HC Deb 11 March 1908 vol 185 cc1496-7
MR. HORNIMAN (Chelsea)

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether the duties of writers are in any way different from those performed by certain men on the staff who are pensionable; whether there is any reason besides that of economy why this difference should be made; and what is the estimated cost of substituting a pension in lieu of the grant now given to men discharged on reaching the age limit.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) It is presumed that the pensionable staff referred to in the Question are the foremen writers. Their duty, in addition to their clerical work, is to supervise writers, and the responsibility of their position justifies the grant to them of pension privileges. As regards the cost of substituting a pension for a gratuity in the case of the writers, a calculation has been made in respect of one group only of the writers, but it is clear from this that the annual cost of granting pensions to the whole class would be very considerable.