HC Deb 27 May 1919 vol 116 cc1103-9

(1) If any officer of a local authority who holds on the passing of this Act a pension able office is removed from his office for any cause other than misconduct or incapacity, or resigns his office with the sanction of the Local Government Board, he shall, without prejudice to any other right, be entitled to receive from the local authority an allowance not exceeding two-thirds of the salary, fees and emoluments which he was in receipt of at the time of the removal or resignation, and not less than an allowance calculated according to the scale provided by the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1892, and the rules there under, if at that time he has served as an officer of the local authority for not less than ten years, or a gratuity according to the scale in Part I. of the Seventh Schedule to the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, if he has so served for less than ten years, and the right to and amount of any such allowance or gratuity shall. in case of dispute. be determined by the Local Government Board.

(2) The Local Government Board shall not give their sanction to the resignation of an officer for the purposes of this Section unless they are satisfied that owing to changes made without reasonable cause in the conditions of his employment after the passing of this Act his position has been materially altered to his detriment.

(3) This Section shall apply to a whole-time officer of a committee of a local authority or of a joint committee of several local authorities in like manner as if he were an officer of the local authority or authorities holding a pensionable office, and in the case of an officer of a joint committee the amount of the superannuation allowance or gratuity shall be payable by the local authorities in such proportions as may be agreed upon, or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by the Local Government Board.

(4) In this Section "local authority" means-the council of any county, county borough, or county district, the commissioners of any town, and the guardians of any poor law union.


I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words, For the purposes of this Section any person duly appointed standing solicitor of a local authority before the passing of this Act shall be deemed to be a pensionable officer of the local authority notwithstanding that his whole-time is not devoted to the duties of his office.


I accept.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (2), to add the words (a) or that he has become incapable of discharging the duties of his office with efficiency by reason of permanent infirmity of mind or body; or (b) that he is not less than sixty years of age and has served as an officer of the local authority for not less than twenty years.


I accept.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: At end of Sub-section (3), add the words Provided that in the application of this Section to an officer of a committee or joint committee appointed for the purposes of the Agricultural and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act, 1899. the sanction of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland shall be substituted for the sanction of the Local Government Board." — [Mr. Samuels.]

After the words last inserted add (4) The holding by an officer of a local authority whether before or after the passing of this Act of the office of clerk to an old age pensions committee or to a national insurance committee or of registration officer under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, shall not be deemed for the purposes of this Section to deprive him of the status of a holder of a pensionable office.

Bill reported; as amended on re-committal, considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."


On the Second Heading I entered a protest against the attempt of the Government to bring in this discrimination in legislation as regards Ireland. The Second Heading was carried, against our protest, and in the Division Lobby only two Irish Members voted in favour of it. That was not certainly a very large amount of agreement amongst Irish Members in favour of the Bill. But notwithstanding that and notwithstanding our protest, the Government thought it right to go on with this Bill. I greatly regret their decision. I think we should have been far better engaged to-day and on the other days on which we have been occupied with the Bill, in considering the question of the 20,000 children in Belfast who have nowhere to go to school, and when I am told the intention of the Government was, by the provisions of this Bill, in some way or other to decrease the power of Sinn Fein, I think they will do it much better by trying to improve the system of education than by trying to gerrymander the constituencies in local government under this Bill. The more one examines the situation in Ireland, and the more we understand the way Ireland is being and has been left behind, the more we realise that it arises from the fact that we have not insisted upon being treated as part of the United Kingdom in the advantages which are conferred upon Great Britain and in having legislation of a similar character applied to Ireland. I shall make my protest upon every occasion. On any Bills which are brought forward discriminating Ireland I shall try to prevent that discrimination. On any Bills which confer benefits upon the people of England and Scotland which are refused to us, I shall try to thwart that until you include Ireland. I deem it to be my duty, and I here and now, on the last opportunity I have, enter an emphatic protest that even after proportional representation of the people in Parliament was rejected you should try to impose that method of election upon the Irish people who, I suppose, are the least suited in the world to try the experiment upon. I feel it my duty to divide the House on the Third Reading so as to make the most emphatic protest I can against the Government going on with the Bill.


I do not think I ought to lose any opportunity of crossing the t's and dotting the i's of the right hon. Gentleman when the opportunity is afforded me. He has made the remarkable statement that this Government, which he supports, and which he largely controls in its Irish policy, the Government the Irish people are asked to trust, the Government that imposes its will upon the Irish people, has actually only now been responsible for one legislative measure, and that a measure that only received the support of two Irish Members in the Division Lobby. Was there ever such a commentary upon a Government in any country in the world? But the only measure this British Government, that takes away from the Irish people the right to manage their own affairs and tells them their affairs will be better looked after by them, has, according to the right hon. Gentleman who is their chief supporter and their master, have introduced is one that has the support of only two Irish Members. I could ask for no greater indictment of the whole system of government in Ireland than that simple declaration. The right hon. Gentleman has stated that he stands for equality in legislation for Ireland with this country. I am afraid, though he may be offered it in appearance, he has never got it in reality. We have had to have a special Housing Bill for Ireland. We have heard nothing about it since it was introduced. We have had to get a special Health Bill for Ireland, but we have heard nothing about it since it was introduced. Housing and health, two of the most vital and important considerations in the life of a people, are cast on one side, and a Proportional Representation Bill is introduced which has only the support of two Irish Members and has been carried through the House with a speed unparalleled in the history of legislation in these Islands. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that if he tries to find a panacea for the Irish question, and if he tries to solve the Irish problem, he will not find that it lies in that direction.

I sat here to-day and watched what was, to my mind, a consummate scandal in constitutional affairs. Here were twenty or twenty-five Irish Members trying in an absolutely fair and friendly spirit to discuss matters of local interest to our own country. Amendments were proposed, new proposals were submitted, the Division bell rang, and I never in my experience in this House saw such a rush as there was. Members were squeezing each other until they nearly broke the glass doors, and indulging in loud exclamations as to what it was all about. Was it another scene in the House of Commons? Had the discharged and demobilised soldiers appeared outside to wreck this model institution? What was the terrific danger that had arisen to bring these almost countless English Members, Tories and Liberals, rushing into the House? The poor old Liberals! I saw one Liberal nearly trip over three Tories in trying to get into the Lobby to vote down half a dozen Irish Nationalists. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the Labour party?"] You can ask them that question. You are a Labour Member. Here were the good old Liberals, who used to stand for the sanctity of personal liberty and who owe their position in the public life of this country to their rectitude in standing up for unpopular causes, and they were tripping up the Tories to get into the Division Lobby to vote against half a dozen Members of Parliament from Ireland upon a question which they did not understand and which they did not try to understand. One Liberal said to me, "Why did you press for a Division when I was at my tea? "I said," If you are a Tory, it is not tea you are drinking. "Tories from the bar and Liberals from the tea room coining heré with their unenlightened ignorance to vote down Irish Members upon a matter which they do not understand and do not care to understand. Then the right hon. Gentleman will ask mo to shake incense before the glory of the British connection which offers' us the luxury of English Members breaking their necks to come and vote down Irish Members upon a purely Irish question. I believe the right hon. Gentleman (Sir E. Carson) day by day is becoming a Home Ruler.


He began as a Home Ruler.


I believe the right hon. Gentleman began well, and will end well.

I am quite certain now that he comes hero and gives his undivided attention to Parliamentary work and sees the travesty and scandal of the whole system, for it is nothing else, that he is too honest a man not to realise the absurdity and grotesqueness of the whole thing, and that he will say to his twenty-five supporters, ''Follow me, and come over to College Green." I have no doubt that what he is saying in his inmost heart is this: "Circumstances compel me to come to this Parliament, but my intellect revolts against Irish questions being submitted to these people." You have only to look at them to see why it is that an Irishman finds it almost impossible to speak with patience when he addresses an assembly of this character. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, I have nothing whatever to do with this transaction. This Bill, the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman and our own is an Irish comedy, trying to be made tragic by the appearance of these illuminating Gentlemen who come from England. I will have nothing to do with it. You can pass your measure, carry its Third Reading, put it into operation, and go back to Ireland and tell the people that this is the contribution you have got for supporting a British Government in the pursuit of its policy.

Question pat, "That the Bill be now read a third time."

The House divided: Ayes, 244; Noes, 42.

Division No. 37.] AYES. [6.36 p.m.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Elliot, Capt. W. E. (Lanark)
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D. Butcher, Sir J. G. Entwistle, Major C. F.
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Cairns, John Eyres-Monsell, Com.
Arnold, Sydney Campbell, J. G. D. Fell, Sir Arthur
Astor, Major Hon. Waldorf Campion, Col. W. R. Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.
Atkey, A. R. Cape, Tom Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue
Austin, Sir H. Cayzer, Major H. R, Foreman, H.
Bagley, Captain E. A. Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Aston Manor) Forestier-Walker, L.
Baldwin, Stanley Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Oxford Univ.) Foxcroft, Capt. Charles Talbot
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Birm., W.) Galbraith, Samuel
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir F. G. Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood) Gange, E. S.
Barnett, Captain Richard W. Child, Brig.-Gen. Sir Hill Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham
Barnston, Major Harry Clay, Capt. H. H. Spender Gilmour, Lt.-Col. John
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Clough, R. Glyn, Major R.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Coats, Sir Stuart Gould, J. C.
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Cockerill, Brig.-Gen. G. K. Graham, W. (Edinburgh
Bentinck, Lt.-Col. Lord H. Cavendish- Colfox, Major W. P. Gray, Major E.
Bigland, Alfred Collins, Col. Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Greenwood, Col. Sir Hamar
Borwick, Major G. O. Colvin, Brig. Gen. R. B. Gretton, Col. John
Boscawen, Sir Arthur Griffith- Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Griffiths, T. (Pontypool)
Bowyer, Capt. G. W. E. Cory, J. H. (Cardiff) Griggs, Sir Peter
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Courthope, Major George Loyd Grundy, T. W.
Brace, Rt. Hon. William Curzon, Commander Viscount Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (Leic., Loughboro')
Bramsdon, Sir T. Davidson, Major-Gen. Sir John H. Guinness. Lt.-Col. Hon. WE. (B. St. E.)
Breese, Major C. E. Davies, Alfred (Clitheroe) Hallas, E,
Briant, F. Davies, T. (Cirencester) Hanson, Sir Charles
Britton, G. B. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hartshorn, V.
Broad, Thomas Tucker Dewhurst, Lieut.-Com. H. Herbert, Col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)
Brown, Captain D. C. (Hexham) Duncannon, Viscount Herbert, Dennis (Hertford)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Col. A. L. H. Du Pre, Colonel W. B. Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Buckley, Lt.-Col. A. Edwards, C. (Bedwellty) Hirst, G. H.
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Sir Samuel J. G. Mount, William Arthur Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert Seager, Sir William
Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Murchison, C. K. Short, A. (Wednesbury)
Hood, Joseph Murray, Dr. D. (Western Isles) Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T., W.)
Hopkinson, Austin (Mossley) Murray, Hon. G. (St. Rollox) Sitch, C. H.
Home, Sir Robert (Hillhead) Murray, John (Leeds, W.) Stanley, Colonel Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Hudson, R. M. Neal, Arthur Steel, Major S. Strang
Hughes, Spencer Leigh Nelson, R. F. W. R. Stephenson, Col. H. K.
Hunter, Gen. Sir A. (Lancaster) Newbould, A. E. Stevens, Marshall
Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G. Newman, Major J. (Finchley, Mddx.) Strauss, Edward Anthony
Hurd, P. A. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. (Exeter) Sugden, Lieut, W. H,
Hurst, Major G. B. Newton, Major Harry Kottingham Surtees, Brig.-Gen. H. C.
Illingworth, Rt. Hon. Albert H. Nicholl, Com. Sir Edward Sykes, Col. Sir A. J. (Knutsford)
Jameson, Major J. G. Nicholson, R. (Doncaster) Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)
Jephcott, A. R. Nicholson, W. (Petersfield) Taylor, J. W. (Chester-le-Street)
Jesson, C. Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G. Terrell, G. (Chippenham, Wilts.)
Johnstone, J. Onions, Alfred Thomas, Sir R. (Wrexham, Denb.)
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen) Palmer, Major G. M. (Jarrow) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander Palmer, Brig.-Gen. G. (Westbury) Townley, Maximilian G.
Kidd, James Parker, James Turton, Edmund Russborough
Knights, Capt. H. Pearce, Sir William Walker, Col. William Hall
Lane-Fox, Major G. R. Peel, Lt.-Col. R. F. (Woodbridge) Wallace. J.
Law, A. J. (Rochdale) Pennefather, De Fonblanque Ward-Jackson, Major C.L.
Law, RL Hon. A. Bonar (Glasgow) Perkins, Walter Frank Wardle, George J.
Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ. Wales) Perring, William George Warren-, Sir Alfred H.
Lloyd, George Butler Philipps, Sir O. C. (Chester) Wedgwood, Col. Josiah C.
Locker-Lampson G. (Wood Green) Pilditch, Sir Philip Weston, Col. John W.
Lorden, John William Pinkham, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Lort-Williams, J. Pollock, Sir Ernest Murray Wigan, Brig.-Gen. John Tyson
Lunn, William Prescott, Major W. H. Wignall, James
Lyle-Samuel, A. (Eye, E. Suffolk) Pulley, C. T. Wild, Sir Ernest Edward
M'Donald, Dr. B. F. P. (Wallasey) Purchase, H. G. Wilkie, Alexander
Mackinder, Halford J. Raeburn, Sir William Williams, A. (Consett, Durham)
Macleod, John Mackintosh Raffan, Peter Wilson Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough)
Haddocks, Henry Randles, Sir John Scurrah Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Mallalieu, Frederick William Ratcliffe, Henry Butler Williamson, Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald
Malone, Col. C. L. (Leyton, E.) Raw, Lt.-Col. Dr. N. Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Stourbridge)
Malone, Major P. (Tottenham, S.) Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, E.) Wilson, Col. M. (Richmond, Yorks.)
Marriott, John Arthur R. Rendall, Athelstan Wood, Major Hon. E. (Ripon)
Mason, Robert Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, W.)
Meysey-Thompson, Lt.-Cot. E. C, Robinson, T. (Stretford, Lancs.) Woods, Sir Robert
Middlebrook, Sir William Rodger, A. K. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Mildmay, Col. Rt. Hon. Francis B. Roundell, Lt.-Col. R. F. Wood, Major Mackenzie (Aberdeen, C.)
Mitchell, William Lane- Rowlands, James Yate, Col. Charles Edward
Molson, Major John Elsdale Royds, Lt.-Col. Edmund Young, Sir F. W. (Swindon)
Moore, Maj.-Gen. Sir Newton J, Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill) Young, William (Perth and Kinross)
Moreing, Captain Algernon H. Samuel, A. M. (Farnham, Surrey)
Morgan, Major D. Watts Samuel, S. (Wandsworth, Putney) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord E.
Morris, Richard Samuels, Rt. Hon. A. W. (Dublin Univ.) Talbot and Mr. Pratt.
Morrison, H. (Salisbury) Sanders, Colonel Robert Arthur
Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. Sassoon, Sir Philip A. G. D.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Ganzoni, Captain F. C. McNeill, Ronald (Canterbury)
Archdale, Edward M, Green, J. F. (Leicester) Moles, Thomas
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Col. Martin Gritten, W. G. Howard Nield, Sir Herbert
Blair, Major Reginald Gwynne, R. S. O'Neill, Capt. Hon. Robert W. H.
Bowles, Col. H. F. Hall, Capt. D. B. (Isle of Wight) Reid, D. D.
Briggs, Harold Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Fred (Dulwich) Shaw, Capt. W. T. (Forfar)
Brittain, Sir Harry E. Hambro, Angus Valdemar Tryon, Major George Clement
Bromfield, W. Hamilton, Major C. G. C. (Altrincham) Whitla, Sir William
Burn, Col. C. R. (Torquay) Henderson, Major V. L. Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Hopkins, J. W. W. Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Carter, W. (Mansfield) Kerr-Smiley, Major Peter Kerr Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)
Craig, Capt. C. (Antrim) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Winterton, Major Earl
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington) Lindsay, William Arthur
Donald, T. Lonsdale, James R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Fraser, Major Sir Keith M'Guffin, Samuel Mr. Coote and Mr. Lynn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn," put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the third time, and passed.