§ Order for second reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Sir CLEMENT HILL
This Bill is one which carries out in the main the recommendation of the Courtney Commission, and in that respect is, I believe, agreeable to the main body of Civil Servants. There are, however, in this measure one or two points which require some explanation from the Government, and I hope the Secretary to the Treasury will be able to explain them. Civil servants consider that Clause 3 excludes existing servants over 60 years of age from the benefits of the Act, and there does not seem to me to be any satisfactory reason rendering it necessary for these persons to be so excluded. If any man who has done his long service period under the Government is retired he should have all the advantages afforded by the Act, and his age should not exclude him from those advantages. The argument put forward is that for those particular years he will be drawing both his pension and his salary. At any rate, this is a point which requires some explanation. The main point to which I desire to direct attention is Clause 6. In that clause it is proposed to repeal section 7 of the Superannuation Act of 1859. That section gives the Treasury the right to grant to any person who is retired for the good of the public service compensation for the abolition of his office. As I read this clause, it will take away from the Treasury the right of giving this extra allowance, and it will only enable them to give the retired Civil servant the amount which he would have been entitled to had he retired on the ground of ill-health, without any extra consideration whatever. That seems to me to be giving too much power to the Treasury. We can all trust the Treasury to apply these rules very conscientiously, but at the same time, if a man is removed from the public service for the advantage of that service in which he has spent the prime of his life, he should have some compensation above that which he would receive if he retired 764 through ill-health. On this point I hope we shall have some assurance from the Secretary to the Treasury. The commencement of the same clause is a quotation from Clause 7 of the Superannuation Act, 1859, but when you come to line 11 you find it is laid down that "such special annual allowance or allowances shall be given by way of compensation as the Treasury may think fit to give." In this Bill the word "annual" is left out, and the Treasury are taking away from themselves the compulsory power which they have at present to give an annual pension, and it will be possible for them to give merely a gratuity, which would not be sufficient compensation to the retired civil servant. There is nothing in the Bill to say that the gratuity shall be equal to the amount of the pension to which he would be entitled, so that practically it gives power to give a less sum than he is entitled to at present. I think words should be added to the clause making it clear that new entrants in the Civil Service should not be so entirely in the hands of the Treasury as they will be if this clause passes as it stands. Under Clause 7 the Treasury has also power to make rules to carry this out, and I hope some words will be put in to ensure that those rules shall be made without much loss of time. Civil servants welcome on general grounds some change on the lines of this Bill, but they are rather afraid there may be some dilatory methods of carrying it out, and that they will not have the advantages of those conditions they wish enforced very quickly. Some assurances will be gratifying to them that the rules will be made by the Treasury as quickly as possible when the occasion arises for them, and also that those rules and regulations will be laid before Parliament as they are to be according to section 2, in as short a time as possible. I do not see there is any time laid down when the Act is to come into force. I do not know whether the words applying to cases of Civil servants who enter the service after the passing of the Act mean that it comes into force as soon as it becomes an Act. If not, I think some date should be put in the Bill when it is to come into force. I have been to some trouble to obtain the views of the Civil servants regarding this Bill, and I believe, generally speaking, it is more popular with the lower divisions of the service than it is with the higher grades. Still, if those points to which I have alluded are ad- 765 justed, I believe it will be received with welcome by the Civil servants as a whole.
I have been asked to bring forward one or two matters in connection with this Superannuation Bill. I am glad to see the Postmaster-General (Mr. Sydney Buxton) in his place, because I wish to allude to a very simple matter, which concerns his Department. It refers especially to a certain class in Ireland. They feel a considerable grievance that they are not included under the Superannuation Bill or because they fear they are not included. I would ask the Postmaster-General whether service as Royal Engineer telegraphists is included in the time served in the Post Office as counting for a pension. There are very few of these men, and they have made strong representations to me on the subject. The point they take is that they were practically serving at the same class of work in the Royal Engineers as they now perform in the Post Office, and the Postmaster-General—I am told—is not able to include perhaps their five, seven, or nine years' service before they actually come under his jurisdiction in the time which is calculated for superannuation allowance. It is a case with which, I am sure, the Postmaster-General must be fully acquainted, and one point which will appeal to him is that these men are really penalised for having served in the Army in the first instance. They serve the State both in the Army and the Post Office, and only the latter time counts towards the superannuation allowance. I would like, therefore, to ask the Postmaster-General or the Secretary to the Treasury whether he could state if it would be possible to allow the time served in the Royal Engineers. There are a very small number of persons affected, and it would not be a very large charge to include them under Clause 3 of the Bill. I hope, although they are a small section, their claims will not be overlooked on an occasion of this sort. There is an opportunity now to right a wrong, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman, when he comes to reply, will bear in mind the claim these men have put forward for equal treatment with others in the Post Office.
§ Mr. CROOKS
I want to add my word to the appeal of the hon. Member who has just sat down (Captain Craig). There is a feeling of considerable hardship in the service, and I could only wish there were a few affected. There are others from other branches of the Service than 766 the Royal Engineers who have served in what is arbitrarily known as the Unestab-lishment Service, and whose time in that service, when they are put on the Establishment Service, does not count for their pension. They think this is a very great hardship. Of course, when you make representations to the head of the Department, whichever it is, you get a sympathetic reply that it is not his fault, but that it is the fault of the Treasury, who will not allow it. Now we are face to face with the Bill of the Treasury on the question, and it certainly seems to me to be most desirable to meet their case. Within a week or two you have discharged from the Government service a man whom I will not locate who served 30 years on the Unestablishment staff, and who gets absolutely nothing, whilst a man of less importance in the service, who has done only 20 years gets a pension. Naturally, that makes bad feeling between the men. I hope that when the Bill comes to Committee there will be serious consideration given to the claims of Civil servants who have got in unestablishment time and have a right to claim that time as counting for their pension. It is practically the same position, and they render the same service to the State. I hope something will be done to correct that curious anomaly, which breeds a good deal of dissatisfaction.
§ Sir GEORGE KEKEWICH
I have taken some part in pressing this measure upon the Government, and I should like to say one word before it passes its second reading. I think the Bill is acceptable to the Civil servants, for I have heard no protest against its principle, although in some of its details it is criticised. There are one or two questions I should like to put to my right hon. Friend. The Bill says (he Treasury may allow. On the face of it, therefore, it is permissive, but I believe those identical words are used in the Act of 1859, and I should like to hear from my light hon. Friend whether, although the words are permissive, they are in fact compulsory. It would relieve the minds of a great many in the Civil Service if he could give us an assurance to that effect. Civil servants of over 60 years of age do not come within the purview of the Bill, as it is drawn at present. It is rather hard upon a man if he is a little over 60 if he cannot take advantage of this Bill. I would suggest to my right hon. Friend that in such a case he might allow him to take something less than one year's salary. 767 I am quite aware that probably if you brought in Civil servants of over CO years within the purview of the Bill it might possibly affect the actuarial calculations on which it is based, but at the same time it is exceedingly hard on men of over 60, and still more hard on their wives at home. I should like to add my voice also to the appeal of the hon. Member who spoke last (Mr. Crooks) that the whole of the unestablishment service should count for pensions in cases where persons are promoted to the establishment service. The unestablishment service is precisely of the same character as that he fills afterwards. In such a case as that I think it is very hard it should not be counted, and I hope before this Bill gets through Committee some way may be found of meeting the case of men over 60 years of age, as well as of those who serve many years before receiving appointments on the establishment. On behalf of the Civil Service I thank the Government for having introduced this Bill. I hope they will press it forward with all speed, because every day Civil servants are dying who have been unable to make provision for their families.
§ Mr. H. W. FORSTER
I am glad to know that Civil servants welcome this Bill as a whole. I had a good deal to do with the administration of the Superannuation Act when I was at the Treasury, and I found the work very interesting indeed. There are two criticisms which I wish to make upon this Bill. It seems to me to place Civil servants in a position of much greater hardship than they occupy at the present time. The hon. Member who last spoke (Sir George Kekewich) dealt with the case of men over 60 years of age, and also with the provisions of the Bill with regard to the compensation to be paid on abolition of office. I do not understand why it is that the older Civil servants are to be treated in the manner proposed by this Bill, unless it be for the reason that their treatment is to be governed wholly and solely by considerations of the acturarial tables. That means that a man who serves after the normal period of Civil Service, and who is capable of rendering sufficiently valuable work to justify the retention of his services is to be penalised. Why, I cannot understand, and I should like an explanation from the Government. I should like to know also whether Civil servants who adopt the provisions of this Bill—I refer to the men now in the Service—will be able to get the full benefits conferred on them under Clause 3 without 768 being subject to the maximum imposed under the clause, which says that a, lump sum, not to exceed 1½ times the yearly salary, shall be paid.
§ Mr. H. W. FORSTER
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will be able to tell me what the position of a Civil servant will be under the provisions of this Bill. I come next to the question of the abolition of office. I have looked through the Bill, and I cannot see that persons affected by the abolition of office are going to escape some worse fate than befalls them at the present time. Clause 6 says it shall be lawful for the Treasury in the case of abolition of office to grant such special allowances by way of compensation as may seem to be reasonable and just for the loss of office, but not exceeding in any case the amount which the civil servant would be entitled to or might be granted if he retired on the ground of ill-health. Then the Bill proceeds to abolish section 7 of the Superannuation Act, 1859. That section allowed the Treasury to add ten years to a man's service when his office was abolished. I think it is very hard on the Civil servant that the power conferred on the Treasury by that section should be now taken away and that the abolished Civil servant should be penalised to that extent. I do not see why this discretionary power to add ten years to the man's service, and thereby give him one-sixth more than he would otherwise be entitled to, should be taken away from the Treasury. I think it would be a great mistake to lessen any of the powers possessed by the Treasury to deal generously and handsomely with Civil servants in exceptional cases. When I was at the Treasury I saw a great many of these cases dealt with. I know that each case is examined with the most minute care in order to see that the interests of the public are fully safeguarded, and I know also that they are examined with equal care, so that every circumstance which tells in favour of the Civil servant shall receive full consideration. I think it would be a great pity if you take away from the Treasury that discretion in dealing with the hard cases which must inevitably arise under this or any other scheme of superannuation. In my opinion it would be infinitely better to preserve the provisions of section? of the Act of 1859 in order that the Treasury may have power to give something extra in the case of abolition. 769 The Act speaks of compensation for abolition of office, but it is not compensation if you only give the man the same pension as he would have if he retired on the ground of ill-health. I do not suppose it has occurred to anybody yet to insure against the abolition of office, although possibly that might be done at a very reasonable rate I certainly cannot see any element of compensation in the amount you are giving under the provisions of this Bill, and I trust I shall receive from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Treasury, some assurance that this matter will be very carefully looked into and dealt with on the Committee stage. I cannot help thinking that unless something is done in the directions that I have suggested the Civil servant of the future will be somewhat less well off than the Civil servant of the present, and I think that would be very undesirable, when we remember that the remuneration of people engaged in ordinary commercial, or professional life, is constantly rising, and that the cost of living is steadily going up. It would be a thousand pities to prejudice and worsen in the future the position of a class of men who deserve the highest consideration.
§ Mr. J. JENKINS
I wish to raise a question in regard to the Civil servants who are employed in His Majesty's dockyards. I was in Portsmouth when petitions were presented to the Admiralty on behalf of the men I represent, and one very important subject was dealt with under the present superannuation scheme. As the right hon. Gentleman is well aware 1s. in the is deducted from the whole of the wages of the workmen employed in His Majesty's dockyards, and, just to give a particular illustration, I will point out that the men whom I represent—I speak of the establishment—they complain that 1s. 6d. is deducted from their wages. The establishment men receive 34s. per week and the hired men 36s., and when the men are superannuated they are superannuated at the low rate. I represented this matter on a previous occasion to the Admiralty, and I was informed that the Act would not admit of their receiving their superannuation on the higher scale. I think it was admitted by the Secretary to the Admiralty that it was a grievance which the men were justified in pressing, and now we are dealing with this scheme, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill whether he could not see his way to grant these men what is perfectly just and 770 legitimate, seeing that they have served a very long time under the Government at a low rate, and 1s. 6d. a week is deducted out of their wages. Surely they should receive the benefit of being superannuated on the higher scale. I hope he will deal with this matter in considering this important subject.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I think the reception which the Bill has had at the hands of hon. Gentlemen who have addressed the House has shown not merely that the Bill itself was desired by Civil servants, but that the provisions of the Bill, now that they have been examined by the Civil servants, have proved eminently satisfactory to those servants. I may perhaps remind the House in what circumstances this Bill has come into being. Throughout the four or five years between 1898 and 1903 there was considerable movement on the part of the Civil servants in regard to the terms of superannuation, which, owing, I think, entirely to a misconception on their part, they thought involved a very considerable reduction in their pay, and also resulted in a comparatively small number of those who contributed to the pension fund ever receiving any return from that fund. Owing to that feeling on their part, a movement was started by the Civil servants asking that the whole terms of superannuation should be reconsidered and altered, and so strong was that feeling that a Commission was appointed under the presidency of Lord Courtney, to go into the whole terms of the superannuation of Civil servants, and that Commission made certain definite recommendations which perhaps the House will allow me to recall to their recollection. Before I do that, however, I should like to point out that the original demand of the Civil servants was a very limited one; it was then confined to asking that there should be a refund of accumulated deductions from pay in case of any Civil servant who died while still in the service of the State. It was a very limited demand, confined strictly to that request. The Courtney Commission made certain definite recommendations. They suggested the alteration of the scale of pensions from one-sixtieth of the pay for every year's service to one-eightieth of pay for every years' service, and they also suggested a gratuity of a year's pay in the case of a Civil servant dying in the service, or upon his retiring after forty years service. They also suggested that in the case of a Civil 771 servant who retired with less than forty years' service, he should get a gratuity of one-fortieth of a year's pay for each year's service.
These recommendations of the Courtney Commission were submitted to a plebiscite of the whole of the Civil Service, or so much of the Civil Service as can be reached by the arrangements of the Deferred Pay Committee. I need not go into the whole history of the plebiscites—there were two such plebiscites, and the last was taken on the simple issue whether they preferred the Courtney recommendations or whether they preferred the terms of the existing Civil Service superannuation, and the result was an overwhelming declaration—overwhelming in strength from those Civil servants who were consulted—80 per cent, in favour of the terms recommended by the Courtney Commission. When that plebiscite had been taken it was quite clear that some alteration in the terms of the existing superannuation scheme must be made in order to meet the wishes of the services as a whole. There were two distinct defects about the Courtney scheme, and I think in that the hon. Gentleman will entirely agree with me; namely, the hardships inflicted upon those Civil servants who died in the service were met entirely at the expense of the potential pensioner, and the next defect was that there was no provision made for those who retired from the Civil Service before they had completed ten years' service, and thus became pensionable, except that gratuity of a month's pay for every year, which really was quite inadequate. When it was clear that the Civil Service wanted a reconsideration of the terms of superannuation it was quite clear that the pensionable treatment which would have to be given—which could be given—would have to be considered very carefully from the actuarial point of view, and I have had the services of three eminent actuaries who went very closely into the whole of the calculations necessary to evolve a scheme, and this Bill is the outcome of that consideration. By it a pension of one-eightieth is substituted for the pension of one-sixtieth for each year's service given, and as the pension is confined to the earn-able period, is confined to the maximum of forty years, it is clear that the pension is reduced from a pension of two-thirds to a pension of one-half.
In order to make up to the servants the reduction in pension, the following pro- 772 posals are made, and the first of these deals with the hardship resulting to the Civil servant who retires before he has completed 10 years' service. Any Civil servant who retires after two years' service gets in addition to the gratuity which he now earns an additional allowance of one-thirtieth for every year's service rendered. That is coupled with a deduction from his earnable allowance, if he serves to 65 years of age. Practically all Civil servants have to retire at 65 years of age, with the exception of one or two favoured individuals, who may serve for a year or two more, and also with the exception of a certain number of officers who are employed in and about the Law Courts, who may serve on for practically an indefinite period. It is quite clear it would be very hard to penalise the whole body of Civil servants to enable a certain small class of officers who can serve on indefinitely to obtain greater advantages than other servants can obtain at the expense of the vast majority of the Civil servants.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
Because the benefits which could be given to the remaining Civil servants would have to be reduced in order to allow these other gentlemen to obtain the larger rate of allowance which they could thus obtain. Next, any Civil servant dying after five years' service gets a gratuity of a year's pay, and if a Civil servant dies after he has retired from the service, but before he has drawn a whole year's pay, the State makes up to him the equivalent of a year's pay, whether by way of additional allowance, or by making up the deficiency of the year's pay. These very favourable conditions, far exceeding anything that the Civil servants expected, are dependent upon two conditions, one that the option must be made within 12 months, and the other that the personnel of the service must be in a sound state of health. These are actuarial conditions laid down, upon which the whole scheme depends, and from which the Treasury would be quite unable to depart.
Then I come to the provisions by which only those officers who were under the age of 60 were allowed to opt. The age of 60 is the age at which the head of a Department has no power any longer to retain the services of an officer. An officer can go, if he wishes, the moment he reaches 60, and draw his pension. It would be quits impossible, having regard to the actuarial calculations on which the scheme 773 is based, to permit an officer who attains the age of 60 to take advantage of the new scheme and leave the service, carrying off, perhaps £1,000. The possibility of doing that would clearly upset any actuarial calculations whatever. These proposals are to be made applicable to all future entrants and they can only be made applicable to existing servants if the actuarial calculations on which the scheme is based are observed. The whole of these proposals are based upon this, that no amount of money shall be taken away from the aggregate body of Civil servants, and that in making these proposals no additional expenditure shall be incurred by the State. We have a block sum which we do not intend to increase or to diminish, but within the capacity of that block sum we have redistributed the conditions under which the pension is payable. If the wishes of the hon. Member for Exeter (Sir G. Kekewich) were accepted the other re-sulting benefits of the scheme would have to be reduced in order to comply with his wishes. I think it is very much better to give what you can to the great majority of Civil servants rather than to give an advantage to a small class of officials, none of whom will probably be in the service for more than two or three years longer.
A further advantage is given, namely, that all the existing Civil servants who do opt and take advantage of the scheme are to get ½ per cent, bonus for each year served before the passing of the Act. That would be a substantial advantage to the Civil servants, and it can only be done because in their case the State will escape the liability of life assurance which is receivable by all future Civil servants and all those who accept the scheme—a liability which may press heavily upon the State in their case. The scheme does not apply to women, because so many of the women who voted were against the application of the scheme to them, and although I should be prepared, if there were any evidence of a desire on the part of a large section of the existing women in the Civil Service to have the scheme applied to them to permit such an option, at the same time I have seen no indication of any desire on their part to have the scheme made optional.
The hon. Member for Shrewsbury (Sir C. Hill) asked why in Clause 6, which professes to re-enact the provisions of Clause 7 of the Act of 1859, the word "annual" was left out. The reason is quite clear. It is because Clause 6 applies, as Clause 7 did not, to those Civil servants who have 774 less than ten years' service. The first part of Clause 6 re-enacts the existing law, the latter part legalises the present practice of the Treasury in connection with the grant of pensions and the last part practically enacts the recommendation of the Ridley Commission which reported in 1894. The Act will come into force immediately it is passed. The hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Crooks) asked whether it would not apply to the case of non-established officers, and whether it could not be applied to the case of ex-telegraph men in the Post Office service. The scheme cannot be applied to any persons to whom superannuation is not now given. It does not in any way pretend to extend to persons superannuation provision and assistance which they could not now enjoy.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not be possible in this Bill to make it applicable to the point I have raised?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I am afraid not. The Bill must be limited to the amount available for the purpose of giving pensions. I could not accept any extension of the present system to persons who do not now receive pensions. It is merely a redistribution scheme. If the hon. Gentleman will bear that in mind, he will see how I am hampered from accepting his proposals as well as that of the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Crooks). I was asked whether the Treasury had any option in the matter. The Act of 1859 says that it may be lawful for the Treasury, and it is only the word "may" that is changed to the word "shall." The hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Forster) asked about the abolition of office, and whether in that case Civil servants were going to be worsened. If the hon. Member will look at the Paper presented to the House of Commons on 15th February, 1894, by Sir John Gorst, who was then Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and the Report by what is called the Ridley Committee, he will see that the first recommendation is that there should be no addition to the years of a man's service in respect, among other things, of professional qualification. Then he goes on to deal with the question of the abolition of office. There was a Resolution of the House of Commons, and an expression of opinion by Lord Goschen in 1888, upon which expression of opinion the recommendations of the Ridley Committee were based. It has been the practice of the Treasury to give no additional sum in respect of the qualifications stated.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I have looked into the matter very carefully, and whatever may have been the actual words used, the result has been that the practice of the Treasury ever since 1888 has been as I have stated. This Bill is of an entirely nonparty character. It is acceptable to both sides, and the terms are, I think, infinitely more generous than Civil servants ever at any time hoped for.
§ Mr. FORSTER
I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has answered my question as to the limit of the gratuity.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
It would be impossible to include within the limits of the scheme the dockyard hands, on whose behalf the hon. Member spoke. It cannot be extended to those who are not now within the limits of the scheme.
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
It will apply to all persons who in future become pensioners. I am not quite familiar with the practice at the dockyards, but I rather gather from the hon. Member's description that it depends on Departmental practice, and not upon provisions laid down in the Act of Parliament. The hon. Member for Shrewsbury (Sir C. Hill) asked whether the Treasury rules would be issued as quickly as possible. I assure him that we shall do all in our power to expedite their publication.
§ Mr. BYLES
I am afraid Clause No. 6 is an attempt to stereotype the practice at the Treasury of granting what many of us think is an altogether inadequate compensation on compulsory retirement. It is quite true that they have been acting on the regulation that they shall grant as much as the circumstances seem to the Treasury reasonable and just. That also 776 is embodied in this clause. The words at the end of the clause are "shall not exceed in any case the amount the Civil servant would have been entitled to, or which might have been granted to him had he retired on the ground of ill-health." I do not myself consider it is a reasonable and just position that a Civil servant who is compulsorily retired should have exactly the amount of superannuation which he would have had if he had not been compulsorily retired, or if he had retired from his own act, or by reason of his own sickness. If he is compulsorily retired by the Department, it seems to me that to subject him to the loss of several years' service which he might have rendered, and which would have entitled him to a larger pension, is to deprive him of something to which he is entitled. That is an injustice to him. I know that many members of the Civil Service feel it. I have in my mind at present the case of a gentleman who was in a high position and who has been compulsorily retired at the age of 52, and who is to receive the same superannuation which he would have received if he had gone out through infirmity. I venture to put quite respectfully to my hon. Friend that this is rather hard treatment. This man is cut off from the chance of eight years' more service at least. He might have retired at 60, and should have an annual addition of one-sixtieth of the salary up to 60. If he had remained up to 60 it would have entitled him to a larger pension. Probably my hon. Friend may think that what he has said is a sufficient answer, but Civil servants who have gone into this thing very closely indeed rely on section 7 of the Superannuation Act, which entitles them to this amount of compensation. They say that by this new practice they are being deprived of it. The only defence of the practice is that it has gone on for a great many years. That does not make it any more just. I hope that careful investigation of the claim now put forward will be made before this Bill is passed into law. Questions were addressed to my hon. Friend last November, and his reply to the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. G. S. Bowles) was that in ordinary cases the amount of this annual allowance by way of superannuation does not exceed the amount of superannuation allowance to which the retiring officer would be entitled if his retirement was due to ill-health. This rule is the outcome of precedent, and it was stated in the House of Commons by Mr. Goschen as long ago as 777 1889, but he said that in less than six months there would be legislation. Twenty years have passed and there is no legislation, and when at last there is legislation proposed it is not to remove the grievance but to stereotype it and make it permanent. I believe also that Mr. Goschen was misled in saying that the House of Commons had by Resolution condemned the allowance. I believe that if the Resolution of 12th of June, 1888, is looked up it will be found that he was misled, and that the House of Commons, so far from condemning these allowances only condemned their abuse. This is not a matter to be quietly slurred over. If the Civil servants have a statutory claim, no amount of precedents on the part of the Treasury, even though they have gone on for 20 years, can justify the deprivation of the Civil servants of what they are entitled to by statute. If I can prove to the Committee that I am right in my contention I think they will admit that if the Civil servant has a statutory right to such and such an allowance, no amount of Treasury practice and no amount of precedents can deprive him of that right.
§ Question, "That the Bill be now read a second time," put and agreed to; Bill committed to a Standing Committee.