HC Deb 31 July 1903 vol 126 cc1145-8

(Considered in Committee.)

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

moved to report Progress on the ground that many hon. Members interested in the Bill were not present. The Second Reading was passed, he reminded the Committee, on the understanding that ample discussion would be allowed on the Committee stage.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Lough.)


said the Government were quite unable to accept the Motion. It was really for the general convenience of the House that they should get forward with the business, as unless they did so it would be impossible to bring the session to an end at the date desired.


pointed out that the Bill, though it might not be described as a controversial measure, had really not been considered at all. It was a very important Bill, and the Government would be well-advised to accept the Motion to report Progress.

* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester-shire, Forest of Dean)

said the schedule was a most difficult one to discuss, and. although there were only two Amendments on the Paper, questions would probably arise requiring more time than could he given to-day. He suggested that it the Bill was taken at all the Government should be content with the clauses, and leave the schedule to be dealt with subsequently.


said there was no intention of keeping the House very late, but they might as well make the best use of the time.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

suggested that to get the clauses of this Bill and the Resolution setting up the Committee in connection with the Sugar Convention (expenses and duties) would be a fair compromise.


appealed to the Committee to deal with the Bill as far as they could instead of wasting time on a division.

Question put, and negatived.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2:—


moved the omission of line 16, the reason being that at present there were a number of dependents of Crimean veterans receiving pensions from the fund, but whose fathers did not lose their lives in the service of the Crown. Unless the Amendment were made these recipients would lose the pensions.

SIR A. HAYTER (Walsall)

said there were on the fund 1,300 widows of men who served in the Crimea but did not die in the service, and these would all be struck off unless the Amendment were made.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, to leave out line 16."—(Mr. Pretyman.)

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3:—


moved to omit the word "permanent" from line 20. The object of the Amendment was not to confer benefit on officers at present in the employment of the Patriotic Commissioners, but the new body could not take any action until after 1st January next year, and the Patriotic Commission would cease to exist on 31st December this year. There would thus be an interregnum, and in order to carry on the continuity of the work the omission of the word "permanent" was advisable.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 20, to leave out the word 'permanent.' "—(Mr. Pretyman.)


supported the Amendment. Under the new corporation there would be a great deal more work to do, and there was not the slightest danger of the men not being taken over.

Amendment agreed to.


said the words he wished to propose confined the provision to the legal rights of and position of those who might be under the expectation of pensions. Those who ha I followed the history of the Patriotic Commissioners knew that a good deal of complaint had been directed against them for granting certain pensions, and using the money which might have been devoted to more deserving applicants. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 22, after the word 'that' to insert the words the legal position and rights of.'"—(Mr. Hayes Fisher.)


said this Amendment had apparently been moved under a misapprehension. The pensions dealt with were not really Civil Service pensions, to which they had a right by law, and they could only be awarded by the permission of the Treasury. If those words which had been proposed were inserted, he did not think those persons would get any pensions at all.


said his Amendment was not moved under a misapprehension, but under an apprehension that understandings might have been arrived at which ought not to be carried out by the new body. The new body ought to have a perfectly free hand, only controlled by the legal rights they at present possessed. So long as some language was introduced which confirmed their rights to their legal rights, and so long as the new body would not he hound to do anything more than give them the legal rights which they at present enjoyed, he should be satisfied. Would the hon. Member bring up some such words on the Report stage?


said he sympathised with his hon. friend's object, and he should be glad to refer the matter to the law officers of the Crown to see what words could be devised to carry out this object.


said he thought the proposal of the hon. Member for Fulham was a good one, although he agreed that the objection raised by the Civil Lord was a strong word. He understood that his hon. friend's Amendment would be considered.


said that the question would be considered before the Report stage.


asked permission to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to.



moved to report Progress, because he was sure there was a very strong feeling in regard to this part of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed—

"That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Courtenay Warner.)


said there was a good deal of doubt about the schedule, and if it were taken on Tuesday they would have time to consider it, and possibly it would not then take up much time. If the Government insisted upon taking it now there would certainly be a debate upon it.

Committee Report Progress to sit again upon Monday next.