§ On the Vote for £8,107 for Salaries and Expenses of Officers of the House of Lords,
§ MR. SYDNEY GEDGE (Walsall)
said: Mr. Lowther, in rising to question the propriety of passing this Vote, I shall be obliged to make a few observations with regard to the Lord Chancellor and to move the reduction of his salary by £100. I need not say that I do not in the least wish to reduce the salary of the Lord Chancellor, but there is no way open to a private Member to bring before 859 the House anything that requires its attention in connection with a Vote, except by a Motion of this kind. Now I am aware that the salary of the Lord Chancellor, as a judge, £6,000 a year, is charged upon the Consolidated Fund, and with that we have nothing to do, but a salary of £4,000 is charged upon the Estimates, and given to him, I take it, as a member of the Executive Government, and therefore whatever he does as a member of the Executive Government can only be brought before this House upon a Motion such as that of which I have given, notice. I see the Chairman shakes his head, but I submit to him that there is no other way of questioning the acts of the Lord High Chancellor as an individual Member of the Cabinet, and the use he makes of any powers that are entrusted to him, either of patronage or in the execution of the law, but the course I have now taken. Therefore I say at once that I am not going to take up the time of the House by entering into what, under its rules, would be irrelevant; but, with a slight allusion to his exercise of patronage, my desire is to call attention to the action of the Lord Chancellor in the manner in which he is carrying out the Land Transfer Act of last Session.
THE CHAIRMAN OF WATS AND MEANS
If the hon. Member will look at the Votes which are before the Committee he will see that the salary put down opposite the name of the Lord Chancellor is proposed to be paid to him as Speaker of the House of Lords, and in that respect only, and not as a Member of Her Majesty's Government. And, therefore, if the hon. Member wishes to raise any question with regard to the action or rulings of the Lord Chancellor—though I am not aware that he gives any rulings in the House of Lords—it must be in respect of his conduct as Speaker in the other House.
§ MR. GEDGE
Of course, Sir, on the point of order I submit to your ruling. There seems, however, to be no other way of calling attention to anything that the Lord Chancellor does. Of course, we cannot call attention to what he does in another place; and, in fact, we do not 860 know what he does there. If your ruling,, Sir, is that the action of the Lord Chancellor is beyond all criticism, well, that must be so; but I venture to say that he acts as Lord Chancellor in the two things that go to make up his salary, and he can no more divide himself into two people than the Cardinal Prince who swore very much, and said he only swore as a Prince and not as a Cardinal. He was asked, "My Lord, when the devil flies away with the Prince, what will become of the Cardinal?" Now, with regard to this Vote, I do not wish to say anything personal of the Lord Chancellor, but, Sir, if your ruling is that what he does as Lord Chancellor cannot be questioned I shall have to contend that he is not fit to sit as Speaker of the House of Lords. I shall be happy to direct my observations to that argument. Would that not be in order?
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
No, I do not think so. I hope the hon. Member will not understand me to rule that the conduct of the Lord Chancellor cannot be questioned. All I have ruled is that, in Committee of Supply, the conduct of the Lord Chancellor in the exercise of his patronage cannot be questioned on this Vote.
§ MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
I wish to make a few remarks upon this Vote, Sir, as it has not been discussed for three years. I think that, whatever may be said with regard to the operation of the new Rules, they certainly have not been very successful with regard to this particular Vote, because it has been impossible for the House of Commons in Committee of Supply to discuss it at all in the course of the last three years. Now, Sir, I wish to ask one or two questions with regard to the salaries of various officers of the House of Lords. My first question is one of a general character, and mainly as to what Commission or Committee has authority to appoint, dismiss, or vary the terms of appointment and so on, of officers of the House of Lords. I understand that with regard to officers of the House of Commons, at all events, there is a Statutory Commission under various Acts of Parliament, beginning with an Act passed in 861 the reign of George the First. I do not know whether that Commission has met recently, or whether it has anything whatever to do with any appointment of officers of the House of Lords; but I will postpone my remarks upon that subject until we come to the Vote for the House of Commons. There is another question which I wish to ask upon this Vote. It relates to the Fee Fund. The receipts of that fund amount, roughly speaking, to £25,000 a year. They are chiefly fees on private Bills. We have recently had a discussion in this House with regard to the propriety of reducing fees on private Bills, and I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman who is in charge of this Vote, having regard to the very general expression of opinion on the part of the House on that occasion, whether the Government have in contemplation the reduction of the fees on private Bills. If they have in contemplation any reduction of that kind, will it be possible for them to differentiate between the fees that are paid by strictly private promoters of Bills and the fees that are paid by municipal corporations and other public bodies coming before the House specifically for public purposes and not for private purposes? The object of my suggestion, of course, is this. In the case, say, of a great railway company, it would be quite right that these fees should be paid, but with regard to corporations, which at the present time are obliged to come to us for Parliamentary powers and to pay very heavy fees, so long as the present system of private Bills is in existence, I would ask that in their case special indulgence and favour should be shown. Obviously, it is in the public interest that that should be done. Of course, private promoters stand in a totally different position; but I hope that in any change that may be contemplated—a change which I understood was contemplated owing to what was said from the Treasury Bench the other day with regard to this matter—the Government will draw a very distinct dividing line between public promoters and private promoters. With regard to police, I believe there is an increase of £3,720, as compared with last year. I am not going to call that in question, as I think it is only right, as the police are engaged in discharging services in an Imperial institution, that the charge should be 862 borne imperially, and not by London. I am sure we all agree as to that. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will bear in mind that there are other claims made on behalf of London, and we hope that what is local to London will be borne by London, and that what is an Imperial charge will be borne by Parliament.
§ Mr. J. G. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
I rise, Sir, to protest against the system of dual offices in the House of Lords. Nearly every official in that House draws revenue from more than one source, and the bad example is set by the Lord Chancellor himself. The Lord Chancellor receives £6,000 from another source, and if that is not sufficient let it be augmented. This system of taking money from different sources is a most reprehensible one, and in order to economise the time of the House I move the reduction of the Vote by £4,000.
§ MR. T. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I think I can claim a certain patent right in a Motion of this kind, and I certainly am in sympathy with the remarks of the hon. Gentleman opposite. But the question of pluralism is one that should be treated as a, whole. I have always shared the hope and belief that I might be able, with the irrefutable arguments I could bring forward, to induce the House to pass a Motion that no person should hold two offices. I myself intended to table a Motion similar to that now made, but there is a question of policy and propriety in dealing with the matter. Instead of laying down a principle the hon. Member only moves to reduce the salary of one particular officer of the House of Lords, and I think that is an inconvenient way of raising the question. I respect the high functionary against whose salary and position the hon. Member's Motion is directed. The Lord Chancellor of England is a very great personage. Undoubtedly, his name will go down in history as one of the ablest and purest Lord Chancellors that ever sat on a Woolsack, and as one of the most revered expounders of the law in this country. I would remind the hon. Gentleman that we are dealing in this Vote with only one side of the 863 Lord Chancellor. His other side—the legal side—cannot be touched. I want the hon. Gentleman to reflect on the consequences if his Motion were passed. The House of Lords would be left without a Speaker. We cannot expect even a Lord Chancellor to consent to discharge duties when he is deprived of the salary attaching to them. I am aware that the Speakership of the House of Lords does not correspond with the Speakership of the House of Commons. Any Member of the House of Lords may act as Speaker in that assembly, and I think I am, right in saying that the Speaker of the House of Lords has no authority over the Members. He cannot call on one Member to speak, or on another to hold his peace. Still less can he call the Serjeant-at-Arms to take an offending Member, I will not say by the collar, but by his robes and coronet, and remove him from the House. I accept the inferiority of the position of the Lord Chancellor in the House of Lords to that which he would occupy as Speaker of the House of Commons. He might have been Speaker of the House of Commons if the House had chosen him, but in spite of all that I do consider that it is highly desirable that the Upper Chamber should have a Speaker, as otherwise it may fall into disorder, and may not observe the rules of Debate. It must be understood I am speaking purely from the public point of view. It has been my painful duty to attack some of the Lord Chancellor's Bills—it has even been my unhappy lot to turn out one Bill of his three times. That was most unfortunate, but it was on public grounds. I do feel this House has a duty to the other House, though I confess that the other House does not always feel conscious of its duty to this House; but, Sir, I appeal to the Committee to show a good example in that respect, and not pass a Motion which would deprive the other House of a Speaker, and leave it without anyone to direct its Debates. It is partly on that ground, but mainly on the broader ground of the interest I take in pluralism, that I ask the hon. Gentleman not to proceed with his Motion. I do think that the question of pluralities in the public service is one which will have to be considered, but it should be considered as a whole. It is not convenient to 864 consider one case only, and leave all the other oases undisturbed. What would be the position of the other pluralists if we got rid of the incidental pluralism of the Lord Chancellor? His office is, I understand, the highest ambition of Members of his profession to attain, but suppose we abolish the pluralism in his case, we would leave the other 300 pluralists exactly where they are, and we would not have got any nearer to their abolition than at present. I do think that the right way to raise the question is not in individual cases, but on a general principle. That is my opinion of how the matter should be dealt with, and I hope that the hon. Member who has called attention to the unavoidable case of the Lord Chancellor will not proceed with his Motion.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
I think I can also give another good reason why the hon. Member should not proceed with his Motion. He, no doubt, objects to pluralism, and is very anxious that the Lord Chancellor's salary should be reduced by that portion of it which is included in this Vote. I do not, however, think he can be aware of what the immediate effect of his Motion would be. The Lord Chancellor's salary would not be reduced by a single penny, because, under an Act of 1852, it was distinctly laid down by Parliament that the salary of the Lord Chancellor should be £10,000, and that any portion of it which was not voted for him as Speaker of the House of Lords should be charged on the Consolidated Fund. The result of any reduction in this House would be that the amount of the reduction would immediately be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, and it would have no effect whatever on the Lord Chancellor's salary. At present the salary of the Lord Chancellor as Speaker of the House of Lords comes before us in this House, and it is possible to hear such speeches as that just delivered by my hon. Friend, and if the hon. Member opposite desires that this salary should continue to come before the review of Parliament then he had much better leave it in this Vote.
§ MR. H. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has given us very excellent reasons for not voting this money. I have great respect for the Lord Chancellor, and I think that when the House of Commons declared that he ought not to have this money he would not take it from the Consolidated Fund. Those who hold the view that the Lord Chancellor would take this money from the Consolidated Fund would also be able to support my hon. Friend's Motion, because by it the Lord Chancellor would not lose anything, and it would relieve us of any act or part in giving him this excessive sum of money.
§ MR. J. CALDWELL (Lanark, Mid)
It is only five years since this question of the plurality of offices was very keenly debated in this House on this same Vote, and on that occasion the most prominent opponent of the Vote was the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury. We mean now to keep him a considerable time on this Vote; we mean to go over all the ground on which he attacked the Liberal Government, and we want to know now what remedy he proposes to apply to his own complaints. We can afford a little time on this discussion, because everybody knows that Votes of Supply are automatically closured. No time of the Government will be taken up, and it will only mean that there will be less left for the other Votes. It is evident that if we begin the work of reform we ought to begin at the head. Now, here is this flagrant case of pluralism—the case of the Lord Chancellor. The hon. Member for King's Lynn says this subject should be treated as a whole, and that we should not deal with individual cases. I should like to know under what procedure of this House we can bring the matter up as a whole. We cannot—
§ MR. CALDWELL
We cannot get a day from the Government. Our duty is to take advantage of the present occasion; we have got it, and we will keep 866 it. The Lord Chancellor gets £4,000 as Speaker of the House of Lords, and we want to know what particular duties he performs for that money. Then he gets £6,000 as President of the Supreme Court of the Chancery Division. Of course, we know we cannot attack his salary as President of the Supreme Court, but we can attack, and it is our duty to attack, his salary as Speaker of the House of Lords, which comes under our purview. I am surprised that the Secretary to the Treasury did not say a single word in opposition to plural offices after the immense amount of eloquence and time he expended in 1893. I am surprised he should have forgotten so soon all he said then upon this very important subject. Now he has no word to say except that if we do not give the Lord Chancellor this money he will take it out of the Consolidated Fund. Let him do so. But, so far as this House is concerned, it will not be responsible for the salary of the Lord Chancellor as Speaker of the House of Lords. I think my hon. Friend did well to take up the most flagrant case of all, and make it the turning-point for a Division in this House as regards plural offices.
§ MR. H. BROADHURST (Leicester)
Mr. Lowther, last night we had a rebuke from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said we had ceased to be economical, and I know of no better opportunity than the present of redeeming our character from that charge. With regard to the Lord Chancellor, I know little of him as a lawyer. He may be worth all he gets, or he may not; but as regards the Speakership of the House of Lords we have all a fair opportunity of judging what that position is worth. In this House we have a Speaker who is very hard worked, who has to show great physical resources and great patience. Hon. Members on the other side probably know from personal experience the tax they impose on him. I believe the Speaker of this House gets about £5,000 a year, but there is no comparison whatever between the duties he discharges and the duties discharged by the Speaker of the House of Lords. The Speaker of the House of Lords takes the Chair three or four days a week for five or six minutes, sometimes for two 867 minutes, and sometimes even only for one minute. On three or four nights during the Session the sitting may last from Five o'clock to Eight o'clock, seldom or never until Twelve o'clock; and I say it is monstrous that the Lord Chancellor, who has a large salary as President of the Supreme Court, should take £4,000 out of the taxes for merely nominal duties which any ordinary person could perform equally as well. As the hon. Member for King's Lynn showed in his very excellent speech there is very little, if any, necessity for any Speakership in the House of Lords. Any nobleman can be taken by the hem of his garment, or by his coronet, and led up to the Woolsack, and there he can discharge the duties equally as well as the Lord Chancellor, who gets £4,000 a year for them. The Secretary to the Treasury has advised my hon. Friend to seek some other occasion. That advice he never accepted himself when he sat on these benches. The present occasion was always the occasion for him, and although we on this side of the House are always slow to learn these Parliamentary tactics, still we sat so many nights under the tutorship of the Secretary to the Treasury that we must be dull indeed if we have failed to benefit in some measure from his excellent example. This is the time, this is the opportunity, and I sincerely hope my hon. Friend will take the sense of the House on the matter. Indeed, he is bound to do so as a mark of respect to a colleague of the Secretary to the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I shall certainly support my hon. Friend if he goes to a Division.
§ MR. J. G. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I feel, Sir, like a sheep that is lost. I have lost my shepherd. The right hon. Gentleman who used to teach me so well the art of intelligent criticism I see now on the Treasury Bench, and he has been made Secretary to the Treasury, because he knows so well how to protect things he used to demolish. There is a personal element in this case. In any discussion on the salaries of officers of the House of Lords we must take the example of all others. The Lord Chancellor has many sides. He has a judicial 868 side, to which I will not refer; he has a political side, of which I can speak If I choose; and, above all, he has a family side, as we all know. The Secretary to the Treasury says that if we do not vote this money it will come to the Lord Chancellor by the automatic force of a statute passed in the early fifties. That is a point only good enough for one of the Old Bailey tribunals, in which the Lord Chancellor formerly appeared. My right hon. Friend knows that if this sum were negatived by the House of Commons, as a matter of course, this statute would be repealed. The point is that on the public funds there is a most distinguished specimen of a sinecure. There is no work whatever, and it is waste to give £4,000 for it. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen are aware that the Speakership of the House of Lords differs in all its qualities from the Speakership of the House of Commons. The Speaker of the House of Lords need not be a Member of that House at all. Again and again the Speaker of the House of Lords—at one period for ten years—was not a Member of the House of Lords. Sir Thomas More was never a Member. Then, Sir, the gentleman who is Keeper of the Great Seal for the time being need be in no fear whatever. He can take a rest. There is no difficulty whatever, and nothing to be done. A Speaker of the House of Lords would have to keep quiet if a Peer—I can scarcely imagine it in such an assembly—took a header from one side of the Chamber to the other. There would be no remedy for it. I am delighted to think that the Lord Chancellor does not require this money, and I do not think he would ask us to grant it to him. I confess I did not come in to take part in the Debate. I came in to listen to a speech which I am very anxious to hear from the hon. Member for Walsall, who put down an Amendment to reduce the salary of the Lord Chancellor by £100. I see he has vanished, his courage has failed him; but it would be immensely comic to see an attorney attacking the Lord Chancellor. Who would say we did not live in democratic times after that? [An HON. MEMBER: The Amendment was ruled out of order.] But he could have 869 joined in general Debate. Members versed in the Rules of this House can say most disorderly things in an orderly fashion. As the Lord Chancellor is animated by nothing but public spirit, as he is so great and just on the Bench, I think he might discharge the duties of Speaker of the House of Lords without this money. If this money is stopped, there will still remain £6,000 a year, a barony and an earldom, and the Keepership of the Queen's Conscience, whatever that may be worth. We are not doing anything disparaging to the Lord Chancellor, but I am sure that is his view—I have never spoken to him—and the view of his relatives.
§ MR. J. BRIGG (York, W. R., Keighley)
It is very probable that during the course of this Debate we shall have to decide many of the salaries before us, and I think it my duty to call attention to the salary of the Lord Chancellor in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Lords. There can be no doubt that, considering the amount or work he does, and comparing that amount of work with the work done by our own Speaker here, he is very much overpaid. I certainly must protest against this unnecessarily large payment, and I think we shall have in this matter the support of the country behind us.
§ The Committee divided.—Ayes 74; Noes 170.—(Division List No. 67.)
|Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hill, Sir Ed. Stock (Bristol)||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. H. Curzon|
|Colomb, Sir Jno. Chas. Ready||Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampst'd)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne F.||Howard, Joseph||Purvis, Robert|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Howell, William Tudor||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leo. H.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Ed.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Denny, Colonel||Kemp, George||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Kenyon, James||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Donkin, Richard Sim||Knowles, Lees||Rutherford, John|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Doxford, William Theodore||Lawrence, Sir Ed. (Cornwall)||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Drucker, A.||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs.)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Finch, George H.||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Strauss, Arthur|
|Flannery, Fortescue||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sturt, Hon. H. Napier|
|Fry, Lewis||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (L'pool)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Garfit, William||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxford U.)|
|Gedge, Sydney||Lorne, Marquess of||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Lowles, John||Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Verney, Hon. R. Greville|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (S. Geo's.)||McKillop, James||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Marks, Henry Hananel||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Whitmore, C. A.|
|Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)||Monk, Charles James||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Greville, Captain||More, Robert Jasper||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gunter, Colonel||Muntz, Philip A.||Wodehouse, Edmd. R. (Bath)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murdoch, Charles Townshend||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Nicholson, Wm. Graham|
|Heath, James||Nicol, Donald Ninian||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Heaton, John Henniker||O'Neill, Hon. Robt. Torrens||Sir William Walrond and|
|Helder, Augustus||Pender, James||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Mr. Chairman, I wish to call your attention to what took place in the Lobby just now. The honourable Gentleman the Member for North-East Bethnal Green was in the "Aye" Lobby and refused to vote.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Could he not be brought up to the Table of the House, which is actually done sometimes?
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
A decision was given by the late Speaker, which solved such difficulties as had arisen up to that time. I think his decision was that any Member who did not wish to vote could not be compelled to vote. I have heard it said that there are means of escape.
§ MR. WEIR
The Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords receives £1,500 a year, out of which he provides a Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms, to whom he pays £250. That is £1,250 for himself and £250 for the man who does probably as much of the work. This means that he absolutely gets £50 a year more than the Serjeant-at-Arms in this House whose duties are very much more onerous. It seems to me a very absurd arrangement. Besides, I object to this principle of sub-contracting. A highly placed official of the House of Lords ought to be above sweating—I can call it by no other name. If £250 a year is a fair sum to be paid for the Deputy then I think that double the amount 873 ought to be sufficient for the Serjeant-at-Arms himself. Objecting, as I do, strongly to the sweating system—a system which I believe we are all opposed to in this House—I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by £750.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I am sorry again to trouble the House, but I think I can give sound reasons why this official should have the salary put down for him. First of all, the honourable Member will observe that when there is a vacancy the salary is reduced, and if the honourable Member reflects upon the uncertainty of life, who knows that to-morrow, or the day after to-morrow, there will be a vacancy, and we shall be saved £500 by the disappearance of this officer. I do not know whether the honourable Gentleman is acquainted with the fact that the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords is not merely Serjeant-at-Arms, but he is Serjeant-at-Arms in attendance on the Lord Chancellor; and I will venture to say that that attendance upon the Lord Chancellor is incomparably the most important part of the duties he has to perform. Has the honourable Gentleman reflected what the Lord Chancellor is, what his state and magnificence are, and how small a person the individual filling the position of Lord Chancellor might look if he were a person of mean appearance and sordid outside—if he were not attended by this great functionary, the Serjeant-at-Arms? Are we to suffer this tremendous office of the Lord Chancellor to be depreciated in the eyes of the public by the inadequate appearance of the officer attending upon him? The Serjeant-at-Arms is provided for that purpose, because he redeems, by his own magnificent appearance, any shortcomings of the Lord Chancellor. That part of the functions of the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords is a very important part indeed. It is always to be remembered that it is not the individual we have to look at. The individual who fills this office of Lord Chancellor may be unfortunate in his appearance, he may be unpopular, he may have too great an affection for his own family, or he may be afflicted in other ways. It is the office 874 we have to look at. It has never been disputed that the Lord Chancellor's office is a dignified one, and we must keep up the dignity of the office, and the principal agent in keeping up the dignity of the Lord Chancellor is his Serjeant-at-Arms. He invests that great office with splendour, with dignity, and with magnificence, and I am astonished that these manifest and superficial reflections have not occurred to my honourable Friend opposite.
§ MR. CALDWELL
We must look at this matter according to the services rendered to the nation. Looking at it in that point of view, I would ask the House if this appointment were to be paid for according to the duties performed and by a fixed salary, what is the salary which we should like to pay? Everybody knows what attendance on the Lord Chancellor is—perhaps half an hour a day. In the case of the Speaker here, we know very well that he performs certain specified work, and we know that the Serjeant-at-Arms has to wait on till Twelve o'clock at night and sometimes much later. It is very laborious work in this House, and not only that, the Serjeant-at-Arms here is called upon to do other work, but the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords cannot take anyone into custody. I hope that the Secretary to the Treasury will tell us when the last occasion was that the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords acted officially in vindicating the will of the House of Lords and the dignity of the Lord Chancellor. From our own experience we know that the Serjeant-at-Arms in this House is rather frequently called upon to do duty of that kind, and here we are asked to give a man, who only works half an hour a day, £1,500. What does he do for it? He pays a deputy £250 out of the money, but that deputy is under neither the control of the House of Lords nor of the Lord Chancellor. He is merely the deputy to the Serjeant-at-Arms, and we are paying the money for that deputy. No one would object to giving a man a reasonable salary for services performed, but will anybody say that a man should receive £1,500 a year for dressing himself at Four o'clock and then undressing himself in about an 875 hour's time? I venture to say that if you look at the matter from that point of view it must occur to everybody that this officer is overpaid. After all, it is not the salary that gives dignity to the office. It is not too much to expect that, if a man is paid a salary like this, he should do some tangible work for it, and I think that a sum of £750 a year is quite sufficient to give to a man who does such a small amount of work as that done by the Serjeant-at-Arms to the House of Lords.
§ DR. G. B. CLARK (Caithness)
I had hoped that the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, when he got on the Treasury Bench, would have been able to bring about some of those changes which we all know he desires. I have no doubt he is doing his level best to bring about those changes, and perhaps by our discussion to-night we shall be strengthening his hands. I see that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is here, and I think that he will see that here is an opportunity—a really fair honest opportunity—for bringing about one of those economical changes which he desires, and which we all desire. We have got our own Serjeant-at-Arms, who is, if anything, underpaid. If you consider the work done by our Serjeant-at-Arms, he is only paid £1,200 a year, and the Deputy Serjeant £800 a year. Look at it from the standpoint of the House of Lords. The real officer who is doing the work there is the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. He only receives £1,000 a year for that office, and, of course, he is receiving £1,000 more, because all the officers in the House of Lords are pluralists. You are now proposing to make a change. A change will be made when the new Serjeant-at-Arms is appointed, and I believe the work of the Serjeant-at-Arms will then be to do the work in the Court—to act in the House of Lords when that House is sitting in its judicial capacity. That is a most important court, but even then he will be higher paid for filling what is certainly a secondary position, because the House of Commons and the House of Lords in their legislative capacity are surely superior in their status to the House of Lords in its judicial capacity. So that, even if this suggested reform 876 comes about, the new Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords will be the highest paid of all the officials. As a matter of fact you will be paying him £1,200 a year. The difference between the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords and the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Commons is this, that the latter has a house, because he has work to do—a great work to do—and in my opinion he is scarcely paid adequately for the work that he does. There has been no change in the officers of this House for a great number of years. During that time, although the wealth of our country has increased, they are not in the position that some of their predecessors were in. Everything in the House of Lords is different. The House of Lords charge very heavy fees for private legislation for Corporations and others, and spend these fees in giving large salaries to their officers. At present you are paying £1,500 a year for a Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords, and permitting him to do his work by deputy. I really hope the right honourable Gentleman will bear these things in mind, will take them in hand, and that he will be able to make some drastic changes.
§ MR. HANBURY
The officers of the House of Lords to whom reference has been made were appointed on the understanding that they were to receive a certain salary. When a vacancy occurs the question of remuneration will be considered, as well as the system which the hon. Member has objected to, and I think very properly objected to, of allowing the Serjeant-at-Arms to pay his own deputy, instead of the deputy being paid direct. The hon. Member has compared the salary of the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Lords with the salary of our own Serjeant-at-Arms, and he says the salary of the former is higher than that of the latter. I understand that the salary of our own Serjeant-at-Arms is £1,200 a year, with a furnished house worth between £300 and £500 a year. I object very strongly to the officials of the House of Lords being paid at higher rates than the officials of the House of Commons, and, to a very great extent, this inequality has been removed. I object altogether to these comparisons 877 between the salaries of the officers of the House of Lords and those of the House of Commons, because, as a matter of fact, the salaries in both Houses are very much above those paid to permanent Civil servants in the ordinary Departments. We must also recollect that these officials get a great amount of holiday which the permanent Civil servants do not get. Therefore I object altogether to these comparisons of salaries. I think it should be remembered that the Serjeant-at-Arms has not only to attend on the Lord Chancellor in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Lords, but has also to attend his Lordship in the Courts, for the House of Lords is what this House is not—it is a Judicial Court. The Serjeant-at-Arms has to attend the Lord Chancellor not only when the House is sitting as a legislative assembly, but when it is sitting as a judicial assembly.
§ MR. LEWIS
The right hon. Gentleman has just told us that we cannot compare the salaries of the officials of the House of Commons and the House of Lords with those of Civil servants, because the officials of the House of Commons and the House of Lords have a very much longer holiday. I contend that that strengthens the argument for a reduction in their salaries put forward on this side of the House. I was going to ask the right hon. Gentleman this question: Is it necessary that there should be in the House of Lords a Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, a Yeoman Usher, a Serjeant-at-Arms, and a Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms? It appears to me that the duties which are performed in the House of Lords by these four officers could adequately be discharged by two officers. Could not these four offices be amalgamated? It seems quite possible that at a future time these offices could be amalgamated, and the country saved an expenditure which is utterly unnecessary. I give the right hon. Gentleman credit for having accomplished a great deal which was desired on this side of the House, but I do not see why these offices should not be amalgamated. Two officials ought surely to be able to perform the duties which are now entrusted to no fewer than four.
§ MR. J. SAMUEL (Stockton)
There is one statement in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman that I think we ought to take exception to. I am speaking as a new Member of this House, but I certainly think that the principle which the right hon. Gentleman has laid down—namely, that we cannot under any circumstances reduce the salary attaching to any offices in the Upper House, or in this House, until there is a vacancy through death—is one which we should condemn in very strong terms. We ought to adopt, in regard to the salaries of our public officials, the same principles that are adopted by large employers of labour, who, when they consider that a reduction of wages is necessary, never think of waiting until the death of their manager or workman before putting that reduction into effect. The same principle should be applied to the public service under the Votes of this House, and I think, Mr. Lowther, that the present is a very opportune time for applying the principle. In commercial houses when a reduction in wages takes place there are two reasons given for that reduction—namely, that there has been a decrease in the amount of labour to be performed by the employees or a fall in the selling price of the articles manufactured. We must all admit that since this Government came into power there has been very little work in the House of Lords. Therefore there is very little work for the officials to do, and consequently there ought to be a corresponding reduction in their salaries. It was quite different when the late Government were in power. The House of Lords then met oftener and sat longer. Those of us who have seen the work of the House of Lords since this Government came into office know that there has been very little work indeed for that House to do, and when we compare the work done by the Serjeant-at-Arms of this House with the work done by the official whose salary we are now discussing, I think it evident that some reduction such as suggested should take place. I hope the hon. Member will press his Amendment to a Division, and if he does I shall be pleased to vote with him.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Mr. Lowther, the Secretary to the Treasury has referred to some changes that have taken place since he made his memorable speech in 1893. I do not wish to press him too far, but I would ask the right hon. Gentleman one question: What single reform in the salaries of the officials of the House of Lords has he brought about since he has been Secretary to the Treasury? What individual salary has he been instrumental in reducing since he has been Secretary to the Treasury? In 1889, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, a Committee was appointed for the purpose of considering the salaries of the officials of the House of Lords. That Committee went into the matter, and made reductions, as vacancies would arise, to the extent of £6,874. That was in 1889. The right hon. Gentleman's speech was in 1893. Automatic reforms have taken place since 1889, as a result of the action of the Committee. Does the right hon. Gentleman take credit to himself for the reductions which have taken place through the action of the Committee? I feel sure he has no wish to take credit for anything he does not do. He does so much that he can afford to be satisfied without wishing to take credit for anything he does not do. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to tell us what reform in the salaries of the officials of the House of Lords he has been instrumental in bringing about since he has been Secretary to the Treasury.
§ MR. HANBURY
The hon. Member's request is a very reasonable one, but he should remember, in criticising my action, that the Treasury has no power whatever over the salaries of the officers of the House of Lords. If he will look at the foot-note he will see that it is entirely outside the power of the Treasury to reduce these salaries by a single penny. The whole matter is in the hands of the Committee of the House of Lords. What I said was that I was in a position to defend this Vote, because a great many changes had taken place.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Yes, but these have been the automatic changes brought about by the action of the Committee of 1889. The right hon. Gentleman's speech was 880 apt to have misled those who do not know that since 1893 there has been practically no change in these salaries. Whatever argument existed in 1893 exists at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman states that these salaries cannot be reduced, but that argument did not prevail with the right hon. Gentleman in 1893. In that year he criticised these salaries, and condemned them as excessive, though there was no vacancy at that time. That is exactly what we expected we should find to-night. All the arguments that were used against the Liberal Government in 1893 apply with equal force now, and yet there has been no change with regard to these salaries. How are these officials appointed? No one has advocated more strongly that they should be appointed according to the principles of the Civil Service than the right hon. Gentleman. Well, how is the Serjeant-at-Arms appointed? He is appointed, I suppose, by the Lord Chancellor. Certainly he is not appointed under the Civil Service. There is no provision whatever regarding qualification or age of retirement, such as exists in the Civil Service, and I do not see why we should pay this inordinate salary to a man who has undergone no Civil Service examination, and who secures his appointment merely by patronage. The right hon. Gentleman says you cannot compare the salaries of the officials of the House of Commons and House of Lords with those of the Civil Service, because of the short period that the two Houses are in Session. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Flint Boroughs that the fact that they are employed for a shorter period is an argument in favour of their being paid less salary. I think the argument of the right hon. Gentleman was this, that when a man has more time to spend money he requires a larger salary to keep him going. A man who is busily employed has not so much time to spend his money as a man with plenty of leisure. In this particular case we object to these salaries because these men are not paid upon the principles of the Civil Service, but upon the principles of patronage, and it is only now, by reducing this Vote, that we have any opportunity whatever of recording our opinion on this question. It may be 881 that you cannot alter the salary, and if we carried this reduction we should, as a matter of course, accept the Resolution as merely recording the opinion of the House, and support a Supplementary Vote to pay the man his salary during his appointment.
§ MR. BROADHURST
I can scarcely join my hon. Friend on my right [Mr. Caldwell] in his line of attack on the Secretary of the Treasury. I should like my hon. Friend to remember that it is not only inconvenient but unusual to challenge a Minister to name the reforms which he takes credit to himself for having brought about. We know the large promises the right hon. Gentleman has made in years past, and how few opportunities he has had of redeeming them since he has been in office. With regard to the Vote, I think the Secretary to the Treasury will agree with me on this point that the office of Serjeant-at-Arms, as well as that of Black Rod, requires no intellectual endowments for the discharge of the duties appertaining to those positions. They require absolutely none whatever. I think the right hon. Gentleman will also agree with me that there should be some examination in which candidates for the office should be compelled to pass, and that the vacancy when it occurs should be put up to public competition like the clerkships in the Treasury, and like the clerkships in the Postal Service and the Telegraph Service. We are told frequently that the salaries of these poor clerks are governed by the law of supply and demand. If the Post Office had 50 vacancies there would probably be 500 applications. Now, let us put up the offices of Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod and Serjeant-at-Arms to the same competition, and see how many applications we should receive. I have no hesitation in saying that the House of Lords might receive some advantage even from competition for such an office, as there are several Member of the House of Commons who would be very glad to become candidates. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] Well, we will say there is one. I should be very glad indeed—exceedingly glad—to discharge either the office of Serjeant-at-Arms or Black Rod for £500 a year, if the Secre- 882 tary of the Treasury will put them up to competition. They are not positions which require great personal adornment. If they did, I should not lay claim to being able to fill them. Neither do they entail the exercise of any intellectual faculty, or I should not presume to offer myself as a candidate for so distinguished a position. Therefore, as the discharge of the duties does not imply nor require any such condition, I, as a humble citizen, cannot be accused of presumption when I say that it is possible that I might enter into competition for one of these offices. And if, as the result of putting the offices up for competition, the taxpayers of the country could be saved a thousand or two a year, the suggestion is well worthy of consideration. I contend that those who pay these salaries ought to have the appointment of these officials. It is intolerable that any member of a Government, or any officer of State should have such large patronage in his control when he does not find the money out of his own pocket. Why should it be the case with the Serjeant-at-Arms and Black Rod more than with the clerks of the War Office, the Admiralty, of any other Government Department? The grievance we have, and which we want to press home to the Government of the day, is that those who pay this money have not the appointment of these officials. We claim that they should have that appointment through their popularly-elected representatives. I am sure that in the abstract, if not in practice, this principle recommends itself to the right hon. Gentleman's practical and sound sense of right, and if the right hon. Gentleman will get up in his place, and give us some hope that he will, at the earliest opportunity, take this matter into consideration, I think my hon. Friend would almost be inclined to withdraw his Amendment. If these appointments were put up to public competition, and a standard of examination and qualification created and defined, it would be an enormous advantage. If the right hon. Gentleman will promise definitely and without reservation that he will do everything in his power to secure this, I will vote with the Government, should my hon. Friend divide the House on this Vote.
§ DR. CLARK
I do not think the Amendment should be withdrawn. A Division should be taken in order to strengthen the Treasury in the desire for economy. They say they have no control. They cannot say the House has no control, for on two occasions we have reduced this Vote; one, on a Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton, and once on the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman himself. In the latter case the reduction was carried into effect. In the House of Lords you have one class of men holding three or four offices, and drawing three or four salaries. What we want to do is to stop this system of sinecure offices in the House of Lords. These offices have been invented for the purpose of drawing the salaries; there can be no work for these officers to do. The real work, so far as the House of Lords is concerned, is that attaching to the position of Gentleman-Usher of the Black Rod, but there are four officials to do it. The present Gentleman-Usher is a colonel in the Royal Artillery, and drawing, as a colonel in command, £1,000 a year should give his entire time to that service. There ought to be plenty of work for him to do in his position as colonel in the Royal Artillery, and if he did that work he ought not to be loafing around the House of Lords. We are fighting against a bad system, which the right hon. Gentleman himself fought against before he occupied his present position. I think we should divide for the purpose of strengthening his hands. The Committee of the House of Lords refuse to carry out the suggestions of the Treasury and the Select Committee, and it is time that this House showed them that, so far as money was concerned, we are all powerful.
§ MR. J. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
I rise, Mr. Lowther, to support the Amendment which my hon. Friend has proposed. The right hon. Gentleman who is in charge of this Vote has been a great reformer,
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Brigg, John||Clough, Walter Owen|
|Allan, Wm. (Gateshead)||Broadhurst, Henry||Crilly, Daniel|
|Austin, Sir J. (Yorkshire)||Burns, John||Curran, T. (Sligo, S.)|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Caldwell, James||Daly, James|
|Billson, Alfred||Cawley, Frederick||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Clark, Dr. G.B. (Caithness-sh.)||Dillon, John|
§ and his aim in times gone by has been to try to economise as much as possible. I am entirely in sympathy with the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman in the past, and I hope he will see his way to carry out to-night what he advocated so strongly during the time the late Government were in office. To my mind, £500 a year is quite sufficient for Black Rod and Serjeant-at-Arms combined. I think, Sir, that the sum we now pay is an extraordinary amount of money to throw away on officials who do practically nothing. It is true they wear gorgeous uniforms, but I dare say even these uniforms are supplied at the expense of the country. I support with all my heart the reduction that has been moved by the hon. Member, and I also agree with several of my hon. Friends around me that this office should be put up for competition, and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that if it were put up for competition we should get a much superior man to fill the office for £200 a year. The position should be occupied, not by a pet of the Lord Chancellor, but by a man who has undergone some examination. I am sure, Mr. Lowther, that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Vote is only too anxious to bring about the reduction proposed in the Amendment. I speak from a knowledge of the character of the right hon. Gentleman, and I believe that he only requires an opportunity in order to effect this reduction. I hope, therefore, that he will not put the Committee to the trouble of a Division, but accept the Amendment and agree that £750 a year is quite an exorbitant sum to pay this official for the duties he performs.
Motion made and Question put—
That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £750, in respect of the salary of the Serjeant-at-Arms in attendance on the Lord Chancellor."—(Mr. Weir.)
§ The Committee divided.—Ayes 64; Noes 143.
|Donelan, Captain A.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roche, John (East Galway)|
|Doogan, P. C.||McCartan, Michael||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Duckworth, James||McDermott, Patrick||Steadman, William Charles|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||McKenna, Reginald||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||McLeod, John||Strachey, Edward|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Ure, Alexander|
|Gourley, Sir Ed. Temperley||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Hammond, John (Carlow)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Williams, John C. (Notts.)|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Pease, Jos. A. (Northumb.)||Wilson, Fredk. W. (Norfolk)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Knox, Edm. Francis Vesey||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Leng, Sir John||Power, Patrick Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Priestley, Briggs (York, W.R.)||Mr. Weir and Mr. Maddison|
|Lloyd-George, David||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Macaleese, Daniel||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Fisher, William Hayes||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Flannery, Fortescue||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Flower, Ernest||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Grld W. (Leeds)||Garfit, William||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Banbury, F. G.||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||O'Neill, Hon. Robt. Torrens|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Pender, James|
|Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Graham, Henry Robert||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. Horace Curz'n|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bethell, Commander||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Greville, Captain||Purvis, Robert|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Bond, Edward||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.|
|Brassey, Albert||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bucknill, Thos. Townsend||Heath, James||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Heaton, John Henniker||Rutherford, John|
|Butcher, John George||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbysh.)||Hill, Sir Ed. Stock (Bristol)||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Hoare, Ed. B. (Hampstead)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Howard, Joseph||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.)||Howell, William Tudor||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Strauss, Arthur|
|Charrington, Spencer||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Kenyon, James||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Knowles, Lees||Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawrence, Sir E. (Cornwall)||Verney, Hon. Richd. Greville|
|Colomb, Sir J. Chas. Ready||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lanc.)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Denny, Colonel||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (L'pool)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowles, John||Willox, Sir Jno. Archibald|
|Doxford, William Theodore||Macdona, John Cumming||Wodehouse, Edm. R. (Bath)|
|Drucker, A.||McKillop, James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Marks, Henry H.||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. Hart||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Monk, Charles James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Finch, George H.||More, Robert Jasper||Sir William Walrond and|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morrison, Walter||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ On the return of the CHAIRMAN after the usual interval,
§ MR. DALY
Well, of course, when I am told that I am not at liberty to refer to the House of Lords, at the same time I must say that I cannot separate the servants of the House of Lords from the House of Lords itself. I think that now is the time for this House to practise all the economy that is possible, and it is only by endeavouring to cut down the salaries of those in attendance on the House of Lords that we can, to a large extent, reduce expenditure. And now, Mr. Lowther, I will just take the position of the Chairman of Committees in regard to the House of Lords. In proportion to the duties which the Chairman of the House of Lords performs, I think everybody will admit that £2,500 a year is too high a salary for that official. In a great many instances the Chairman of the House of Lords has very short work indeed, and if I had the matter in my hands I should be rather inclined to increase the salaries of the officers of this House, and reduce the salaries of every officer in the House of Lords, as I consider that the officers employed in the House of Lords are, in fact, paid larger salaries than they are entitled to for the amount of work they perform. Now, Sir, I see there is "an examiner of Standing Orders," and when the right hon. Gentleman gets up to reply I hope he will be able to fully explain what duties this officer has to perform. The idea of having officers to perform dual offices is not, to my mind, the correct thing, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman who has charge of this Vote will see his way to give a full and ample explanation of the duties of this official. But, Sir, as a protest against the salary of the Chairman of the Committees of the House of Lords—believing, as I do, that the amount of 888 work that he has to perform is so very little—I will enter my protest with regard to the salary by moving the reduction of the Vote by £500, and I hope I shall have the support of every Member on this side of the House. All these salaries should be consistent, and I hope that my hon. Friends around me, both above and below the Gangway, will see their way to give every opposition to this Vote, because I think it has come to the time when these salaries should be cut down, considering the very bad times going on at present, and I am sure they can get an officer for this post even if you throw off the odd £2,000; even then you would get hundreds of applicants far more capable of performing those duties.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I think, in comparing the salaries of the House of Lords with the House of Commons, we should look at the duties performed by the one as well as the other. I cannot understand why it is that, merely because a man happens to be in the House of Lords, he should receive proportionately more money for his services than in the House of Commons. Now, in the House of Commons, as we all know, the Chairman of Committees has £2,500, whilst in the Lords the salary is exactly the same. Now, what is the difference in the duties? The House of Lords, for instance, met to-day. What time did they meet, and when did they rise? How often, for instance, does the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords sit? Why, they come down there and only sit for about an hour any time. Now, compare the time that the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords sits with the work done here, and I am sure nobody would say that the pay should be the same, because we look upon it that the pay should be in some relation to the amount of work performed. If a man happens to be a Member of the House of Lords, and happens to get practically what is a sinecure office—perhaps a position of honour to a certain extent—there is no reason why he should be paid a higher salary. We do not find that there is a distinction between salaries in the House of Lords and the House of Commons in any other way. Take the case of 889 counsel to the Chairman of Committees. In the House of Commons counsel gets £1,800, and in the case of the House of Lords the amount is £1,500. The Estimates acknowledge this: that the salary should be somewhat proportionate to the work, and therefore, as we find that the work is more for the counsel in the case of the House of Commons he gets more salary. That shows that the Estimates are based upon a footing that the men should be paid in proportion to their work. Well, if you adopt that same principle of proportion, I think you will find that if we pay £2,500 to the Chairman of Committees in the House of Commons £2,500 would be the relative proportion compared with the salaries of counsel of the Chairman of Committees in the case of the House of Lords. I think it is our duty on all occasions such as this really to give serious attention to the matter, and the discussion upon this House of Lords Vote must end in this way, that there must be a revision of the salaries and a Committee appointed in 1898, as there was in 1890, to consider the whole situation. I cannot conceive it possible that these salaries can be discussed in this way without some practical result coming. Then we might give some indication as to the extent to which we think these reductions should be made. The pay should be something proportionate to the work that is done, and after giving the House of Lords all the benefit that they might be supposed to be entitled to it should be laid down that a Peer should not be paid for services to the State one whit more than a Commoner is, and who is not doing any more work. It must be remembered that in the case of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords he is not a man like the Lord Chancellor, who has had a legal training, and there is no special reason why he should have an exceptional salary. I therefore think that, as regards this particular Vote, in paying £2,000, looking to the fact that the Chairman of Committees here has only £2,500, we are acting most handsomely to the House of Lord's, considering the little work the Chairman of Committees of that House hits to do. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us last night that we were not economists, for he accused us of not being economical. I think, as far as our action to night is concerned, he has no cause to 890 complain, because we are endeavouring to give effect to his wish.
§ MR. J. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I quite agree with the hon. Member that it is really time that some steps were taken to see that the salaries of the House of Lords were in proportion to the work done. We hear a very great deal about the patriotic willingness on the part of people of high station to serve their country, and it is nothing short of a scandal that wealthy men—for we must assume that all Members of the House of Lords are wealthy men—should draw from a fund contributed, and largely contributed, by the poorest of the working classes, enormous salaries for practically doing nothing. Now, Sir, I do not attempt to say that the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords does absolutely nothing; but I do say this, that before this Debate closes we ought to have a statement from the Secretary to the Treasury of the amount of his work in comparison with the Chairman of Committees in the House of Commons. Everyone here will say that there is not a harder-worked official than the Chairman of Committees of this House. I do not think there is a man amongst the officials who works harder, and I should certainly vote for raising his salary, for I believe that he is the most underpaid official, in connection with the Government, in this House. When we turn to the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords I venture to say that, although I do not pretend to be acquainted with the procedure of the House of Lords, I am well within the mark when I say that for every five hours which our Chairman works the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords does not work one. I daresay he does not work one for every ten. Therefore I want to know why a Peer—presumably a man of great wealth, because no man is made a Peer unless he is a man of enormous fortune, and he must be a man of, say, many thousands a year before he is made a Peer—why a man of great wealth should require to be paid on five or six times the scale on which a Member of this House is paid for evidently the same class of work. I think it is monstrous, and we are—those of us who do not 891 believe in the sublime usefulness of that great chamber, the House of Lords—at least entitled to demand that men who work for the nation in the House of Lords shall be paid on the same scale in proportion to the work they do as men who work for the nation in the House of Commons. I think that is a simple statement, and I think the Secretary to the Treasury, before we go to a division—and I am convinced the hon. Member intends to proceed to a division—ought to explain the exact position of the Government in this matter. I can only say, in conclusion, that I regret the hon. Member for South Monaghan did not move that the Vote be reduced by £1,500, because I feel convinced that £1,000 a year would be a generous payment for all the work done for the nation by the Chairman of the Committees of the House of Lords.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Naturally, I feel somewhat diffident in discussing your salary, Mr. Lowther, but I think the office of the Chairman of Committees in this House is most hardly worked. Now, the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords has a counsel, an examiner, a clerk to the examiner, and a messenger; while you, Sir, have yourself alone. I am well aware that our Chairman has the assistance of the clerk, but I do not know that he has any messenger of his own, or anything in addition to that office, which constitutes the whole total of the Chairman of Committees' salary. But, Sir, one question I have risen mainly to ask from my right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury is this: Why is it that it is necessary in the House of Lords to have a separate counsel, an examiner, a clerk to the examiner, and a messenger? Why is it not necessary to have those separate officers in this House?
§ MR. HANBURY
I wish to point out in reply that the counsel to the Speaker of this House very largely assists the Chairman of Committees in regard to all private Bills, and I am given to understand that the counsel to the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords actually does the same work done here by the counsel to the 892 Speaker. Now, the counsel to the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords is only so called because it might seem rather absurd that when the Speaker of the House of Commons is necessarily a lawyer and the head of the legal profession he should have a counsel to advise him, and I believe that is the reason why he is "Counsel to the Chairman of Committees," and not "Counsel to the Speaker." My hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn has asked why the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords has the assistance of those other officials mentioned by him. Well, the Chairman of Committees in this House has officials exactly corresponding to those in the House of Lords. It so happens, however, that their names are different, although those offices exactly correspond. I think all through this discussion it has been somewhat forgotten that although no doubt the Chairman of Committees in this House does sit throughout discussions in Committee of the whole House, a great deal more than is the case with the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, still I venture to say that by far the most arduous part of the work of both Chairmen is the very large amount of work they have to do in connection with private Bills, and that proportion of work is fully shared by the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. At any rate, I think the work done in the two Houses is almost exactly parallel in that respect. When we speak of the salaries of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords being so much more than the salary of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Commons, we ought to recollect that, until a few years ago, the Chairman of the House of Commons Committees was paid only £1,500 a year. The two salaries are now pretty much on a level. The course I took when I was in Opposition, in regard to these salaries, was that they should be put on a level. If the House is going into the large question of apportioning salaries according to the work done, we should have to go through the whole of the Civil Service Estimates.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I wish entirely to corroborate what the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the 893 Treasury said with regard to our views on this question when we sat on those Benches apposite. The right hon. Gentleman is a remarkable instance of a Minister who, in office, has consistently followed the same principles that he held when in Opposition; and if hon. Members will look through these Estimates they will see traces of his handiwork on almost every page. But I would ask hon. Members to remember that the salary of this particular office is the last the House should seek to reduce, because it is intended to cover a great amount of extra work that will be placed upon him in connection with the Private Bill Procedure (Scotland) Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: That is not in the list.] I read it entirely in that way, and I do not think this will be a particularly happy moment to diminish the salary of an officer who is to have a large amount of extra work put upon him.
§ DR. CLARK
I am afraid my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn is not progressing; he is standing still. The House of Commons has given up all fees for Government business, but the House of Lords charges fees, even charges Government fees for passing Departmental Bills. We are now proposing to pay an adequate salary for the work done. I admit that this particular office is the hardest worked office in the House of Lords, and I think the hon. Member for Monaghan has not erred on the side of parsimony by moving that the salary should be reduced from £2,500 to £2,000.
§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)
If the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury will explain the precise duties of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords with regard to private Bills it would simplify the discussion.
§ MR. DILLON
I think this Vote for the reduction of the salary of the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords to the level of the salary paid to the Chairman of Committees in the House of Commons is not unreasonable. The right hon. Gentle man the Secretary to the Treasury made 894 what was, to my mind, a most extraordinary statement. He said that the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords had a great deal of work to do, and he seemed to treat as a matter of no consequence the sittings in Committee of this House. But I venture to say that if our Chairman were consulted confidentially he would say that fully half of his labour consisted in sitting in the chair while this House is in Committee. A more exhausting, more worrying labour, than sitting in the chair while the House is in Committee from four till twelve o'clock I cannot imagine. It is preposterous to ignore that portion of the Chairman's labours. The proposition we advance is that a Peer, because he is a Peer, and Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, ought not to be paid out of the taxpayers' money a larger sum than he earns, judged by the standard of the House of Commons. Indeed, I think Members of the House of Lords might very well adopt the principle of noblesse oblige, and do the work of the nation without salary. As to the work of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords it is really only recreation. I think there is no force in the argument used by the hon. Member for King's Lynn, and, therefore, I trust my hon. Friend will go to a Division on his proposal to reduce the salary this year. It will only be a first challenge, others being reserved for future years.
§ MR. HANBURY
I think I ought now to give an answer to the question which the hon. Member has raised as to the salary of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. With regard to private Bills generally, I have no hesitation in saying that his work is harder than that of even our own Chairman of Committees, owing to the fact that the House of Lord's does not discuss private Bills as fully as we do. A great deal of work is thrown upon him with regard to the clauses of those Bills, which is taken off the shoulders of the Chairman of Committees in this House by the discussions which occur in this House. It is undoubtedly true that the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords has to examine, every private Bill which comes before Parliament. He goes 895 through all the clauses of each with the Parliamentary agents, in order to see that those clauses contain nothing contrary to precedent or the rules of the House relating to private Bills; and that has to be done by him alone. Then he has further duties—which do not fall upon our Chairman—to perform corresponding to those of the Chairman of the Committee of Selection in this House. In this House that Committee actually does the work which is performed by the Chairman of Committees in the other House.
§ MR. CALDWELL
The Chairman of Committees in the other House is a permanent official, whereas in the case of the House of Commons you have a variable body.
§ MR. HANBURY
There is nothing in the objection of the hon. Member. It is undoubtedly the fact that the Chairman of Committees in the other House has to do that work which does not fall upon our Chairman of Committees. And it must also be recollected that there are a large number of unopposed private Bills in both Houses, and the responsibility for those unopposed private Bills practically falls upon the Chairman of Committees in each House. That is a very important part of the work of both Chairmen, and great responsibility is thrown upon them from the mere fact the Bills are unopposed. There can be no doubt that, with the exception of the work done by the Chairman here in Committees of the whole House, in all other respects the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords does undertake very onerous duties fully equal at least to those performed by our own Chairman.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I will not stand long in the way of my hon. Friend near me, who wishes to address the Committee, but I think my right hon. Friend who has just sat down is to be congratulated on his command of his countenance, as well as on his sense of humour, when he can with a serious face speak of the enormous amount of work which is laid upon the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords in addition to his work upon the Committee of Selection. We all 896 know how many Members of the House of Lords attend its sittings upon the average, we know that there the quorum is three and we know how arduously they work on the Committees with regard to private Bills. My right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University, a gentleman whom we are all delighted to recognise as the Father of the House, has been for 25 years Chairman of the Committee of Selection in this House. He regards it, I believe, as an honour. He is only as yet a Commoner, and I do not know that he has got any great ambition to be a peer, but I do not think my right hon. Friend ever came cap in hand to this House to ask for a salary for doing public work. And yet my right hon. Friend's duties as Chairman of the Committee of Selection are far more difficult than those of the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords. We are a very mixed assembly, including all sorts and conditions of men. Anyone who has spent a few hours in the House of Lords will know every man in public life there. This assembly varies from day to day, and the office of Chairman of the Committee of Selection is a delicate and responsible one. He is brought constantly in contact with various Members, and his duties are almost as difficult and irritating as those of a Whip, so that it must be a liberal education in good temper to be Chairman of the Committee of Selection for a single Session in this House. My right hon. Friend discharges all those duties with great kindness, courtesy, and consideration. He is the finest specimen of an English gentleman and, while I am bound, of course, to speak respectfully of peers, I think you would not find his equal in the House of Lords. I ask, why should a peer, presumably a man of independent means, ask to be remunerated for similar services? And I would ask whether this case was presented by the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords himself, and whether this idea of his services as Chairman of the Committee of Selection entered into the head of anyone until it came into the brain of the right hon. Gentleman himself. I think he has made a defence of this salary which the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords would repudiate. Now I will go a little further. I am bound to say that I am utterly sceptical about the 897 active exercise of revising powers as regards Private Bills by the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords, believe these things are done by his advising counsel, and that the Chairman, very unlike our Chairman, is simply an ornamental personage and nothing else. Mr. Lowther, I say this, not in any spirit of jealousy, but because I hold that we ought to have regard to the facts in dealing with these salaries; and I say that by a Vote of this character the poor are robbed for the sake of the rich, who do nothing for us. Now I cannot understand how a noble Peer could have a greater luxury than a little responsibility. They ought to vie with each other in getting it; it ought to be an object of ambition. I cannot imagine anything more calculated to relieve them from painful ennui and idleness than doing a little public business without remuneration. And I will go a little farther. If the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords gets £2,500 a year, the Chairman of Committees in this House ought to get at least £7,000. I cannot imagine a more wearisome task than is imposed on him from day to day in sitting, sometimes for twelve hours, glued to that Chair, while sometimes being pounded by Parliamentary bores. Let us consider this absurd hypothesis, which is almost too bad for the House of Commons, that the Members of the other House do as much public work as those of this. I do not in the slightest degree wish to speak in a way of prejudging, or with disrespect of the House of Lords, but I will take a description of the House of Lords—not as I see it, because I frequently go in to look at it for a moment, though rarely for the purpose of obtaining information—but I will take a description of the ordinary public business of the House of Lords given by an ex-Lord Chancellor, who had special means of knowledge upon the subject. I remember reading a few years ago, in Lord Campbell's "Lives of the Chancellors," a description written when he had retired from the Chancellorship. Lord Campbell said that after he retired he did not much mingle in public affairs, but he occasionally attended the House of Lords—going down, as many Peers do, for a few minutes, engaging in conversation and lounging on the red benches before dinner.898 Well, what has the Chairman of Committees to do when he is in the Chair, as he rarely is, with three or four noble Lords lounging on the red benches before him, compared with the work of the Chairman of Committees in this House? The Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords has not got to perform the responsible and difficult duty of keeping unruly Members in order. I always support our Chairman. But the Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords has as much power as the Lord Chancellor ought to have in the House of Lords, and that is none at all. He can do nothing. He cannot call them to order; and he is not ornamental, for he is only dressed in plain clothes, so that he has neither the glory of Solomon nor of the lilies of the field. Now, I have wished to put these points. First of all, I say that if the outside duties of the Chairmen of the two Houses are equal, which I deny, their duties inside the House are totally disproportionate. Let us look this matter calmly in the face in the interests of the great body—the Conservative working men. How will the Conservative working man like to be compelled to meet taxation to pay £2,000 or more per annum as a species of outdoor relief to titled members of society? This is simply an office by means of which a salary of £2,500 a year is given to one of those of whom it has been said "They toil not, neither do they spin." On all these grounds I think this salary ought to be reduced, even if it were for the very best man in the House of Peers. Perhaps some gentlemen in this House who in the course of nature will become Peers, might think that such work as they could do would be done extremely well for nothing, and that one Chairman of Committees would be sufficient. I should be very glad to see the whole salary be given in globi to our Chairman here, and I say that hon. Gentlemen do not support the dignity of this House when they permit their own officials to be ill-paid as compared with the officials of the House of Lords. It is a scandalous and improper system. If the Chairman of Committees of this House ought to be paid £1,000, then the Chairman of the House of Lords Committees ought not to be paid more than £500. It is wrong in itself and dishonest to the public to give people 899 who do not want it, and who do not earn it, such a salary. I have felt very strongly upon this matter for a very long time, and I confess that all these salaries given to the Members of the House of Peers appear to me to be given in gross breach of trust by the people who are in honour and duty bound to safeguard the public trust.
§ MR. LEWIS
There is just one question in relation to this matter, which I think ought to be brought to> the attention of the Committee. There is a pretty strong consensus of opinion that the duties of the Chairman of Committees are of a very much more onerous character in this House than they are in the House of Lords, and if there is to be any disproportion in the matter of salary at all, then that disproportion ought to be in favour of the Chairman of Committees in this House. Take, for instance, the great public offices; the men who are at the head of great Government Departments are men of exceptional ability, who, if they were working in the City, would earn three times as much as we pay them. Why do those men accept positions of this kind in the Government service? It is because there is considerable honour attaching to their office, and thereby the Service gains. The Government gains the services of exceptionally competent men, to whom, it pays an extremely low salary. Compare their services to those of the Chairman of the House of Lords Committee. That gentleman gets a holiday of six months in the year; the other gentlemen very often cannot get any at all. If you compare his salary with that of any of the permanent heads of any of our great public Departments you will find he is very greatly overpaid indeed. That is a simple way of looking at the question, and I ask, what argument can there possibly be urged against that view of the case? I think, under those circumstances, that the reduction asked for with regard to the salaries here is only proper.
§ MR. WEIR
My hon. Friend has moved a reduction of £500 a year. In my opinion it would be more to the point if he had moved a reduction of £1,500. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury said that in his opinion the Chairmen of the Committees of the House of Lords and House of Commons ought to be paid alike. Now there I beg to differ from him, as there is no comparison in the duties. In the one case, that of the Chairman of the Committees of this House, he has to work from early morning to one or two the next morning. Now, what has the Chairman of the House of Lords Committees to do? He merely attends to private Bills, and comes down to the House of Lords for perhaps one hour a day. I think £1,000 a year would be ample for any duties which he performs. I shall go into the Lobby with my Friend for this reduction. I look on this in the same manner as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Mayo looks upon it. I am in favour of paying adequate salaries. Now, if the salary of the Chairman of the House of Lords Committees is an adequate salary, then the salary of the Chairman of Committees of this House is wholly inadequate. The Chairman of Committees of this House, so far as I know, does not ask for a rise, and therefore I take it he considers that his salary is an adequate one. That being so, it is very certain that the salary of the Chairman of the House of Lords Committees is out of all proportion. I listened most carefully to the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer last night, when he urged economy upon us. I read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested the homily on economy to which we were treated, and I think I am only doing my duty by protesting against this excessive payment to the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords. I certainly hope that my hon. Friend will not withdraw this Motion, but will press it to a Division, and then we shall see who in this House opposes the reform of reducing this excessive salary, which is 901 paid for the very small amount of work done.
Motion made and Question put—
That Item B be reduced by £500 with respect
|Allan, Wm. (Gateshead)||Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||Pease, Jos. A. (Northumb.)|
|Austin, Sir J. (Yorkshire)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Philippis, John Wynford|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Price, Robert John|
|Billson, Alfred||Kilbride, Denis||Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Brigg, John||Labouchere, Henry||Roberts, Jno. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Lambert, George||Robson, William Snowdon.|
|Caldwell, James||Leng, Sir John||Roche, John (East Galway)|
|Carvill, Patrick G. Hamilton||Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Cayley, Frederick||Macaleese, Daniel||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Strachey, Edward|
|Curran, T. B. (Donegal)||McCartan, Michael||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo)||McKenna, Reginald||Ure, Alexander|
|Davitt, Michael||M'Leod, John||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Maddison, Fred.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Dillon, John||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Monk, Charles James||Whittaker, Thos. Palmer|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)|
|Duckworth, James||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Mr. Daly and Mr. Weir.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Charrington, Spencer||Fry, Lewis|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Chelsea, Viscount||Garfit, William|
|Baden-Powell, Sir G. Smyth||Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Gedge, Sydney|
|Bagot, Captain J. Fitzroy||Clough, Walter Owen||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)|
|Baillie, J. E. B. (Inverness)||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Grld W. (Leeds)||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gordon, Hon. John Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Colomb, Sir J. Chas. Ready||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Cox, Robert||Greville, Captain|
|Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. Wm.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Denny, Colonel||Hanson, Sir Reginald|
|Bethell, Commander||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Donkin, Richard Sim||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Heath, James|
|Bond, Edward||Doxford, William Theodore||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Drucker, A.||Helder, Augustus|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Brassey, Albert||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Hill, Sir Ed. Stock (Bristol)|
|Bucknill, Thos. Townsend||Finch, George H.||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Howell, William Tudor|
|Butcher, John George||Fisher, William Hayes||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Flannery, Fortescue||Kemp, George|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.)||Flower, Ernest||Kenyon, James|
to the salary of the Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 77; Noes 159.
|Knowles, Lees||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Strauss, Arthur|
|Lawrence, Sir E. (Cornwall)||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Nicholson, William Graham||Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray|
|Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs.)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Pender, James||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. H. Curzon|
|Lockwood, Lieut. Col. A. R.||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Purvis, Robert||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Long, Rt. Hon. W. (L'pool)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.||Williams, Jos. Powell (Birm.)|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Lowles, John||Robinson, Brooke||Wilson, Fredk. W. (Norfolk)|
|McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Wodehouse, Edm. R. (Bath)|
|McKillop, James||Rutherford, John||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Marks, Henry Hananel||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)||Younger, William|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|More, Robert Jasper||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Morrison, Walter||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Murdoch, Chas. Townshend||Stephens, Henry Charles|
§ MR. BRIGG
I should like to ask a question with reference to the salary of the Counsel of the Chairmen of Committees. I find that that office also includes the office of Taxing Master for private Bills. Yet the work of the latter office is performed by inferior clerks who receive salaries of £250, £200, £150, and £50. I think we should have some explanation of this.
§ MR. HANBURY
It is impossible that the private Bill work should all be done by one man. There is a great deal of work to be done, and, of course, a staff of clerks are required to do it.
§ MR. T. W. NUSSEY (Pontefract)
I think we are entitled to a fuller explanation than that. The right hon. Gentleman has carefully avoided telling us what work this official does, or how much time it occupies. I am quite aware that in connection with private Bills there is a great deal of work, but we want more detailed information as to the particular work covered by this item.
§ MR. HANBURY
I may say that this Gentleman does exactly the same work as that performed by the Counsel for the Speaker in this House. The Counsel for the Speaker is paid £1,800; the officer performing exactly the same duties for the House of Lords get £1,500.
§ MR. CALDWELL
There is an item covered by this Vote for salary of the Reading Clerk of Committees in the House of Lords, £900. The Examiner of Standing Orders has a salary of £300 under Item D. The same person fills the two offices, so that his total salary is £1,200. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can promise that, in the event of a vacancy arising, some arrangement will be made to combine the two offices, so that a salary of £900 will cover the work of the two?
§ MR. HANBURY
The hon. Gentleman all through has been comparing the salaries of officials of this House with those of the corresponding officials in the other House. He will find that the Reading Clerks in the two Houses receive exactly the same salary. I cannot answer for any future arrangements. I am only responsible for the Estimates as they stand for this year.
§ CAPTAIN D. V. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
I desire to support my hon. Friend, and I have an object in pressing this. I should like to read to the Committee what the right hon. Gentleman opposite said some four years ago when the late Liberal Government were in power. Referring to the salaries of the Reading Clerks, he said—While he thought that this branch of the constitution [the House of Lords], which some people looked upon as anomalous, ought to be maintained, at the same time he thought they 905 ought as far as possible to relieve it of many excrescences. The House of Lords, with regard to the salaries of its officials, stood in an unfavourable position.Since that time the country has taken up a very different view of the House of Lords. The change is not yet reflected in the constitution of this House, but I hope these protests will be repeated year after year until the country returns so large a number of Members to this side
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Gourley, Sir Ed. Temperley||Price, Robert John|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Griffith, Ellis J.||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Roberts, Jno. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Kilbride, Denis||Roche, Hon. Jas. (Kerry, E.)|
|Billson, Alfred||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Labouchere, Henry||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Lambert, George||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Caldwell, James||Leng, Sir John||Steadman, William Charles|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John Herbert||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lough, Thomas||Strachey, Edward|
|Channing, Francis Aliston||Macaleese, Daniel||Sulliyan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Clough, Walter Owen||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Ure Alexander|
|Curran, Thos. (Sligo, S.)||McCartan, Michael|
|Daly, James||McKenna, Reginald||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Maddison, Fred.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Davitt, Michael||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Weir, James Galloway|
|Dilke, Rt, Hon. Sir Charles||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dillon, John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Frdk. W. (Norfolk)|
|Duckworth, James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Mr. Brigg and Mr. Pirie.|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Pease, Jos. A. (Northumb.)|
|Acland-Hood. Capt. Sir A. F.||Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Brassey, Albert||Dalrymple, Sir Charles|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Denny, Colonel|
|Baden-Powell, Sir G. Smyth||Bullard, Sir Harry||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Butcher, John George||Donkin, Richard Sim|
|Baillie, J. E. B. (Inverness)||Cecil, Lord Hugh||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon A. J. (Manc'r)||Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Doxford, William Theodore|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Grld W. (Leeds)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Drucker, A.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.)||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Ellis, Jno. Edward (Notts.)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Charrington, Spencer||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Chelsea, Viscount||Finch, George H.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. S. M. H. (Brist'l)||Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Coghill, Douglas Harry||FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Flannery, Fortescue|
|Bethell, Commander||Colomb, Sir J. Chas. Ready||Flower, Ernest|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Colston, C. Edw. H. Athole||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)|
|Bond, Edward||Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Fry, Lewis|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Cox, Robert||Garfit, William|
§ of the House that these anomalies will be swept away altogether. I beg to propose the reduction of the Vote by £100.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That Item C be reduced by £100 in respect of the salary of the Reading Clerk of the House of Lords."—(Captain Pirie.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 79, Noes 167.
|Gedge, Sydney||Leigh-Bennett, Hy. Currie||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Rutherford, John|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Sharpe, Wm. Edward T.|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)|
|Goschen, George J.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (L'pool)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Lorne, Marquess of||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lowles, John||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Greville, Captain||McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||McKillop, James||Strauss, Arthur|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. Wm.||Marks, Henry H.||Sturt, Hn. Humphrey Napier|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uny)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Monk, Charles James||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Heath, James||More, Robert Jasper||Tomlinson, Wm. Ed. Murray|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Morrison, Walter||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Helder, Augustus||Muntz, Philip A.||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Murdoch, Charles Townshend||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hill, Sir Ed. Stock (Bristol)||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Howell, William Tudor||Newdigate, Francis Alex.||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Nicholson, William Graham||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Kemp, George||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Kenyon, James||Pender, James||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Knowles, Lees||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wodehouse, Edm. R. (Bath)|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Lawrence, Sir Ed. (Cornwall)||Purvis, Robert||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (L'pool)||Rentoul, James Alexander||Younger, William|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lancs.)||Robinson, Brooke||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
I have had two evenings in the course of nineteen years of Parliamentary life in this House, which gave me a feeling of unmixed triumph. On both those occasions I had the pleasure of voting in the Lobby with two Conservative Tellers counting the votes, and on both occasions I had the pleasure, as it was at the time, of defeating a Liberal Administration. The first occasion was in 1885. My hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn did not then give us the advantage of his presence in the House, though I understand that he would have had it in his power to do so, but several hon. Members whom I see on the opposite side of the House and some hon. Gentlemen whom I see on the Treasury Bench, took part in that famous Division. On that occasion, I say, we had the satisfaction, by a united Conservative and Irish vote, of defeating a Liberal Administration. That was on 8th June, 1885; and, Mr. Lowther, a similar exultant triumph did not come to 908 me until 5th September, 1893, and on that occasion I find that I voted in a majority consisting of: Ayes 103, Noes 95. The Tellers on the occasion of that triumphant majority of eight, of which I formed a modest part, were the right hon. Gentleman the present Secretary for the Treasury and my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn. Now, Mr. Lowther, if I went through this Division list I should find that it was quite as influential as it was successful. I find, for instance, among those who voted upon this occasion, the right hon. Gentleman the present Vice President of the Council. I find, also, in the majority the names of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, the hon. Gentleman the Member for a Division of Worcestershire, a relative of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, a Scotch Member, the Member for North Ayrshire, who, I understand, is the unpaid secretary of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. I find another name—that of the right hon. Gentleman, who is not only a near, but almost a tender, 909 relative of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham—namely, the right hon. Gentleman, I think it is for the Bordesley Division, the Under Secretary to the Home Department. Well, Sir, I find also in it the names of an independent Member, whom I do not think I see in his place, and of two independent Conservative Members: one the Member for Brighton, and the other the Member for Dover. Well, now, Sir, here is the question—Motion made and Question proposed—'That a sum, not exceeding £23,095, be granted to Her Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the charges falling due for payment in the year ending 31st March, 1894, for the saaries and expenses of the officers of the House of Lords.'—Whereupon Motion made and Question put—'That Item C, Houses of Parliament, be reduced by £500.' (Mr. Hanbury.)—The Committee divided:—Ayes 103, Noes 95.As to my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn, I cannot forecast what he will say. I do not think anyone ever can. I could have understood his position better if he also had now been on the Front Bench, but I note that he has to-night even taken up a position on the wrong side of the Gangway. I do not think I need add anything to what I have said, especially as the House must be almost panting with excitement and curiosity to hear the defence of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the difference in their Votes on these two occasions.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I may say, in defence of the singular position which I take to-night below the Gangway, that I am here in consequence of the action of an unfailing adherent of the Government, who has appropriated the seat usually occupied by me. My change of seat has no political significance—it is only accidental. I am surprised at an hon. Member of the political acumen of my hon. Friend thinking that I voted against a certain Vote in 1893, and against the same Vote now. Does he not see that in 1893 my right hon. Friend and I perceived that the Vote was £500 too much? With great trouble, and much oratory and much persuasion, we induced the 910 heads of our Party, and even the Secretary for the Colonies—a most unusual thing—to vote with us in reducing the Estimate. We also induced the President of that mysterious body the Committee of Council on Education to take the same course, and I fear the House will hardly be able to rise to a sense of the strength of the arguments which we must have used to bring about those results. That reduction of £500 we regarded as required to render the Vote perfect; but, of course, when the Vote now comes before us less the £500 it is our bounden duty to vote for it. I think I need add nothing to that explanation. I only wish all hon. Gentlemen on that side could show conduct as consistent. There are moments when I regret the days when I sat on the Second Bench on that side with the present Secretary for the Treasury beside me, and we were able to do so much good work; in fact, I think that in the whole of Parliamentary history there never were two Members so thoroughly justified by events as my right hon. Friend and myself.
§ MR. HANBURY
I also am inclined to agree that events have shown the two most consistent men in the House to be my hon. Friend and myself. And why? Because to-night the hon. Member and I have been advocating, ever since six o'clock, the very principles which we advocated on that memorable occasion, which were that the salaries of the officials of the two Houses should be placed on the same level. Hon. Members opposite have departed from that very proper principle, and while, owing to our advocacy of this principle in 1893, these salaries have actually been put on the same level, we find those hon. Gentlemen claiming that the salaries of House of Lords officials should be lower than those of the officers of this House. The hon. Member for King's Lynn seems' to think that the reduction effected in 1893 makes the Vote a fair one. I do not quite think so, for as a matter of fact the Vote has been reduced by more than £500. What we voted for then was that the salaries of the clerks of the House of Lords should be brought down to the same level as those of the clerks here, but in certain 911 cases the clerks in our House get larger salaries than those holding corresponding positions in the House of Lords, though all new clerks appointed there will be on the same scale as the clerks in this House.
§ MR. DILLON
I should like to say, for those sitting with me, that when we supported the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for King's Lynn on the occasion which has been referred to, we did not at all accept their contention that the salaries of officers of the House of Lords should be on the same scale as those of officers of the House of Commons. We were glad to see that they were taking a step in the right direction, and any step in that direction would have commanded our cheerful support; but we held then, as we hold now, that the salaries of officials of the House of Lords should be fixed in some fair proportion to those of the officials of this House in relation to the duties performed by each. The Treasury has not endeavoured to lay before Parliament any reason why the officials of one House should be paid the same amount as the officials of the other House for doing only one-tenth of the work, since these latter are admittedly equally competent men. We in this quarter of the House followed the right hon. Gentleman's lead on that occasion, but we desire to improve upon his example, and to carry further the good work which he then accomplished.
§ MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)
I think the matter now before the House raises a very considerable principle, and for myself I accept what has fallen from the hon. Member for East Mayo—that remuneration should have some relation to the amount of the services rendered. There is hardly an item in Votes 1 and 2 of Class II. which does not make clear the gross disparity which exists between remuneration for the services rendered by the officials of another place and that for those rendered by the officials of the House of Commons. If the amount of time devoted to their duties by those two bodies of gentlemen respectively were made the subject of an 912 official Return, I am sure that no hon. Member would endeavour to defend parity of payment before any public audience of reasonable men. The right hon. Gentleman opposite [Mr. Hanbury] may found himself on the principle that both sets of officials should be placed upon entirely the same level, but I do not think a large number of hon. Members, placed face to face with their constituents, would accept that doctrine. I am sure that until an alteration is made the question will come up again and again, and for that reason I shall support the proposed reduction.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE (Northumberland, Tyneside)
There seems, I think, to be some misapprehension as to the position of the Secretary to the Treasury. I remember his speech in 1894, when he used these words—Last year it was shown that, while the duties of the officials of the other House were lighter than those of the officials of the House of Commons, the former were paid on a more liberal scale.Obviously the right hon. Gentleman is there enunciating the principle laid down by the hon. Member for East Mayo—that the officials of both Houses should be paid according to the duties they perform.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
My hon. Friend who has just spoken has got a good quotation, but he has not got the best. On the occasion on which the right hon. Gentleman led me and the other Members on this side of the House to victory he made a speech which was entirely opposed to the doctrine he has to-night laid down. He said: "Salaries ought to be paid according to the work which the recipients perform"; and he immediately added, with that true insight into popular feeling which a thorough democrat always displays, that this course ought to be possible. Going on, however, to ask how, if the House of Lords did not set an example, they could expect other Departments of the Civil Service to do so: "The House of Commons was bad enough," he added, "but the House of Lords was infinitely worse." Apart altogether 913 from the question of economy, this matter has a larger and an even more important bearing. In the midst of all our prosperity, a great many of the people of this country find it very hard to make ends meet. There are a large number of the most useful public servants of this country who are underpaid. [An HON. MEMBER: No, no!] An hon. Gentleman below me says "No, no!" He is a Scotchman, and I am an Irishman, and we naturally take somewhat different views of these matters. I was referring to that great body of public servants of this country—our military and naval forces. Take the men engaged in the recent operations on the North-West Frontier of India, risking their lives at every hour of the night and day, going through swollen fords, and over mountain passes, enduring every kind of hardship. How many of them received anything approaching the salaries given to the men who are engaged for a few months in the year in the comfortable work of the House of Lords' offices? There are a body of hon. Members of this House who style themselves the Services Committee, and one of their aims is to increase the efficiency or our forces. Well, Sir, the great body of the people of this country do not measure these things by salaries per annum, but by amounts paid per day. I wonder what the relatives of your gallant Gordon Highlander, with his fifteen-pence a day, think when they read that a stay-at-home and not very hard-worked clerk of the House of Lords receives £1,000 a year. This is not a Party question. I do not oppose this Vote on Party grounds. I appeal as confidently to hon. Members on the other side as to those on these benches. I am perfectly certain that everybody who goes up and down the country knows that on this question of the bloated, unearned salaries of public officials there is a strong and universal feeling of discontent and disgust. I venture to assure the Secretary to the Treasury that he can do no greater disservice to his Party than to stand up send defend these entirely unjustifiable salaries paid to men for doing practically nothing in the offices upstairs, while the gallant men who risk their lives in the defence of the Empire in all quarters of the globe are put off with a miserable pittance.
§ MR. BROADHURST
I am glad that the suggestion I made earlier in the evening, that the Secretary to the Treasury should promise an inquiry, has received such support. My hon. Friend who has just sat down, if I understood him rightly, said he would be satisfied with an inquiry conducted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary to the Treasury, and one or two other Members of the House, and I agree that if we had the promise of such an inquiry our immediate opposition to this Vote might be withdrawn. I do not think the utter waste of public money in connection with the officials of the House of Lords has ever been so well exposed as it has been to-night. In the interests of the taxpayers it is time that the House of Lords should be thoroughly overhauled, and that the waste and extravagance going on there, from the public purse should be brought to a close, and that some approximation between service and pay should be brought about. The Secretary to the Treasury must not imagine that the necessity for economy is any less now that he is in power than it was when as a Member of the Opposition, he denounced this expenditure a few years ago. If he will promise that he will bring this subject under the notice of the Lender of the House and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am sure he will give pleasure to some of his own supporters, as well as to a large number of earnest reformers on this side of the House.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I find that the Senior Clerk in the House of Lords begins with a salary of £600, and goes up to £800. The present Senior Clerk has a salary of £800, but he holds other offices, from which he receives £400 a year, bringing his total salary to £1,200, as against £650 paid to the Senior Clerk in the House of Commons; and I venture to say that there is no comparison between the work of these two gentlemen. Now, with regard to these clerks in the House of Lords, they are not gentlemen who have passed any Civil Service examination whatever; they are under no obligation to retire at any particular age. The position we on this side take with regard to this matter is this: We 915 recognise that the House of Commons is responsible for the expenditure of the country, and that it is the duty of the House of Commons to see that the country gets value for the salaries voted, whether for the service of the House of Lords or the House of Commons. This House has no control whatever with regard to these appointments; they are practically patronage appointments. What was contended for by the present Secretary to the Treasury when he sat on these benches, and what I repeat now, is that this House should insist that these clerks in the House of Lords should be put on the same footing as ordinary Civil servants as regards qualifications and selection by competition, and that their appointment should not be a matter of patronage. That is the principle for which we contend, and we hope to be able to convince the Government that there must be an inquiry into this matter, with a view to bringing the clerical service of the two Houses into line, and placing the officials on exactly the same footing. This point is not a new one. It was referred to in the Report of the Public Accounts Committee of 1893, and they expressed very strongly the opinion that that was the policy which the House should adopt. The hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool has said
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under- L.)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Hammond, John (Carlos)||Price, Robert John|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bayley, Thos. (Derbyshire)||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Billson, Alfred||Knox, Edmund F. Vesey||Roberts, Jno. H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Labouchere, Henry||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Brigg, John||Lambert, George||Roche, Hon. Jas. (Kerry, E.)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Leng, Sir John||Roche, John (Galway, E.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John Herbert||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lloyd-George, David||Spicer, Albert|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Lough, Thomas||Steadman, William Charles|
|Curran, Thos. (Sligo, S.)||Macaleese, Daniel||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Daly, James||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Strachey, Edward|
|Dalziel, James Henry||McCartan, Michael||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Davitt, Michael||Maddison, Fred.||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Ure, Alexander|
|Dillon, John||Morgan, J. L. (Carmarthen)||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Duckworth, James||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Ellis, T. E. (Merionethshire)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)||Wilson, Fredk. W. (Norfolk)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Wilson, H. J. (Yorks, W. R.)|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pease, Jos. A. (Northumb.)||Mr. Caldwell and Mr.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Jonathan Samuel.|
§ that this is not a Party question. Hon. gentlemen who are sitting opposite, if they were sitting on this side of the House, would probably be making the very same demand that we are seeking to enforce. It is the interest of the country, whichever Party may be in power, that these offices should be given only to persons who are properly qualified, that there should be competition for the selection of officials, and that there should not be plurality of offices.
§ MR. H. V. DUNCOMBE (Cumberland, Egremont)
moved "That the Question be now put," but the CHAIRMAN declined then to put the Motion.
§ MR. CALDWELL
The first Senior Clerk, whose salary is covered by this item, receives £800 a year, and in respect of other offices he receives a further £400, making £1,200 in all. I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £400 in order that his total salary may remain at £800.
Motion made, and Question proposed,That Item C be reduced by £400, in respect of the salary of the Senior Clerk of the House of Lords."—(Mr. Caldwell.)
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 78; Noes 172.
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||More, Robert Jasper|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Foster, H. S. (Suffolk)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Fry, Lewis||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Garfit, William||Murdoch, Charles Townshend|
|Baden-Powell, Sir G.||Gedge, Sydney||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Bagot, Capt, J. FitzRoy||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Murray, Col. W. (Bath)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Grld W. (Leeds)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Newdigate, Francis Alex.|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (S. Geo's)||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Goschen, G. J. (Sussex)||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. Robert T.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Graham, Henry Robert||Pender, James|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. C.|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Greville, Captain||Purvis, Robert|
|Bethell, Commander||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Bond, Edward||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Heaton, John Henniker||Robinson, Brooke|
|Brassey, Albert||Helder, Augustus||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord A. (Down)||Rutherford, John|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Sir Edward S. (Bristol)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Butcher, John George||Holland, Hon. Lionel R.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Howell, William Tudor||Sidebottom, W. (Derbysh.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Smith, A. H. (Christchurch)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.)||Kemp, George||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Kenyon, James||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Knowles, Lees||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'T.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Strauss, Arthur|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Lawrence, Sir E. (Cornwall)||Sturt, Hn. Humphrey Napier|
|Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth)||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uni.)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lees, Sir E. (Birkenhead)||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Colomb, Sir J. Chas. Ready||Legh, Hon. T. W. (Lanc.)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Colston, C. Edw. H. Athole||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Llewellyn, E. H. ((Somerset)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Sw'ns'a)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Cox, Robert||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Wentworth, B. C. Vernon|
|Denny, Colonel||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Lorne, Marquess of||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowles, John||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Drucker, A.||Macdona, John Cumming||Wodehouse, E. R. (Bath)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||McArthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||McCalmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Wyndham-Quin, Maj. W. H.|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Mnc'r)||McKenna, Reginald||Young, Commander (Berks)|
|Finch, George H.||Malcolm, Ian||Younger, William|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Marks, Henry Hananel|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Martin, Richard Biddulph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. Penrose-||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Sir William Walrond and|
|Flannery, Fortescue||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Flower, Ernest||Monk, Charles James|
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I wish to raise, as shortly as I can, a question which, I think, the Committee will consider to be one of very great importance—it has been already before the Committee in another shape—I mean the question 918 of the salary of the Librarian to the House of Lords. Since the discussion we had on this subject on Monday I have been able to obtain Papers which establish the story I am about to relate; and I think the Committee will agree that the conduct experienced by this House is 919 such that it can only be met by the moderate reduction of £200 which I am about to move. If what I propose to detail to the Committee has the weight that I think it has, I may view with confidence the cohorts behind me, relying on the impartial gentlemen from Ireland to again follow me into the Lobby in the carrying out of a real, radical reform. The story is not a very long one. In 1897, as I ascertained from the first Report of the Select Committee on the House of Lords Offices—and here I may remark, as exhibiting the business capacity of that Committee, that the document itself bears neither the name of the Committee nor the date of the Report, which I only get from internal evidence—the Committee were of opinion that the salary of any future Librarian should be £800 per annum, and that the official residence should be continued to him on the express understanding that he should surrender it "if at any time it should be required for the extension of the Library or for any other purpose," in which event he should receive an allowance of £200 a year in lieu of the residence. Now, a short time ago, I do not know exactly under what conditions, the Librarian of the House of Lords, Mr. Pullman, resigned. Strangely enough, when the Treasury came to consider his pension, they valued the residence not at £200, but at £400, although it certainly cannot be worth more now than at the date of the Committee's Report. That is one of the great injustices of giving residences as part salary to officials—that, when you come to calculate their pensions, an increased value is put on the residence. A complacent Committee of the House of Lords adopt that view, and the result is that Mr. Pullman gets a pension upon £1,200 a year instead of upon £1,000 a year. Then, Mr. Pullman having resigned, a Mr. Strong is appointed Librarian. I have not a word to say against Mr. Strong; he may be, and presumably is, a most excellent official. On the 23rd April Mr. Strong receives the Lord Great Chamberlain's warrant to take possession of this residence. On the 21st July, however (why that interval of three months elapsed I cannot quite tell), the Treasury make a representation on this subject, to the effect that the state of the Librarian's house is such that it would require something 920 like £600 to put it into habitable condition. On the 24th July (and here the real story begins) the First Commissioner of Works suggests to the Lords Committee that the Peers should give up two of their Committee Rooms, and also one of the Joint Committee Rooms, and that in lieu thereof they should take possession of two of the rooms of the Librarian of the House of Lords. The Lords Committee said they had not Committee Rooms enough as it was, and that this proposal of the First Commissioner would decrease instead of increase their accommodation. The next suggestion was contained in a letter from Sir Francis Mowatt, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, of the 29th October, 1897, and I will ask permission to read this extract from that letter—I am directed by my Lords Commissioners of the Treasury … to say that Mr. Akers-Dougas remains of opinion that the proposed re-arrangement of rooms would materially contribute to the comfort of the House of Commons without detracting from the space available for the accommodation of their Lordships; and, further, that the number of resident officers in the Houses of Parliament should be minimised as far as possibleThe important part of that is that the First Commissioner of Works remained of opinion that the proposed rearrangement of rooms would materially contribute to the comfort of this House without detracting from the accommodation of the House of Lords. Now, what did the Committee of the House of Lords say in reply to that? They adhered to their decision that no alteration whatever which could be made either now or hereafter in the Librarian's house would enable them to dispense with any of their present Committee Rooms, and that, consequently, no extension could be looked for in this direction. They decided, however, in view of the strong opposition to the Librarian keeping his house, that the Librarian should leave the house, and that he should have an additional £200 a year. With regard to the house itself, the Committee say that they reserve for further consideration the question for what purpose the house shall be utilised. Now, I point out that here is an absolute difference of opinion as to whether it is possible to make such a rearrangement as will not interfere with the 921 Lords. The First Commissioner of Works says it is possible, the House of Lords Committee say it is not. The First Commissioner of Works is supported by the Treasury, so that there are two opinions against one in favour of the view that the arrangement suggested can be carried out without inconvenience to the House of Lords; and what do the Lords do? They agree to turn the Librarian out of his house. The Treasury, as I read these Papers, refuse, and very properly refuse, to ask this House to pay £600 to make the house habitable. The result is, here is an uninhabitable house; it is of no use whatever to the Lords, but what they say is, "We will keep this uninhabitable place; we will charge you, the Commons, an extra £200 a year for the Librarian; we are not going to make any use of the place ourselves, but you shall not get it." I must say that that seems to me only capable of being described as a dog-in-the-manger policy, and I am not only surprised, but I am shocked, that a Committee of the House of Lords should be found capable of taking up this position of keeping in possession of an absolutely destitute, forlorn house, which will presently get into the position of an Irish mud hovel after a crowbar eviction, and at the same time ask for an extra £200 a year for their Librarian. In this description that I have given, I have only adopted the language of Her Majesty's Government through the First Commissioner of Works and the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. Under these circumstances, I say that we are morally relieved from the obligation of paying this £200 a year which it is proposed to give to the Librarian instead of this house. Therefore, with great regret, I move the reduction of the Vote by £200, and I hope and believe that a majority of hon. Members will follow me into the Lobby on this occasion.
Motion made, and (Question proposed—That Item 'D' be reduced by £200 in respect of the salary of the Librarian of the House of Lords."—(Mr. Gibson Bowles.)
§ MR. FORTESCUE FLANNERY (Yorkshire, Shipley)
I think the time has now arrived for a definite statement on the part of the Treasury as to principle in this matter. I confess that I have voted, after hearing some of the speeches from hon. Members opposite, with very great doubt and very great hesitation, in the Divisions that have taken place; but the reason which has weighed with me, and I believe with many other hon. Members on this side, is that, the country having agreed that the individual holders of offices at present should be paid certain sums of money, it is only right and honourable on the part of this House that those sums should be voted. But it is a very different matter when we come to discuss the question of principle with an eye to the future. I think this Debate has shown gross instances of inconsistency; first, that the officials are paid to an extent entirely disproportionate to the service they render; and secondly, that their appointments are made in a manner which is entirely obsolete, and is not just to the taxpayer. I think the hon. Member for Mid Lanark made a very strong point when he said that these appointments are matters of patronage, and that they ought to be matters of open competition. Sir, I have risen for the purpose of appealing, and I do appeal, as a supporter of the Government, in the strongest manner to the Secretary to the Treasury to consider this question on the broad lines of general principle, with an eye to the future. It would be in accordance with the feeling of the House on both sides if he were to give an undertaking, on the part of the Government, that at the very earliest possible opportunity a Committee or Commission, or some other form of official inquiry, should be set up for the purpose of formulating a scheme by which these appointments as they fall vacant, should be reorganised on a proper and fair system of election and remuneration. If the right hon. Gentleman can see his way to make that concession, he will set at rest a great deal of uneasiness on the part of hon. Members below the Gangway on both sides of the House.
§ MR. HANBURY
This question, Sir, has been treated as if the anomalies that have been pointed out existed only in regard to the House of Lords. I think it might have been better if Members of this House had sought to set their own House in order. No doubt the system of nomination in both Houses is somewhat anomalous. It is undoubtedly the fact that with regard to the Houses of Parliament the system of appointment of the clerks does differ from the appointment of clerks to very important offices in other Departments; it differs from the system of public nomination in the Treasury and other Departments, but that rule which exists with regard to the House of Lords also exists with regard to the House of Commons. This House is very well aware that the body which is practically the governing body of this House is, as I have often said when I was in Opposition, a very anomalous body, and I should be justified in saying that the time has come when, as the hon. Member has suggested, there might be an inquiry into the whole system prevailing in the two Houses, with a view to determining whether it might not be possible to bring the system of appointments in the two Houses a little more into unison with what is now the common practice in other public Departments. With regard to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for King's Lynn, I am a little disappointed that he has thought it right to move this reduction of £200, because I should have thought I might find in him a most faithful ally in connection with this subject, inasmuch as he and I have before now worked together in opposing the system of giving residences partly in lieu of salary, a system which, I agree, is a most wasteful one, and a system which the present arrangement will, at any rate, put a stop to in one instance. Take the one matter of pensions. Under the old system the Librarian of the House of Lords would have been pensioned on a salary of £1,200 a year; now he will be pensioned upon a salary of £1,000 a year. Then, with regard to his present pay, he will receive only £1,000 a year, instead of 924 £800 and a furnished house, which, I venture to say, will cost this House a great deal more than £400. Therefore, I say that, by substituting £200 a year instead of the furnished house, we are saving the country a considerable sum. As to this residence of the House of Lords Librarian, it could by no possibility have been utilised by this House, and the use to which it should be put is still left an open question.
§ MR. LEWIS
The outcome of this matter, as I gather from the statements of the hon. Member for King's Lynn and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury, is that this Librarian's house, containing 22 rooms, is now no longer required by the House of Lords. Meanwhile, the House of Commons is suffering greatly from want of accommodation, in regard to Newspaper Rooms, Tea Rooms, Smoking Rooms, and so on. I trust the Secretary to the Treasury will feel that this discussion has strengthened his hands in insisting that the accommodation at the disposal of this House should be increased. The needs of the House of Commons in this respect have reached such a point at the present time—
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
I must remind the hon. Gentleman that he cannot, on this Vote, go into the general question of the accommodation of this House.
§ MR. DALZIEL
I hope the inquiry promised by the right hon. Gentleman will be instituted without delay, and prosecuted to a definite result. We have had Committees on this question before, and no practical result has been achieved; and I hope that the inquiry now to be held will not be similarly abortive. I only rise now to ask for information on two small points. First, I would ask whether the present Librarian was 925 appointed over the heads of all the other assistants in the Librarian's department, whether he was private Librarian to a distinguished Member of the Government, and whether he does not hold that appointment at the present time? Then I should like to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he could not see his way to making some representation to the House of Lords with regard to more easy access being given to Members of the House of Commons to use the Library of the House of Lords during times when that House is not sitting? A short time ago I had occasion to go to the Lords' Library for a Parliamentary Report. I was told the Librarian was on a holiday, and there was no one to find the Report for me. I think it is absurd that when we vote money for so many assistants, who have practically nothing to do when the House of Lords is not sitting, it should be impossible for a Member of this House to get access to the Lords' Library.
§ MR. LEWIS
I should like to offer a suggestion on this one point. The Library of the House of Commons is in constant use during the Session; the Library of the House of Lords is much less frequently used. Would it not be possible to combine the two Libraries, so that both might be thrown open for the general use of Members of the two Houses?
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
The right hon. Gentleman says that I am opposing an alteration which he and I have in former times joined in advocating. Not at all. I should be delighted to vote for the payment of the additional £200 if we could only secure the Librarian's residence. My complaint is that this House is called upon to pay this £200 a year, while we do not get the residence at all.
§ MR. DALZIEL
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see fit to give some reply upon the two points I raised.
§ MR. HANBURY
There is a Committee of the House of Lords, which deals with all these appointments, and the Librarian was appointed by that Committee, so far as I am aware. I think everybody will admit that the appointment of Mr. Strong was a most admirable one. He is in every way qualified for the appointment, and, so far as I know, he does not hold any other post. With regard to the other point mentioned by the hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs, I am very sorry he had the unfortunate experience he has detailed to us, and I cannot think that it is the ordinary experience of hon. Members of this House who desire to make use of the Lords' Library when that House is not sitting. As to the suggestion that the Libraries of the two Houses should be combined, I am afraid I am not in a position to make any promise of that kind.
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)
It would not seem that the Committee are to get to any definite result in regard to this matter, for the present year at any rate; but after the promise that has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury I think it would be an unworthy course for the hon. Member for King's Lynn to press this Motion to a Division.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is in order in attributing to me an unworthy course?
THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
I see nothing unparliamentary in what the right hon. Gentleman has said.
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON
My right hon. Friend has said that it is expedient that the whole subject should be inquired into by a Committee, and I think that that should satisfy the hon. Gentleman. It is quite a mistake to suppose that the officials of either House are appointed 927 without the ordeal of examination. Very strict and, I believe, competitive examinations are instituted. With regard to accommodation, I would remind the Committee that from time to time considerable portion of the House of Lords' accommodation have been transferred to this House. After the House of Lords has gone sudh a considerable way to meet the wishes of this House in regard to this Librarian's residence, I think it is rather too much to say that no time should be given for some arrangement to be made as to the allocation of the rooms. I venture to think it would be unseemly to press the matter to a Division on this occasion, and I hope my hon. Friend will withdraw his Motion.
§ MR. FORTESCUE FLANNERY
If this item of the Vote were postponed to the next occasion on which the Estimates are taken, that would give an opportunity for negotiation between the Secretary to the Treasury and the House of Lords; and if this Motion for a reduction were held, as it were, in terrorem, I think the hands of those who conduct the negotiations with the House of Lords would be strengthened, and in all probability a satisfactory arrangement might be come to.
§ It being Twelve of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again.
§ House resumed.