§ SIR G. KEKEWICH (Exeter)
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the old writers, not on the establishment of the Civil Service, are to be compulsorily retired in January next; what is the number of such writers, and 1602 in what Government offices they are serving; what is approximately their average age, and the average length of their service; and whether the total provision to be made for them in lieu of pensions is a gratuity of £100 to each.
(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) I am not in possession of the particulars asked for in the Question, and I could not obtain them without considerable trouble. I think it, however, sufficient to say that the Treasury circulars issued in December, 1904, on the final closing of the register of copyists, suggested that the remaining copyists then under sixty should be retired at sixty-five, subject to the discretion of heads of departments to continue them, if fully efficient, year by year up to the age of seventy, and that copyists then over sixty should be compulsorily retired at the age of seventy, subject, in the case of those over sixty-eight, to two years' notice. The gratuity referred to is not in lieu of pension; these copyists were never qualified for pension under the Superannuation Acts, and under the terms of their original engagement they had no right even to gratuity on retirement, which was first granted by the Treasury minute of December, 1886. I may add that since the Treasury minute referred to copyists have always been liable to be retired with a gratuity calculated as prescribed by that minute and not exceeding £100.