§ 26. Sir ARTHUR FELL
asked the Prime Minister if he will consider the desirability of withdrawing the war bonuses and additions to salary granted to Government employés so that the effects of the present extreme depression in all branches of trade and business should fall upon all alike and not be confined to the railwaymen, miners, engineers, dockers, and other similar trades, where large deductions are being asked from the wages of all employed?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Hilton Young)
I am unable to agree to this suggestion. My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that the 1495 bonus payable to civil servants is automatically reduced as the cost of living falls, and as regards the salaries authorised for the various posts in the Civil Service, he may rest assured that these are kept under constant review so as to ensure that the rates of remuneration payable are not more than adequate.
§ Sir A. FELL
In view of the fact that the railwaymen have already had a considerable reduction in wages owing to the fall in prices, why cannot civil servants have their reduction made at a much earlier date than six months?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these increases of salary were decided upon by a committee composed exclusively of civil servants, and will he arrange, if possible, that the question be reconsidered by an impartial committee?
§ Mr. YOUNG
As regards the first question of the hon. Gentleman behind me, he will remember that the Civil Service bonus does follow the cost of living index number; it followed it up just as it is following it down, not at the time, for it lags a few months. As to the second question, I do not think what he says is the case. On the Committee in question there were representatives of the big industries.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Could not the hon. Gentleman now see his way, in view of the strain and difficulties of the rest of the community, to secure that these bonuses of £750 and £500 paid to men in receipt of salaries of £2,000 and £3,000 a year should come to an end?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is the question which, in other words, was originally asked.
59. Captain TERRELL
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether the Treasury has been approached with any proposals to compound the payment of civil servants and their war bonus; and whether, before any such step is taken, Parliament will be asked to express its views?
§ Mr. YOUNG
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. With regard to the latter part of the question, whilst the procedure to be adopted in the hypothetical contingency referred to would necessarily depend on 1496 the circumstances, including the sittings of this House, it would certainly be the object of the Government that the House should be given full opportunity of expressing its views.