HC Deb 11 July 1919 vol 117 cc2204-6

Resolution reported, That it is expedient to authorise the Treasury by Order to revoke or modify the rules as to the civil employment of retired officers in so far as they provide for reductions from civil pay.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution." —[Mr. Baldwin.]


May I ask what is the object of this?

Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)

This is a Resolution upon which we desire to found a one-Clause Bill, to redeem a pledge given last October to the hon. and gallant Member for Melton (Colonel Yate) and in reply to a question, the other day by the hon. Member for Blackpool (Colonel Ashley). A generation ago there was a feeling in Parliament that when men were in receipt of pensions and had Civil Service employment it was not desirable that they should draw in full both emoluments. Under the superannuation Act of 1887, the Treasury were empowered to make rules which acquired statutory force, and one of the rules then made was that there should be in the case I have mentioned, 10 per cent. deduction from the civil pay, while the pension was paid in full. That has been considered a great hardship, and popular opinion has changed considerably on the subject. In the case of men for some time past no deductions have been made and this Bill simply empowers the Treasury to cancel the effect of that rule. We found that we have to get statutory authority to do that because the rules acquired statutory force.


Does this measure cover the case mentioned of an officer who entered the Ministry of Pensions service the other day?


I could not say that that case is on all fours with this case. We did not circulate a White Paper in connection with this Resolution because we could not make any estimate of the amount of money involved. My advisors consider it will not exceed a few thousand pounds per year, although, of course, it may be more according to the number of pensioned officers who find their way into the Civil Service.


A question was put the other day about an appointment of a disabled officer to the Ministry of Pensions, who had his salary reduced by a certain percentage immediately on his appointment because he held a disability pension. I should like to be assured that this proposal covers that case and cases of that kind.


I think so. That is, I understand, the sort of case which this is meant to cover.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I desire to welcome the Resolution and I hope that the Government will take steps to see that the same principle is carried out throughout the country, and will see that in the labour market men's pensions are not exploited and that it will be de-cleared illegal for employers to take pensions into consideration in engaging men who enter their employment. I hope that the Financial Secretary will convey that suggestion to his colleagues.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in upon the said Resolution by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Baldwin.

RETIRED OFFICERS (CIVIL EMPLOYMENT) BILL, —"to enable the rules as to the Civil Employment of Retired Officers to be revoked or modified in so far as they provide for deductions, from civil pay," presented accordingly, and read the first time; to be read a second time upon Monday next, and to be printed. [Bill 130.]