HC Deb 22 July 1897 vol 51 cc706-7
MR. LEES KNOWLES (Salford, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, inasmuch as the Treasury Commission of 1876 reported that the claims of the professional professors of the Queen's Colleges to retiring allowances should be admitted, as in the case of the Scotch Universities; that the public would be at a disadvantage if the activity of the professional professors were limited to their college life; and that professional practice is essential to sound and efficient teaching, and that the Commission recommended that the rule which renders engagements in the professional practice incompatible with a claim to retiring allowance should be re-considered in the case of the Queen's Colleges' professional professors in Ireland, whether he will, in accordance with that Report, re-consider the case?


The Report of the 1876 Commission was carefully considered by the Government of the day, who decided that the retention of private practice was inconsistent with the grounds on which public pensions are granted. Their view was that, if the private practice was not considerable it would be of little use in promoting a professor's efficiency, and if it was considerable it would enable him to make provision for himself to the same extent as other practioners. This decision has been maintained by all subsequent Governments. It can hardly be argued that a professor who has the advantages of a private practice should also have the pension rights which are intended to compensate the whole-time professors for the loss of those advantages. I have already explained, in answer to a previous question, that the case of the Scotch professors is not analogous, as they were not pensioned under the General Superannuation Acts but under a special statute, the Scotch Universities Act of 1858, which gave the Treasury no power to require whole time.


asked how the Department knew that these gentlemen did not give their whole time to the public service?


said that if the' Treasury knew that a Professor had undertaken private practice they knew that he could not have given his whole time to the public service.

MR. J. C. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that some of the professors at the Queen's College, Cork, were medical men who carried on their private practice?


said that he was aware of that fact.