§ * SIR SEYMOUR KING (Hull, Central)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that one of the conditions of the establishment of the Indian Uncovenanted Service Family Pension Fund, under the sanction of the directors of the East India Company, was that the Government would guarantee the fund 6 per cent, interest on the subscriptions which it was agreed should be deposited with the Government, and 585 that all the existing subscribers to the fund have joined on the faith of this undertaking, and whether, in the case of a reduction of the rate of interest, the Government will guarantee the rights and advantages at present enjoyed by existing subscribers.
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
In reply to my hon. friend I must point out that no guarantee whatever was given by the court of directors that the rate of interest upon the subscriptions of this fund should be permanently maintained at 6 per cent. This rate was continued optionally by the Government until quite lately, when it was reduced to 4 per cent., which is much above the existing market rate. This reduction was made because it did not seem equitable that a considerable charge should be put upon Indian revenues with the result of continuously diminishing the rate of subscriptions payable to the fund. If the managers find themselves unable on the reduced rate, and after considering the matter from an actuarial point of view, to avoid taking action which will inflict hardship in individual cases, they will doubtless bring the subject to the notice of the Government of India, whose opinion on the matter I will at once consider.
§ * SIR SEYMOUR KING
Arising out of that answer I should like to ask my noble friend whether, in 1869, a circular was issued to members of the Public Works Department by the Finance Department of the Government of India pointing out the advantages of, and inviting them to join, the Uncovenanted Service Family Pension Fund, and stating, among other things, that the Government allowed six per cent. per annum interest on the Fund.
§ LORD G. HAMILTON
said he was not sufficiently acquainted with the facts to give an answer at the moment.