HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc738-9

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a supplementary sum, not exceeding £600, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1917, for the Salaries and other Expenses in the Department of His Majesty's Treasury and Subordinate Departments, including Expenses in respect of Advances under the Light Railways Act, 1896."


I am glad to see my hon. Friend the Member for North-West Lanarkshire (Mr. Pringle) in his place, as he put a question to the Prime Minister this afternoon in regard to this subject, and I am now in a position to give him the information he desires. This Vote is to provide the salary of my right hon. colleague the Paymaster-General as from August last. The salary of the office of Paymaster-General is £2,000 per annum. No extra charge is imposed on the public funds, because my right hon. Friend while receiving a salary as President of the Board of Education during that period did not draw the salary of this post. It is not really necessary to obtain statutory authority to pay this salary, because when the office was established, in the time of William IV., provision was made that the salary should be fixed and regulated from time to time by the Commissioners to the Treasury. For a long time the holder of the office did receive a salary, but for some years the post was held in association with some other office and no salary was paid. For a good many years no salary has, in fact, been paid to the holder of this office. The sum now asked for, £600, will cover the period from August last to the date when my right hon. colleague will commence to receive his salary as Minister for Pensions, and then, of course, he will cease to draw salary as Paymaster-General. I hope that that explanation will be satisfactory to my hon. Friend, and that it is unnecessary for me to say anything more on this very small matter.


I desire to thank the right hon. Gentleman for his full and adequate explanation of this Vote. The situation is now regularised. Undoubtedly there was some confusion in regard to it until the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to give us the explanation we have now received.