HC Deb 14 August 1916 vol 85 cc1615-6

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is expedient to authorise the payment, in certain cases, out of the revenues of India of a Retiring Allowance to the Auditor of the Accounts of the Secretary of State for India in Council and his assistants, and of a Gratuity to the legal representatives of the said Auditor and his assistants under any Act of the present Session, to amend certain enactments relating to the Government of India, and to remove doubts as to the validity of certain Orders in Council made for India."—[Mr. Charles Roberts.]


I must object again on principle to another indefinite financial Resolution without any limit of fund. I suppose it is limited to a small amount because it is only for a retiring allowance for the auditor of the accounts or his assistants. There may be an indefinite number of assistants, and they may all be very high salaried officials. Altogether I think it is a very unsatisfactory principle to have no sum put in a financial Resolution. There is another point, too. I have been looking at the various Government of India Bills. I think we have two before us now, and apparently neither of these Government of India Bills—the. Government of India Bill or the Government of India Amendment Bill—requires a financial Resolution of this kind. I presume, therefore, that another Bill is to be founded upon it. I am very glad to understand that possibly some indication may be given as to what point in either of these Bills it is necessary for us to have this financial Resolution. I dare say my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. C. Roberts) will be able to explain.


I rise to ask whether this deals with the Bill which was on the Order Paper last night and was not taken?


It is really an extremely small—a minute, almost a meticulous—point. The Government of India originated it in the House of Lords, and in one of its provisions it deals with a small flaw in the original Consolidation Bill which was passed last Session. The law did not allow a retiring allowance or a gratuity to be paid to the assistants or the auditor of the revenues of India, and it is in order to meet that point that this Resolution has now to be proposed, simply because the Bill originated in the House of Lords and not in the House of Commons. Therefore it is necessary to preserve the privileges of this House. It refers simply and solely to the Government of India Amendment Bill which is on the Order Paper, and which was not taken this morning. It is not the foundation of any other Bill, and I assure the hon. Member it deals with an extremely small amount of money. It is purely to save the technical privileges of the House of Commons.

Resolution to be reported to-morrow (Tuesday).

It being after Half-past Eleven of the clock upon Monday evening, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at Two of the clock