HC Deb 16 November 1911 vol 31 cc650-5

Considered in Committee.


[Mr. WHITLEY in the Chair.]

Motion made and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the payment out of the Consolidated Fund of a retiring annuity to any Chairman of the Land Court in pursuance of any Act of the present Session to encourage the formation of Small Agricultural Holdings in Scotland,"—[Mr. Gulland.]


May we ask for some guidance as to the probable amount of the expenses which will be incurred?


It is not possible to say what the probable amount will be. What is proposed is that the Chairman of the Land Court should be put in the same position as regards pension as the Judges of the Court of Session. Speaking generally and broadly, that is that after eighteen years' service he becomes entitled to an annuity.


Are we to gather that we are to sign a blank cheque without having any sort of forecast as to the probable expense? If so, I enter a very solemn protest against such an unbusinesslike suggestion. The statement made to us is eminently unsatisfactory, very unbusinesslike, and very superficial.


May we not have some further information? So far as I know, no statement has been made as to the salaries of these Commissioners, and who the Land Court chairman will be, and I should very much like to know whether any estimate has been submitted to the Treasury at all. It seems to be rather a tall order that we should be called upon to vote, practically in silence, an unlimited annuity to certain gentlemen who may be appointed chairman of the Scottish Land Court. I always thought Scotch people were very capable of looking after their own affairs, and this seems a very striking example. The least the Government can do before they ask the House to pass this very large blank cheque is to give some small idea as to how many people are likely to come under this, what their salaries are likely to be, and what their annuity is likely to be.


Clause 3 of the Bill provides that there is only one chairman and there is only one person who is to be put in the same position so far as the annuity is concerned, as a judge of the Court of Session. The salary is a fixed salary, so far as the chairman is concerned, of £2,000 a year, and the annuity he will be entitled to after fifteen years service is three-fourths of that salary. The provision that is proposed to be put in the Bill is precisely the same provision as you already have in 17 and 18 Victoria, cap. 94, sec. 1, following out an earlier Statute with reference to the salary of a judge of the Court of Session. The money comes out of the Consolidated Fund in the same way as the annuity for a judge of Court of Session.


I would like to ask the hon. and learned Gentleman, since he charges us apparently with being unable to make a calculation which he considers to be of the simplest nature, why he cannot, for the convenience of the House, make the calculation himself and bring the figures before us. It is this superficial way of dealing with the matter we object to.


I have a great desire not only to know with regard to the salaries and pensions, but also who these people are to be.


I wish to raise an objection to this proposal, but not on the same grounds as were stated by the hon. Gentleman opposite. It is on the merits I object. I do not know anything of the proposal except what I have heard during the last five minutes, but I understand it is a proposal to give pensions to those who have large salaries, and are well paid for the services they render. The chairman of the Land Court is to get during his tenure of office £2,000 a year, and then at the end of fifteen years he is to get a pension of three-quarters of that salary—that is to say £1,500 a year. If anybody will tell with me against such a proposal, I feel so strongly upon it that I will take the sense of the Committee upon it.


I think the hon. Member will be able to raise that question much more conveniently to-morrow. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Conveniently to whom?"] To himself. So far as the present situation is concerned the effect of the Resolution, if passed to-night, will be to enable the Committee to-morrow to consider the question on its merits.


Am I to gather from what the hon. and learned Gentleman said that this money is included in the £200,000 under the Land Act?


This Resolution empowers the Committee to-morrow to consider the question of authorising the spending of the money for the purpose indicated.


May I ask the hon. and learned Gentleman if this judge of the Court of Session can only be dismissed from his post on an address from both Houses of Parliament?


If the Noble Lord will read the Bill, he will see the conditions under which the members of the Court are to hold office. I would refer him to Clause 3.


May I ask if this pension is to be given to the Chairman and not to the other Commissioners? If that is so, why is the pension to be given to the Chairman and not to his fellow Commissioners?


I am of opinion that with respect to Scotland, England, and Ireland, there is quite enough money going in these directions for pensions, and if the hon. Member for Blackfriars wants a teller I am with him.


I do not propose to take any part in the dispute raised by the Front Benches below and above the Gang

way on the opposite side, except to say that I understand this Resolution authorises payment of a certain sum of money which will be apportioned to the particular gentleman who occupies the position of Chairman of the Commissioners. If hon. Gentlemen opposite are really sincere in their desire to stop this, now is the time to do it.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 138; Noes, 57.

Division No. 389.] AYES. [10.50 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Gladstone, W. G. C. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Acland, Francis Dyke Glanville, H. J. Munro, R.
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbarton) Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Nannetti, Joseph P.
Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud) Griffith, Ellis J. Nolan, Joseph
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Nuttall, Harry
Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick B.) Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Hackett, J. O'Dotherty, Philip
Beck, Arthur Cecil Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.) O'Shee, James John
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts., St. George) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Bentham, G. J. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)
Booth, Frederick Handel Haworth, Sir Arthur A. Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Brady, Patrick Joseph Hayden, John Patrick Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Brunner, J. F. L. Henry, Sir Charles Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, N.) Higham, John Sharp Reddy, M.
Byles, Sir William Pollard Hinds, John Richards, Thomas
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Cawley, Harold T. (Heywood) Hunter, William (Lanark, Govan) Roberts Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)
Chancellor, Henry George Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)
Chapple, Dr. W. A. John, Edward Thomas Robinson, Sidney
Collins, G. P. (Greenock) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcliffe) Roche, John (Galway, E.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Roe, Sir Thomas
Cowan, W. H. Jones, W. S. Glyn- (T. H'mts, Stepney) Rose, Sir Charles Day
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Kelly, Edward Rowlands, James
Crumley, Patrick Kennedy, Vincent Paul Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Cullinan, John Kilbride, Denis Samuel, J. (Stockton)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) King, J. (Somerset, N.) Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)
Davies, E. William (Eifion) Lamb, Ernest Henry Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B.
Davies, Timothy (Louth) Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West) Sheehy, David
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rlnd, Cock'rmth) Simon, Sir John Allsebrook
Dawes, J. A. Levy, Sir Maurice Smyth, Thomas F.
Devlin, Joseph Lewis, John Herbert Spear, Sir John Ward
Doris, William Lyell, Charles Henry Summers, James Woolley
Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Lynch, A. A. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.) Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Toulmin, Sir George
Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) MacNeill, John G. S. (Donegal, South) Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Elverston, Sir Harold Macpherson, James Ian Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) MacVeagh, Jeremiah White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Esslemont, George Birnie M'Callum, John M. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Falconer, J. McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Whitehouse, John Howard
Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles M'Micking, Major Gilbert Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Ferens, T. R. Marshall, Arthur Harold Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Masterman, C. F. G. Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Flavin, Michael Joseph Millar, James Duncan
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd Molteno, Percy Alport TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Gibson, Sir James Puckering Morgan, George Hay Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.
Adamson, William Cooper, Richard Ashmole Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Ashley, W. W. Courthope, George Loyd Horner, Andrew Long
Balcarres, Lord Denniss, E. R. B. Houston, Robert Paterson
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Doughty, Sir George Hudson, Walter
Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Hunt, Rowland
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Jowett, F. W.
Bowerman, C. W. Gill, A. H. Kellaway, Frederick George
Boyton, J. Goldman, C. S. Kirkwood, J. H. M.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Gretton, John Lansbury, George
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Martin, Joseph
Cave, George Hancock, J. G. Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas
Clough, William Hardie, J. Keir O'Grady, James
Clynes, J. R. Hodge, John O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)
Parker, James (Halifax) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Wadsworth, John
Parkes, Ebenezer Smith, Harold (Warrington) Wilkie, Alexander
Pointer, Joseph Stewart, Gershom Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Sutton, John E. Yate, Col. C. E.
Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Rutherford, W. (Liverpool, W. Derby) Touche, George Alexander TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Sanders, Robert A. Tullibardine, Marquess of Barnes and Mr. John Ward.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow.