considered without delay; and whether, in view of the serious loss of family pension from Indian Fund, suffered by Mr. Pudan owing to his dismissal from the Service and detention in this country, the Secretary of State will cause him and his family to be compensated for the great loss thus sustained?
*MR. GEORGE RUSSELL
(1) The answer to the hon. Member's first query is "Yes," with the addition that Mr. Pudan was granted a sum of £100 to compensate him for any loss incurred in consequence of the late period of his leave in this country at which he received notice of the discontinuance of his services in India. (2) A reorganisation of the Rail-way Traffic Establishment was under consideration at the time of Mr. Pudan's retirement. This involved a reduction of the establishment, which was duly carried into effect. Mr. Pudan was retired in anticipation of the scheme being sanctioned. (3) It is open to the Government of India to select such of their officers in the position held by Mr. Pudan as they may choose for retirement on reduction of establishment, and the services of Mr. Pudan were dispensed with in preference to those of officers junior to him. (4) No such intimation WAS made to Mr. Pudan by the India, Office. (5) No charge was brought against Mr. Pudan, his services having been dispensed with on the ground of reduction of establishment. The Secretary of State only declined to 1030 allow Mr. Pudan to proceed to India to resume duty. (6) The Secretary of State has no knowledge of the Reports made on Mr. Pudan by his superiors in India. (7) Mr. Pudan brought an action against the Secretary of State, which has been settled out of Court on the terms stated. (8) Yes. (9) The Secretary of State sees no reason for taking any such action as that indicated in the last two queries.
May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he thinks it consistent to refuse to allow this official to return to India, and then tell him he may claim a re-adjustment of his pension before the Government of India? How can he do that unless he is allowed to go free?
§ [The question was not answered.]