HC Deb 06 August 1918 vol 109 cc1303-5

(1) Subject to such adaptations and modifications as the Secretary of State may by Order prescribe and subject as hereinafter provided, the Asylums Officers Superannuation Act, 1909, shall apply and shall be deemed always to have applied to officers and servants employed in certified institutions for defectives as if references in that Act to asylums included references to such institutions, and as if in relation to officers and servants of such an institution references to the visiting committee of an asylum included references to the managers of the institution:

Provided that—

(d) The superannuation allowance of an asylums officer or servant of the first class who has removed to a certified institution shall, in respect of his asylums service, be calculated by reference to fiftieths instead of sixtieths.

Lords Amendment:

At the end of paragraph (d), insert the words, And an officer who has so removed before the date of the commencement of this Act or who so removes within five years after that date shall, if he has been in the service of an asylum as a first-class officer or servant for not less than ten years, become qualified for receiving a superannuation allowance at the age of fifty-five years instead of at the age of sixty years.


This Amendment will increase the charge on the superannuation fund to which the rates contribute, so that it appears to involve privilege. Asylum officers at the present time can retire at fifty-five years, but officers of certified institutions are not entitled to superannuation until they attain the age of sixy years. The object is to assimilate the two, and so facilitate exchange of officers, tout it means five years' more superannuation allowance and therefore five years' more charge.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

I propose to ask the House to consent to waive its privilege in this case. The Amendment proposes to apply the Asylums Superannuation Act to officers of certified institutions for defectives. This matter was brought to our notice by the London County Council, who desire to transfer some of their experienced asylums officers to these institutions, and they point out that there will be a difficulty in inducing asylums officers to transfer without this Amendment. At the asylums these men are first-class officers entitled to retire at fifty-five, but after being transferred to a mentally defective institution they will technically be second-class officers not entitled to retire until sixty. It is desirable that these institutions should have the benefit of these officers, and the proposal is that an officer who has had ten years' service as a first-class officer, and within five years after the passing of the Act is transferred, shall retain his existing rights of retirement. That will be a great assistance, and I hope the House will accept this Amendment.


This Bill was passed rather rapidly through both Houses, and it proposes to apply an Act, which I had the honour of introducing in 1909, to the officers of these defectives institutions. I quite agree with the Amendment as it tends to equalise the position of officers in certified defectives institutions with those in asylums. I understand that there is no power to classify officers in these certified defectives institutions under Class 1, and when that is known I am afraid that there will be some outcry against it. In so far as the present Amendment reduces the disability of these officers in mentally defective institutions, I hope the House will agree with the Lords Amendment.

11.0 P.M.


Am I right in assuming that the Amendment proposed in another place was not considered when the Bill was before this House. This is an Amendment which increases the charge on the ratepayers at a time when I think we ought to be, considering economy. I should like to know why, if it is a necessary Amendment, it was not put into the Bill when it was introduced in this House. I understand that of late years it has been held that all questions of finance are to be limited to this House. If that is so, surely it is the duty of this House to see to all financial questions in connection with Bills introduced in this House, and not to leave them to be put in by another place, I should like to have some little explanation how it has arisen that an Amendment which apparently is a good one, and which deals with a matter of finance, and which, therefore, is one for this House, was not put into the Bill when it was first introduced.


I can only say that this House, usually very vigilant, did not notice the point until the Bill passed through all its stages here, and it was raised by the London County Council. The only expedient open to us was to put it in in another place. The Treasury, who were consulted, were not willing to apply to officers of institutions for defectives the same terms as apply to officers in asylums. They were not willing to apply the whole scale, but they consented to this modified provision being made, namely, that during the five years we should be entitled to transfer the officers without loss of rights.

Question put, and agreed to.