§ SIR JOHN WILLIAM MACLURE (Lancashire, S.E., Stretford)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) if it is the case that it was intended, on the reduction of the pay of the Queen's Foreign Service Messengers, 1656 that officers of the Army on half-pay should be appointed Queen's Foreign Service Messengers, and that their half-pay and the pay granted by the Foreign Office for the appointment should together amount to £400 a year; (2) why half-pay officers have not been appointed; and (3) if it is intended to keep Queen's Foreign Service Messengers on the lower scale of £250 a year permanently at that salary with no prospect of its being raised, although their work and duties are identical with those performed by those Queen's Foreign Service Messengers receiving £400 a year?
The recommendation of the Royal Commission was that no fresh appointments should be made on the old scale of £400, but that in the future £150 to £200 should be the salary, and that the service should be mainly recruited from officers of the Army and Navy on half-pay, or in receipt of pension. It was consequently decided to reduce the salary of a Queen's Messenger from £400 to £250 a year, but a deduction of £50 is made in the case of any person, already in the enjoyment of a pension for other services. With reference to the second Question, the Secretary of State does not consider himself bound in every case to carry out the recommendation of the Commission, which is qualified by the use of the word "mainly," and, as a matter of fact, only one appointment has been made under the new system by the present Secretary of State. The answer to the third Question is in the affirmative.