§ MR. LYTTELTON (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, how many British civil servants have been reduced since the grant of responsible Government to the Transvaal; and whether, having regard to the public assurances given by Sir A. Lawley and Sir R. Solomon, any and what steps have 516 been taken by His Majesty's Government to secure to them any consideration for their loss of employment.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The right hon. Gentleman's Question is not quite clear in its terms. He speaks of British Civil Servants, of which there were only three, and suitable employment has been found for them. If he means Transvaal Civil Servants of British birth, I fear I cannot answer the Question, as I cannot distinguish them in that way. The Civil Service was notoriously overstaffed, and many retrenchments have taken place on the authority of a Royal Commission, both in the period of Crown Colony Government and under Responsible Government. I would desire to say that the Secretary of State is anxious to find places here and in the Colonies for well qualified men, and that some have already been provided for.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, in 1899, Major McInerney, being then a barrister in active practice in Melbourne, left his professional duties to serve as an officer in the Victorian contingent in the Boer War, and was seriously wounded in that service; that he was afterwards appointed chief magistrate of the Court of Pretoria under martial law, resident magistrate of Krugersdorp under the civil administration, on the terms, as-promised by Sir Richard Solomon, that pension rights would be attached to the office; that he was seconded to act as chairman of the Central Judicial Commission, and charged with the heavy and responsible duty of inquiring into and adjudicating upon the claims for compensation for war damage and on military receipts, and after completion of that task resumed his office as resident magistrate; that he was retired from the service of the Transvaal Government in September, 1907, without pension; and whether, in view of the recorded testimony to the value of Ids. services by Lord Milner and Lord Selborne, and to the pledges made by the representatives of the King in the Transvaal, His Majesty's Government have taken any, and what, steps to secure the fulfilment of those pledges in respect of Major McInerney's 517 eight years of strenuous and able service to the Crown.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The facts are I believe generally as stated in the Question, though I cannot agree that any promise of pension was made to Major McInerney which in the absence of a general pension law could confer any special rights upon him; nor is there anything which materially differentiates his case from that of many other public officers in the Transvaal who were retrenched at the time when the right hon. Member was himself holding the seal of office as Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Secretary of State fully appreciated the value of the services which Major McInerney rendered in South Africa and was glad recently to have an opportunity of recognising those services by submitting his name to His Majesty for an honour, but he is not prepared to press his claims on the Transvaal Government.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
I am advised there are no circumstances differentiating this case from those of other persons with respect to the claim for pensions.