HC Deb 23 April 1895 vol 32 cc1504-5

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (SIR W. HARCOURT, Derby) Moved— ''That the Order for the Committee on Her Majesty's most gracious answer to the Address have precedence this day of the Notices of Motion.

Motion agreed to, and the House went into Committee,


in the Chair.

(In the Committee.)


In accordance with the Notice I gave yesterday, and in conformity with Her Majesty's gracious answer to the Address of this House, I beg to Move— That the annual sum of £4,000 net be granted to Her Majesty out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the said annuity to commence and take effect upon the day upon which the right hon. Arthur Wellesley Peel, the late Speaker of the House of Commons, ceased to hold the office of Speaker of the House of Commons, to be settled in the most beneficial manner upon, and to continue during the life of him the said right hon. Arthur Wellesley Peel.

MR. J. KEIR HARDIE (West Ham, S.) moved as an Amendment that the sum of £4,000 be deleted, and the sum of £1,000 inserted in its place. He observed that it appeared to him when the House of Commons seemed neither to have the time nor the inclination to provide a system of pensions for the aged workers of the country, it should not be called upon to agree to a Resolution of this kind. He made this Motion out of no disrespect to the recent occupant of the Chair, and he cordially endorsed all that was said of the right hon. Gentleman on the occasion of his retirement. But when there were such glaring anomalies between wealth and poverty in the country, and when they had, as they had less than two years ago, a worker who had served Her Majesty's Government as an ordinary workman for close upon 30 years driven to commit suicide in his old age because no pension or other provision had been made in cases of his kind, it seemed to him imperative that some protest should be made against proposals of this description. He would not enter into the question of pensions, but would content himself by moving his Amendment.


I think I shall be best consulting the feelings of the House by not entering into a discussion of this Amendment. I was going to say—but for the interposition of the hon. Member, whose convictions I respect—it is the unanimous feeling of this House that no man has ever deserved the recognition of the House of Commons, which it is the object of this resolution to affirm, better than the late, Speaker. Under these circumstances I hope the Motion will be carried.

On the Question being put, the declaration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that "the Ayes have it" was challenged by Mr. Keir Hardie. The House having accordingly been cleared for a division,


asked the hon. Member to name a co-teller.


I must request you, Sir, to name one of the clerks at the table to tell along with me.


As there is no second teller, I declare that "the Ayes have it."

Main Question put, and agreed to.

The Resolution was ordered to be reported to the House to-morrow.