HC Deb 22 March 1910 vol 15 cc1009-10

Considered in Committee.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the payment, out of the Consolidated Funds, of the salaries and pensions of two additional judges of the High Court, who may be appointed under any Act of the present Session."—[The Attorney-General.]


I should like to repeat the questions I put a short time ago but which have not yet been answered: Are the Government to pay any consideration to the question of age in the appointment of the new judges? I would suggest that to appoint men over sixty years of age—


I do not see how this point arises. It is purely a money Resolution.


I presume I shall be in order in asking what salaries are to be paid to the new judges, and whether a pension will be provided, seeing that this arrangement is only of a temporary character?


The provision with regard to salaries and pensions will be exactly the same as in the case of ordinary judges—a salary of £5,000 and a retiring pension of £3,500. As to the age of the judges to be appointed, that is rather beyond the scope of this Resolution, and the Government have no proposal to make in that at all.


May I ask whether the system recently initiated of pensioning a judge before he has fulfilled the full period of service is to be continued? I was told, in reply to a question I recently put, that a judge had retired on a pension based on a medical certificate. Anyone with experience of medical certificates knows how easily they can be obtained. In my own lifetime I have for half-a-guinea got a certificate excusing me from attending an examination. I desire to ask whether the judges to be appointed under this Act are to have the advantage of retiring after a comparatively few years' service on getting a medical certificate that their health is not good?


The judges will be appointed on precisely the same terms as the other judges, and they may be excused further service if they fall into bad health. I do not think medical certificates in such cases are given upon such terms—in point of money or principle—as the hon. Member appears willing to suggest. Retirement on a medical certificate is not at all a common circumstance in the case of judges, and I know of no case in which there has been a retirement except on good grounds. Judges in any case are not in a hurry to retire. At any rate, whatever the law is in regard to ordinary judges, it will apply to these new judges.

Resolution agreed to; to be Reported 29th March.