§ (1) The office of Minister of Pensions shall not render the person holding it incapable of being elected to, or of voting in, the Commons House of Parliament, and shall be deemed to be an office included in Schedule H of the Representation of the People Act, 1867; in Schedule H. of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1868; in Schedule E. of the Representation of the People (Ireland) Act, 1868; and in Part I, of the Schedule of the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868.
§ (2) The person who, at the passing of this Act, holds the office of Paymaster-General shall not by virtue of this Act, if a Member of the Commons House of Parliament, vacate his seat as such Member.606
§ (3) One of the Secretaries of the Ministry shall not by reason of his office be incapable of being elected to, or of voting in, the Commons House of Parliament.
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "at the passing of this Act holds the office, of Paymaster-General shall not by virtue of this Act," and insert instead thereof the words "is first appointed to be Minister of Pensions shall not by reason of such appointment."
Sir H. DALZIEL
This is a very important point to be sprung on the Committee without being on the Notice Paper. It is consequential, of course, on the changes in the Bill, and I am not going to object to it, but at the same time I am glad that it is limited to the first Minister. For my own part I should have thought that the Government would have taken the advantage of this opportunity of having a Pensions Minister for the first time to have a popular election. They might have, as it is put, "drawn fresh inspiration from the country," and have satisfied themselves that they had the people behind them. As I understand, this Amendment only covers the point as to whether my right hon. Friend, if he accepts this office, should not have the trouble of election, and I am quite content to agree to it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Sir H. DALZIEL
Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us the name of the Under-Secretary whom it is proposed to appoint. I understand that he had it in mind and nearly told us the other night.
Sir H. DALZIEL
I think it would be interesting information for the House, and I think it is usual to announce the name of the Under-Secretary. I do not wish to press him on the matter, but I am sure it would give satisfaction to many of my hon. Friends around me if he were to announce the name
I am sure my right hon. Friend will not press me on this point. I think after what has taken place in the Committee to-day we had better wait until a Pensions Ministry is established.
§ Colonel YATE
What is meant by the expression "one of the Secretaries?" How many Secretaries are there to be?
There will be the Parliamentary Secretary, and there will have to be what is known as the Permanent Secretary, and therefore we have to use the plural. I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman we are not going to appoint more than we consider necessary.
In taking over the Statutory Committee, I may have to take over a secretary, and I am not going to commit myself to two.
§ Question put, and agreed to.