HC Deb 10 August 1896 vol 44 cc445-7

3. Motion made and Question proposed:— That a Hum not exceeding £271,028, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1897, for Superannuation, Retired, and Compassionate Allowances and Gratuities under sundry Statutes, and for Compassionate Allowances and Gratuities awarded by the Treasury, and for the Salaries of Medical Referees.

DR. CLARK (Caithness)

called attention to the pensions of £84 granted to the three Sheriffs who were members of the late Scotch Board of Supervision. These gentlemen, he said, held judicial offices, and were also allowed to practise as barristers in the Supreme Court. They were in the prime of life, and two out of the three were only connected with the Board of Supervision for two or three years. He protested against this subsidy of £84 to each of these three gentlemen, and to mark his disapproval he begged to move to reduce the Vote by £100.


explained that these pensions were granted by the late Government. He admitted that, primâ facie, there might be something in the hon. Member's objection, but he understood that the late Government had no option in the matter, and that the pensions had been granted under the law. If the hon. Member wanted any further information he should be happy to give it to him at the Report stage.


remarked that he did not think that the right hon. Gentleman could really be responsible for these pensions. It was now clear that the late wicked Government were responsible. These three gentlemen were drawing at the present time official salaries ranging from £800 to £1,000 a year, and in addition they could earn fees as barristers. They certainly ought not to receive compassionate allowances, because they had been ornamental and semi-active members of the late Board of Supervision. He regretted that the Members of the late Government were not present to answer for their conduct in this matter.


said that what had been said was quite right and proper. The legal members of the late Board of Supervision used to give most assiduous attention to the business of the Board. He had himself once been a legal member of the Board, and all he received was £150 a year. For that he attended a meeting nearly every week, the meeting lasting over an hour, and gave several opinions every week. He hardly thought an English lawyer would fulfil such duties for £150. The real point was this. These three gentlemen were members of the Board ex-officio, and the figures of their salaries as Sheriffs were considered in connection with what they would receive as members of the Board. They were appointed to their sheriffdoms upon the understanding that they would get so much money a year. In consequence of the reconstruction of the Board, the work they performed upon it was taken from them, although they were quite willing to continue doing it.

MR. J. CALDWELL (Lanark, Mid)

urged that this was not a case of a man being deprived of an office which was his whole means of subsistence. These sheriffdoms were really stepping-stones to the Bench, and the position of these gentlemen on the Supervision Board was merely a perquisite of their office. They were now relieved of their office on that Board, and would no longer be required to give the opinions they formerly had to give, and they would really be the gainers by the change that had taken place.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 42; Noes, 146.—(Division List, No. 399.)

Original Question put and agreed to.

4. £3,100 to complete the sum for Merchant Seamen's Bund Pensions, agreed to.

5. £31,089, to complete the sum for Trustee Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Deficiency.


said this Vote had often been divided against. It would constantly increase, because the value of money was constantly decreasing and he protested against the House of Commons beng called upon to make up the deficiency.

Vote agreed to.

6. £822, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Charitable and other allowances, Great Britain.—Agreed to.

Back to
Forward to