§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, when such a large salary as £2,500 a year was sanctioned in the case of the Chief Crown Agent for the Colonies (Sir Ernest Blake), so placing him upon a par in regard to salary with officials of great commercial and financial institutions, the Colonial Office had in mind the fact that, whilst the former is entitled to a considerable pension, no such rule obtains in the case of the latter; whether the Chief Crown Agent can now claim his pension; and, if so, what would be the amount of the same.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The Secretary of State has no personal responsibility for the amount of the salary sanctioned in the case of Sir Ernest Blake, the amount having been settled by the right hon. Member for St. George's, Hanover Square. Lord Elgin is certainly not prepared to say that he regards the arrangement then made as excessive or improper, having regard to the very great scale of the business transacted, and to its special character. I understand that the Chief Crown Agent is in a position to claim a pension, but the amount is determined by the Secretary of State on date of retirement. As I informed the hon. Member on the 11th instant, Lord Elgin has decided to appoint a Committee to deal with pensions and cognate subjects. I hope to be able to make an announcement with regard to its composition shortly, as the preliminaries to its appointment are already well advanced, and I deprecate in the meantime questions bearing upon matters which will fall within the purview of its deliberations.