HC Deb 28 February 1896 vol 37 cc1384-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, what were the particular circumstances which led to the retirement on a pension of £504 17s. 6d. a year of the late postmaster of Belfast; whether this took place under Treasury Minute of the 15th August, 1890, or upon the grounds of ill-health; is he aware that since the date of his superannuation the late postmaster of Belfast has been appointed assistant secretary and collector to a charitable institution in Belfast at a salary of £100 per year, and with duties more onerous than those incident to his former position; what steps, if any, he means to take in order to stop the competition of State pensioners with other people anxious to obtain employment; and, whether, if Mr. Shepherd was not retired under Treasury Minute of 15th August, 1890, it would be possible to recall him to active duty by appointing to some less onerous position in the service?


The late postmaster of Belfast retired on the ground of ill health, which was certified by the local Medical Officer to the Post Office, and also, which was not strictly necessary, by another physician. As to his proceedings since his retirement the Department has no knowledge. The Government has no control over State pensioners except indeed that, if their health will permit and they are under 60 years of age, it can recall them to duty; and the terms of the medical certificate made it clearly undesirable in the public interest to retain Mr. Shepherd at the head of a large and busy office who, though not yet 60, will be so early next year.